august 18 – september 22, 2020

Writing With Hobbits

A Six-Week Writing Course

Join author and teacher Jonathan Rogers as we examine The Hobbit with a writer’s eye.

Register for adult cohort (College-age and up)

Register for student cohort (high-school and middle-school)

When J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937, he ushered in a new era of fantasy fiction. Tolkien’s work is fantastical, and yet his presentation is at least as as realistic as stories set in the “real” world. How does he achieve this balance? That’s one of the questions we will examine in this class. 

In Writing with Hobbits, we will examine The Hobbit with a writer’s eye, to see how we can make Tolkien’s techniques work in our own writing. 

Writing with Hobbits includes six 90-minute live lectures* via Zoom, as well as a dedicated online forum for discussion and optional writing exercises. *Recordings of the lectures will also be available for learners who can’t attend the live lectures.Intended Audience: Adults and High-Schoolers

Topics to be covered include:

  • World-Building
  • Action and Movement
  • Realism of Presentation v. Realism of Content
  • Tone
  • Writing Weather and the Natural World
  • Showing and Telling
  • Setting
  • Description and Imagery
  • Using Figurative Language
  • Characterization
  • Dialogue

Date and Time: 
Tuesday afternoons, August 18 to September 22, 2020 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Central

Cost: $69

Intended Audience:
Adult, High School, Middle

*There are two “cohorts” of Writing with Hobbits–one for adults (college-age and up), and one for high-school and middle-school students. The course content is the same for either cohort, but the two cohorts are separate in the discussion forums. Adults will be interacting with adults, and students will be interacting with students.

Please register for the appropriate cohort.

Adults (College-Age and up) Register here
High-schoolers and middle-schoolers register here

Weekly Workload

Required Texts:

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit


Reading: two to four chapters of The Hobbit each week

Writing: 300-500-word exercise

Watching: One live 90-minute lecture

Online Discussion: I will post several discussion questions each week. Hopefully they will lead to fruitful discussion in which you can participate as time allows.

Reading Plan

August 18
Chapters 1 –3
August 25
Chapters 4 –6 
September 1
Chapters 7 – 8
September  8
Chapters 9 – 12
September 15
Chapters 13 – 16
September 22
Chapters 17 – 19
Register for Adult Cohort
Register for student cohort

About the Instructor

Jonathan Rogers is the author or the Wilderking Trilogy, The Charlatan’s Boy, The Terrible Speed of Mercy, and other books. 

He hosts The Habit Membership, an online library of teaching resources and gathering place for writers. He also hosts The Habit Podcast and teaches and encourages thousands of writers every Tuesday through The Habit Weekly newsletter. 

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