Writing Your Story: Creative Writing

Course Category: Communication | Level 1 Course

Course Code: COM 101

Instructor: Anse Najiyah Maxfield

Course Dates: September 11 - December 17, 2023

Day: Mondays

Time: 7:00 - 8:00 pm CST

Daylight savings time will end in the United States on Sunday, November 5, 2023. Depending on where you live, this may or may not affect your class timing. In countries where DST is not applied at all, class will be one hour later starting November 5.

Course Description:

From orientalist exoticism to hijab-bashing tales of "liberation" to terrorist thrillers, the literary landscape is littered with other people's attempts to tell our stories (or to tell their own stories using Muslims as counterpoints). Often these charlatans down out our own attempts at representation. But in these tumultuous times, we can't afford to whisper any longer. It's time for us to raise our voices with stories that are authentic and entertaining, marketing that is clever and effective, and outreach that is sincere and productive insha'Allah. This course features weekly readings and writing exercises that each focus on an individual aspect of writing, along with semester-long work on a creative project. Lessons on submitting your work, choosing a publication route and effective marketing ideas round out the syllabus. By the end of this course, students will have sharper writing skills and a firmer idea of what to do after the writing is done.


Live attendance is recommended whenever possible for the best learning experience. Recordings of the sessions will be made available for registered students who cannot attend live.

Students will have access to course forums, recordings, and files until January 15, 2024.

Course Prerequisites:

Students should be women above the age of 17.

Course Requirements: 

Students are expected to attend the online lectures, complete one or more weekly assignments, complete a term paper, and submit a final exam.

This is an online course so students will need:

  • Access to internet with an internet speed of at least 2 Mbps recommended for best performance. 
  • Headphones, camera and microphone may be required for in-class participation. 
  • To access the live class and recordings, students will need a computer, smartphone, or tablet/iPad with the Zoom app.


Required: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Recommended: Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French

Students are responsible for ordering their textbooks before the start of class. Ribaat textbooks are available to enrolled students at a discounted rate through Rabata Bookshop. Once enrolled, students will have access to the discount code through the course forum.


Registration Fee: Non-refundable, non-transferable

  • $125.00 (not including the cost of the course materials)
  • $20.00 late registration fee on September 8th (if seats are available)
  • Additional $5.00 auditing fee.

Registration Options: 

Before enrolling, please read the Registration Fees & Policies. Then choose one of the registration options below.

Contact: For inquiries, contact registration@rabata.org