An outlier is someone or something that exists on the margins, set apart by what makes it unique.

In this popular 6-week course we’ll explore four genre-bending forms on the fringe, ideal for crafting new, surprising, and innovative short-form memoir that readers (and editors) will love!

NEXT SESSION: March 1 to April 12, 2021
SAVE $30 off the $497 USD course fee with coupon code: SPRING30

when you sign up before February 22!

spark your story is more than a writing program

For many life writers, just getting through a first draft can be a struggle—let alone realizing their dreams of being published.

I spent twenty years as a student of writing before I felt I could tell my stories artfully and finally got serious about submitting my work.

For years I focused on learning the tools and techniques poets and fiction writers use to tell their stories beautifully.

The feedback to my writing was always positive. But my writing–and my writing life–changed dramatically after I took a course on the lyric essay and learned the power of form.



Since I launched my first writing course in January 2016 I’ve witnessed dozens of writers shape their experiences into powerful memoir.

Many have realized their dream of getting published, and finally feel comfortable calling themselves “real” writers.

Several have been nominated for awards for the writing they produced in my course.

These writers made incredible


when they gave careful consideration to their story’s


Amazing things happened for my writing, too, when I started experimenting with non-linear forms.

Once I discovered the lyric essay, turning my memories into memoir became a lot easier and more fun. I started consistently crafting work that was accepted for publication–and a few even won awards.

I’ve seen incredible things happen in a very short period of time for the writers with whom I’ve shared what I know about non-linear, hybrid, and fragmented forms, too.

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Heather Diamond

Heather Diamond’s

lyric essay, “Waterbabies” was shortlisted for Room’s 2018 CNF award

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Rowan McCandless

Rowan McCandless

won Room magazine’s 2017 CNF contest for her lyric essay, “A Map of the World”

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Karen Zey

Karen Zey’s

work has been published in a number of literary journals; her lyric essay, “Lessons in Hugs”, was nominated for Crack the Spine’s Best of the Net 2018 award

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Deanna Partridge-David

Deanna Partridge-David’s

first lit mag submission, “Lost and Found”, was published in Room 41.1

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Emily Kellogg

Emily Kellogg’s

“A Year for Ectoplasm” received an Honourable Mention in Room’s 2017 CNF contest, was nominated for the 2018 CNFC/carte blanche CNF award, and was finally published in Entropy under the title “Lucky Number 7”

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Shirley Harshenin

Shirley Harshenin

author of the epistolary essay, “Letters from my Brothers”, earned her first publication credit in Room’s “Family Secrets” issue

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Rachel Laverdiere

Rachel Laverdiere

published work she drafted in my writing programs in Bending Genres, The Nasiona, and filling station

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Danica Longair

Danica Longair’s

first publication credit, “Best is Fed”, was selected for the Sustenance anthology edited by Rachel Rose

Spark Your Outlier Story writer Emily James

Emily James’

diptych essay, Sangre, was a finalist for a flash prose competition.

“This is by far the best writing course I have taken.

The readings are wonderful, the lectures are inspiring and useful, the feedback is encouraging and insightful.”

Heather Diamond

Transform Your Writing

In Spark Your *Outlier* Story I’ll show you to:

Write through blocks and tackle difficult subject matter

Focus and organize your material–making key decisions early in the drafting process on what to include and what to cut

Craft your life-changing experiences into shapely, compelling narratives

Create a deep connection with readers and

Surprise and delight editors who’ve “seen it all”

All by learning about
the combined power of

form and craft.

Spark Your Outlier Story
Course Description

Join a small cohort of ten writers for a 6-week exploration into the creative possibilities of flash non-fiction, the prose poem, lyric essay, and hermit crab essay.

We’ll read and discuss genre-bending, non-linear narratives by Dinty W. Moore, Brenda Miller, Randon Billings Noble, Isaac Yuen, Christine Byl, Kristina Moriconi, Laisha Rosnau, and Susan Olding with an emphasis on essential craft tools for powerful storytelling.

In addition to weekly readings, discussions in our private forum, and skill-building pre-writing exercises, writers will submit five written assignments—one for each new form, plus a final revision— for instructor feedback.
By the end of the course, learners will understand the importance of structure for crafting memorable stories, and will have the tools to write stronger, more powerful personal narratives.

Whether you’re new to creative non-fiction—or an experienced writer ready to get experimental— this course has everything you need to start spark innovative new stories that will connect with readers and make an unforgettable impact.

How It Works

reading & resources

You’ll deconstruct non-linear and genre-bending narratives by a diverse selection of writers. You’ll also learn how to revise and where to publish.


You’ll study essential tools and techniques borrowed from poets and fiction writers that will make your stories more compelling and memorable.


You’ll dig deeper into process, inspiration and craft in interviews with established writers working in each of these “outlier” forms.


You’ll enhance your learning by asking questions, discussing readings, and sharing insights in our friendly online writer’s community.

exercises & assignments

You’ll spark new story ideas with exercises designed to tap intuition, improve craft skills, and ignite a first draft of each written assignment.

Constructive Feedback

You’ll receive personalized, constructive feedback on each draft you submit, centered on what’s working well and recommended next steps.

“This course is addictive!

It’s magical how quickly I can write and revise high-quality essays with the structure of Nicole’s lessons and feedback.”

Yolande House

Three-time student and author of “HEAR ME”, published in PRISM International

Creative writing instructor Nicole Breit.

I m Nicole Breit

  • Award winning poet and essayist residing on Canada’s gorgeous Sunshine Coast, the traditional territory of the Skwx̱wú7mesh people.
  • Creative writing teacher whose passion is to help writers discover new ways to shape their memories into well-crafted narratives.

Ready to write brave and true?

Register now and save $30 with coupon code: SPRING30
~ Discount expires 02/22/21 ~


Once enrolled in the program you’ll be asked to create an account to access our course platform. It’s an easy, one-step process—just enter your email address and a password to log in!

Sign in for immediate access to some introductory materials, including a welcome letter, the course schedule with assignment due dates, and tips on getting started with our discussion forum.

On the program start date you’ll get access to the first lesson. A new lesson will be unlocked every Monday for the duration of the program, but you’re welcome to connect in our online forum anytime!

“I wish there’d been a course like this when I first began writing nonfiction five years ago.

I highly recommend exploring these exciting forms with Nicole as your guide.

In addition to her well-structured syllabus and insightful feedback, her enthusiasm and warmth make her the ideal teacher.”

Abby Palmer

“There isn’t one suggestion I could make to improve this course. It was beautifully planned and organized, leading us carefully through all these new learnings.

The instruction and feedback were excellent and the readings were fabulous examples of the forms we are learning.

This course was rich and thoughtful and exciting.”

Nora-Lyn Veevers

“After taking Nicole’s course, I feel better equipped to push both my fiction and CNF to the next level. Nicole’s feedback is invaluable—she points out what is working and suggests specifics to improve each assignment. I highly recommend this course to all writers, experienced or beginning.

I’ve had many writing teachers, but Nicole is the only one I consider a mentor.”

Rachel Laverdiere

get started for $497 USD

Grab your spot and save $30 with coupon code: SPRING30