Several years back, grad student Scott Ashton asked me if he could record my BYU lectures and post them for an online curriculum as part of a project he was doing. I said yes, and it was never supposed to be “a thing,” not really. It was a student doing a project, and using my lectures as a way to explore online education.
Well, since that time, those lectures (which are collected at Scott’s site, which he called Write About Dragons) have been viewed tens of thousands of times, and become one of the big hallmarks of my web presence, at least as far as writing education goes. I’ve been blown away by the reception to them. At the same time, I’ve been keenly aware that the recording was subpar. This isn’t Scott’s fault—he actually did an excellent job, considering his background. But the lectures are at times difficult to hear, and the filming was handled on a single amateur camera.
For years, I’ve been wanting to do something better. And this year I had my chance. My good friend Earl is a semiprofessional filmmaker, and was looking for a new project. I pitched a better-recorded set of lectures, filmed this year in my class, and he jumped at the idea.
I’m extremely pleased with how these turned out. I think the lectures have evolved over time in ways you’ll find useful, and the filming is top-notch. (No promises about the jokes though.) We’ll be releasing these at a pace of around one a week, and it is my hope for them to replace the previous series as the “canonical” version of my writing lectures online.
So, it is with great pleasure that I give you the 2016 Sanderson Lectures, with thanks to Earl Cahill and his assistants for their camera work and editing. (Earl’s company, Camera Panda, gets a shout-out as well.)
I hope you find them useful!