The Course Starts on Tuesday, May 9, 2023!

Live Lectures take place weekly on Tuesdays from 7–9pm Eastern.

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About Writing: for Death Educators

Educating the public on aspects of death, dying, grief, loss and healing is vital. Writing with compassion and clarity can overcome the public's fear and negative presumptions about deathwork.

This 7-week writing course will focus on ways students can engage and educate the public through 12 different options: local news articles, feature pieces, opinion pieces, press releases, book reviews, public speaking, blog posts, website updates, interviews, columns, speeches and essays. Taught by journalist, syndicated columnist, and author Suzette Martinez Standring, students will learn from someone who’s done it before. Real-life examples illustrate unique aspects of writing for different outlets and in different forms. Classes will cover how to write compelling content for personal and professional purposes and how to pitch story ideas to editors. Gain insights into voice, viewpoint, and language. Receive feedback and enjoy the space to write. Participants can expect to leave with a confident grasp on how to create fact-based and engaging content. All experience levels welcome, and no writing background is required. Each live lecture includes a presentation, time to write and discussion. Lectures are recorded.

Course curriculum

Participants can expect to leave with a confident grasp on how to create fact-based and engaging content. All experience levels welcome, and no writing background is required. Each live lecture includes a presentation, time to write, and discussion. Lectures are recorded so you can watch them later.

  • 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 - Writing for Death Educators - 7 Week Series

  • 2

    Week 1: May 9 Websites, Blogs and Best Professional Practices

    • Discussion: Introduce Yourself

    • About the Course Project's Final Assignment

    • Lecture Topic: Websites, Blogs and Best Professional Practices

    • Assignment: Personal Website Piece Due May 16.

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

    • Week 1: Presentation Slides

  • 3

    Week 2: May 16 Feature Writing

    • Lecture Topic: Feature Writing

    • Assignment: Feature Article

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, May 16 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 2: Presentation Slides

  • 4

    Week 3: May 23 Interview Techniques

    • Lecture Topic: May 23 Interview Techniques, Q&A Pieces, and Profiles

    • Assignment: Draft a Profile or Q&A piece

    • Join Our Community!

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, May 23 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 3: Presentation Slides

  • 5

    Week 4: May 30 Queries to Editors, Press Releases

    • Lecture Topic: Queries to Editors and How to Write a Press Release

    • Assignment: Write a Press Release

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, May 30 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 4: Presentation Slides

  • 6

    Week 5: June 6 Write Book Reviews, Book Authorship

    • Lecture Topic: How to Write a Book Review, and How an Article You Write Can Lead to Book Authorship

    • Case Study: Cole Imperi

    • Assignment: Write a Book Review

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, June 6 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 5: Presentation Slides

  • 7

    Week 6: June 13 Public speaking, speech writing elements

    • Lecture Topic: June 13 Public Speaking and Speech Writing

    • Assignment: Five Key Points of a future speech

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, June 13 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 6: Presentation Slides

  • 8

    Week 7: June 20 Personal Essays and Columns

    • Final Lecture Topic: June 20 Personal Essays and Columns for Publication

    • Live Lecture | Tuesday, June 20 from 7–9pm Eastern

    • Week 7: Presentation Slides

  • 9

    Final Writing Assignment Due June 27, 2023

    • Final Assignment due Tuesday, June 27, 2023 - No Extensions

  • 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 Monday from 7–9pm Eastern via Zoom. If you miss one, that's ok! Lectures are recorded so you can watch them later.

  • 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! Each Monday, the class will include a presentation, writing time and time for discussion.

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

    This course is appropriate for all levels and backgrounds. People who may be interested and benefit from this course include: • Content creators writing for national, local, specialty, and personal publications about death, dying, grief, loss, and healing. • Aspiring writers looking to expand their writing skills from a journalistic point of view. Healthcare and deathcare professionals looking to educate the public and their clientele on topics, expertise, and services pertinent to their work. • Writers who want to broaden their subject base to expand their business opportunities. The skills acquired in this course can translate to any industry. No prior experience needed.

  • Will I have an opportunity to meet other students?

    Yes! Live Lectures take place via Zoom. There may 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.