Sep 18, 2012


Like many others, I'm headed back to school this month, teaching workshops online. I'll be ringmaster of's travel-writing intro for the 9th year (from 9/24), as well as teaching the newer master class (9/27) alongside some crazy-talented co-stars.

While putting together the syllabi, I had to comb through comments from past students. And, wow, I felt absolutely love-bombed by the end of it. Here are ten especially warm-and-fuzzy ones, in no particular order.
  1. "I spent eight semesters in creative writing classes at UC Berkeley, and Amanda offered more guidance and carefully directed help than any professor there." – Jenny Williams

  2. "She is a dream teacher, just the right balance between a knuckle-rapping tutor and a mom full of hugs. Thanks again for The course fees are lots cheaper than a shrink!" – Linda Petrucelli

  3. "I learned a huge amount, have had four pieces published and paid for (including my very first assignment, in The Guardian) and have completed the course with a sense of expanded possibilities. Thank you so much – this is the most rewarding educational experience I've had." – Rachael Davey

  4. "What an amazing gift you've given us: personalized attention plus huge generosity in sharing practical knowledge from the trenches. Far better than courses at traditional institutions." – Anne Anderson

  5. "Amanda is an amazing line editor and quick to provide excellent answers to questions. She's very supportive and encouraging, and I consider her not only my teacher, but a mentor as well." – Audrey Medina

  6. "At the end of 10 weeks, I had arrived in the Blogosphere, made new friends and even bagged a job as a writer at a magazine – all thanks to this course!" – Nidhi Nayer

  7. "With the confidence and skills Amanda gave me, I was able to approach highly regarded publications, like The Washington Post and the Toronto Star, and succeed in getting published. Amanda's class is a good investment, for beginners, as well as for professionals who need to energize their work and look at it from a different perspective. – Gaston Lacombe

  8. "She encouraged me to work beyond my limitations as a writer to points I'd never before reached, and beyond to new ones. Studying with Amanda will improve your writing, no matter the genre, and you'll have fun doing it!" – Debra Borchert

  9. "To have my first article accepted by the first publication I approached –The Christian Science Monitor – was like rocket fuel for me, and I have Amanda Castleman's expertise to thank." – Anne Clippinger, PhD, Adjunct Lecturer, Department of English, Montgomery College, MD

  10. "Amanda is an inspiration, an ideal to aspire to." – James Polk

Those comments will keep me smiling through many of the dips, twists and turns of freelancing. Thank you, all.


  1. Hey look--an internationally known travel writer quoted me on her blog! Amanda darling, you are completely welcome and deserve every word of these comments because you inspired them. See what I mean about mentoring? You're still there for us after you send us on our merry(and sometimes scarey)ways along our own paths.

  2. "Merry and scary" – that might be the best description of freelancing ever, Audrey! Thanks again for the cheerleading: teachers need it too. And reviewing these comments has me SO revved up for my classes to begin next week!