The Course Opens On September 28, 2023

And the First Live Lecture is Tuesday, October 3, 2023 from 7-9pm Eastern

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Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome & Introduction

    • Meet Your Professor: Suzette Martinez Standring (she/her)

    • Welcome! A Note from Cole Imperi

    • About the School of American Thanatology

    • Where We're From

    • Course Syllabus

  • 2

    Week 1: Key Writing Elements and Intro to Self-Hypnosis for Writing

    • Discussion: Introduce Yourself

    • About the Course Project

    • Lecture Topic: Key Writing Elements and Introducing Self-Hypnosis as a Creativity Tool

    • Assignment: What came up during your guided imagery experience?

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, October 3 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 1: Presentation Slides

  • 3

    Week 2: Shadowloss Separates Us

    • Lecture Topic: Effective Storytelling and Shadowloss™

    • Reading Links and column sample: Writing to Heal Grief and Trauma

    • Assignment: Write About Your Shadowloss™ every day for 10 minutes daily. Report the results.

    • Sample Column by Suzette Standring Re: Shadowloss™

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, October 10 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 2: Presentation Slides

  • 4

    Week 3: Shadowlight Reconnects Us

    • Lecture Topic: Humor in writing and how Shadowlight™ gives hope

    • Sample Shadowlight Column: Wisdom from the White Buffalo Calf Woman

    • Sample Column: Using Humor When Writing About Painful Events

    • Assignment: Morning Pages and what rents space in your head

    • Join Our Community!

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, October 17 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 3: Presentation Slides

  • 5

    Week 4: Japanese Death Poems, Last Words and Altars

    • Lecture Topic: Sensory Writing: Japanese Death Poems, Last Words and Altars

    • Books about Death Poems and Poetry Samples

    • Additional Reading: Sample of a Self-Penned Obituary

    • Assignment: Choose One: Obituary, Home Altar or Poem

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, October 24 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 4: Presentation Slides

  • 6

    Week 5: Healing the Unsaid with the Dead

    • Lecture Topic: Healing the Unsaid with the Dead

    • Optional Book Recommendations: Etheric Plane and Spiritual Communication

    • Assignment: What Have You Left Unsaid? Then Say It Out Loud.

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, October 31 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 5: Presentation Slides

  • 7

    Week 6: The Three Most Common Deathbed Regrets

    • Lecture Topic: Interviews, Dialogue, and Deathbed Regrets

    • Book Recommendation: The Three Regrets: Inspirational Stories and Practical Advice for Love and Forgiveness at Life's End

    • Assignment: Heading off the Three Regrets

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, November 7 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 6: Presentation Slides

  • 8

    Week 7: Holding an Inner Conference Room, and Preparing for Final Essay

    • Lecture Topic: Creating Dialogue and an Inner Conference Room - Bringing our different "selves" together

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, November 14 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 7: Presentation Slides

  • 9

    Week 8: Final Assignment Due Tuesday, November 21, 2023

    • Final Assignment due Tuesday, November 21, 2023

  • 10

    In Conclusion

    • Exit Survey

    • Read: A Final Note from Suzette

Pricing options

Students have the option to pay all at once or over 3 payments. Enrollment is limited. We look forward to having you in class!

Meet Your Instructor: Suzette Martinez Standring

Syndicated Columnist and Published Author

Suzette Martinez Standring

Instructor, Writing: Death & Spirituality and Writing: for Death Educators

SUZETTE MARTINEZ STANDRING writes a spirituality column for The Patriot Ledger (MA), since 2008 and is syndicated nationally through Gannett. Her award winning books, The Art of Opinion Writing (2014) and The Art of Column Writing (2008) are used in journalism courses such as Johns Hopkins University and are published in China. Suzette is a past president of The National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Since 2010, she is the host and producer of It’s All Write With Suzette, a cable TV show about writing.


  • Does this class have live lectures?

    Yes! Live Lectures with Suzette take place each Tuesday from 7-9pm Eastern via Zoom.

  • Will we spend time writing in this course?

    Yes! There will be time during each live lecture for writing, and a one-page writing assignment is due at the end of the course. The writing assignment is optional: if you want Suzette's feedback, or you would like a course certificate of completion, you will want to turn this in!

  • Who is this course for? Do I need experience?

    This course is for: • People looking to carve out time to get something from their head onto the page, while receiving expert guidance. • Content creators wanting to create memorable and potentially publishable pieces on such intimate topics as death and spirituality. • Learners looking to expand their writing skills by diving into these deep topics. • Healthcare and deathcare professionals looking to educate the public and their clientele on topics pertinent to their work, through their writing. • People facing issues such as end-of-life, death anxiety, shadowlosses, and grief with a desire to release their thoughts and emotions through effective communication. • People looking to connect with others interested in writing about their experiences with death and spirituality.

  • Will I have an opportunity to meet other students?

    Yes! Live Lectures take place via Zoom. There will be breakout sessions (small, intimate groups) where you can meet other classmates and talk about what you're working on. There is also a private school-community you will be invited to join.

  • Will we learn writing techniques?

    Yes! Please see the course outline above which will give you insight into all the different tools and techniques Suzette will share with you.