Debbie Miller

Class Title: Gratitude Lists as a Means of Joy & Passion in our Lives
Instructor: Debbie Miller
Class Term: May 20-June 17, 2019
We are not accepting any more enrollments for Debbie's class; the class has started.


In this class, we will write gratitude lists and choose items from them to expand and write about. Students will discover joys and passions through the writing process. Writers of all levels may join this class.

Class Description

In this four-week class, participants will write a 3-item list every Monday through Wednesday. Students will then choose one item each week to expand into a 300-word piece, which they will submit to the instructor by Saturday for feedback.

By the end of the four weeks, students will have four drafts, which they can later expand. The instructor will also provide readings about gratitude and examples of her own writing based on gratitude lists.

Instruction/Communication Method: I will deliver my instructional materials, receive students' written work, comment with feedback, and communicate via email. Each week, I will provide examples of my own gratitude lists and one piece of writing based on one of the items on one of my gratitude lists. 


I will offer this four-week class in four weekly units.
  • Unit 1: What is a gratitude list? What can be included in a gratitude list? In this unit, we will explore the benefits of being grateful and how gratitude lists do not have to list big events in order to be useful to a writer. Sometimes, it's the small things in life that inspire gratitude and give us joy. The instructor will use an example of a gratitude list of her own and provide a sample of a piece she has written based on one of the items in her most recent gratitude list. Students will write a 3-item gratitude list every morning Monday through Wednesday. The instructor will ask them to choose one of the items from the lists and write a 300-word piece based on it, which they will email to the instructor by the following Saturday, in order to receive feedback.
  • Unit 2: Students will write a 3-item gratitude list from Monday through Wednesday and choose one item to write about and submit by Saturday. The instructor will give them a short reading about joy or passion and students will write write 300 words about something they feel passionate about. They will submit both pieces to the instructor by Saturday for feedback.
  • Unit 3: The instructor will give a short lecture about writers who have used gratitude as a springboard to life writing. Students will generate 3-item gratitude lists from Monday through Wednesday and they will again choose one item to write about and email it to me by Saturday for feedback. 
  • Unit 4: Students will write a short piece (100 words) about how regularly writing a gratitude list has affected their writing life and send it to the instructor by Friday for feedback. Students will write a 3-item gratitude list from Monday through Wednesday.

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

Students will need intermediate writing and computer skills in order to complete this course. They will need to know how to use Word and send emails with Word documents in the body of emails.

Time Commitment: This class will require students to spend four to five hours per week, including time spent generating gratitude lists, writing 300-word and 100-word pieces, and reading the materials provided by the instructor and the feedback provided.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $128. Non-SCN members: $160.

Instructor Bio

Debbie L Miller is a Brooklyn, NY writer. She writes plays, monologues, short stories, memoir pieces, humor, and flash fiction. She has been a freelance writer since 1993 and has published more than 150 pieces in magazines. Her fiction writing has been published in print and online. Miller often uses freewriting and writing based on prompts to generate new work.