Hi. I'm Jenna McGuiggan.
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Learn more about all of the guests.

Brené Brown

Marianne Elliott

Liz Lamoreux

Sue William Silverman

Susan G. Wooldridge

Meredith Winn

What Students Say....

"I am still amazed at the sheer amount of amazing (and totally usable/practical/universal) content you provided in Alchemy: The Art & Craft of Writing. It was so full of goodness. I'm not sure I conveyed how satisfying it was to take part and access your brain for those weeks of writing." ~Meredith Winn, featured guest and course participant

"This class is amazing, and you are an amazing person and gifted teacher." ~ Ell C.

"I really appreciated your feedback! Your words were not at all what I had expected; my writing experiences have been met with red pen/pencil and all the things that are wrong... Your feedback was gentle and very encouraging!" ~ Lisa Lewis
"I'm really enjoying Jenna's Alchemy: The Art & Craft of Writing course. I've loved Jenna's writing for a while now, so I was super excited to take the class and learn from her. The e-course is not only well-organized but it's inspiring, filled with interesting prompts and insights and really dissects the art of writing. I love that Jenna features a variety of different experts to lend their insights, too. While I haven't finished the course yet, I can already say without hesitation that I highly recommend it." ~ Margarita Tartakovsky

"Thank you for hosting this safe place to come, learn, share, be inspired and not be afraid. Thank you for offering Alchemy and Alchemy Daily. I continue learning ways to weave my words together and hope someday to have a tangible tale upon which to look back. Your teachings here have offered me more eggs to add to my creativity nest. I am excited for what is yet to come." ~ Kristina Wood

Alchemy: The Art & Craft of Writing

A six-week online course to help you deepen and w i d e n your writing

Registration for this class is currently closed. Please join my mailing list to hear about future classes and workshops.


Alchemy: The Art & Craft of Writing combines writing techniques, tips, and inspiration to help you transform your words and ideas into meaningful stories.

  • Learn writing techniques to create beautiful, meaningful stories that connect with readers.
  • Discover tips and tricks to overcome your writing challenges.
  • Embrace the creative life and enliven your writing.
  • Connect with other writers in a private online community.

Alchemy: a power or process of transforming something common into something special

In this course:
Something common = words
Something special = your beautiful, meaningful stories

Alchemy: The Art & Craft of Writing is packed with writing lessons and exercises, fabulous guests, oodles of inspiration, and a private creative community. We'll look at how to combine techniques and inspiration to deepen and  w i d e n  our writing. Each week we'll focus on a particular craft topic and apply it to our stories. You'll choose the kind of writing you want to do, maybe blog posts, essays, articles, or a book project. It's up to you. (We'll even dabble in some poetry!) Bring whatever stories are clamoring to be told. I'll also provide prompts and nudges to help you find topics and capture inspiration if you need some guidance. (In addition, you can register for private editing and coaching sessions with me at reduced rates.)


I created this course because it's the course I was looking for several years ago when my writing had plateaued, and before I decided to pursue my MFA in writing. The elements covered in it have transformed my writing. We explore  some important foundational techniques that you may have missed or forgotten, and we look at how to apply them in practical ways to improve our writing craft. This is not about technicalities for the sake of being technical. This is about the tools of the trade that help you make art with your words. We also cover techniques that make your prose sparkle, including ways to polish it and hone it so that you're using language in a way that best serves your stories.


This course includes six weeks of course content, plus one "open" week in the middle of the course to rest, read, write, and celebrate. U.S. Thanksgiving, if applicable (Participants from all countries are welcome! Alchemy students routinely come from around the world.)

You get the following:

  • 12+ core writing lessons (to get you started)
  • 6+ bonus lessons (to take your writing deeper)
  • Nitty-gritty writing tips (with fun examples)
  • Weekly writing exercises and prompts
  • Video posts
  • Interviews with featured guests
  • Nuggets of inspiration and encouragement
  • A private online community with your own virtual notebook to share your writing and support your fellow Alchemists
  •  An ebook of course lessons, inspiration, exercises, and prompts (yours to keep)
  • My in-depth feedback on up to 500 words of your writing

{The ebook is and feedback alone are a $130 value. This means you get the weekly course updates, the private course website, the supportive writing community, the amazing guests, and access to me for all of your writing questions for just $39! }

Here's a sampling of the topics covered in Alchemy: The Art & Craft of Writing.

  • Finding your stories
  • Finding your writing voice
  • Experimenting with style and structure
  • Using imagery, metaphors, and the senses
  • Creating universal meaning to connect with readers
  • Editing as a creative act
  • Examining what writing clichés and rules really mean
  • Capturing everyday beauty and extraordinary events in words


The material in Alchemy: The Art & Craft of Writing is designed to benefit people in the intermediate to intensive stages of the writing life.

This course is meant for you if...

  • ...you write at least semi-regularly for work or pleasure and want to improve your writing.
  • ...you want to enhance your writing skill set and knowledge base.
  • ...you're ready to devote time and energy to your craft.
  • ...you want to move beyond your current writing plateau.
  • ...you believe that writing is one part inspiration, one part technique, and one part practice.
  • ...you want to connect with other creative souls who are also exploring the writing life.

The class is organized to to benefit writers with some experience, though that range is rather wide. The curriculum consists of core lessons and exercises to get you started, plus bonus materials that invite you to go deeper. The course will focus on prose, but we'll also play with some poetry.


Before the course begins, you'll receive an email invitation with directions on joining the private course website and online community. All you need to participate is a computer with Internet access and an email address.


No. (Each week of the course includes writing exercises and prompts, which you can complete at your own pace.)


Yes, your registration includes my in-depth feedback on up to 500 words of your writing. (If you'd like additional feedback on your writing, choose one of these options: 1) Add a private session to your registration. 2) Join one of The Word Cellar Writing Workshops. 4) Join The Word Cellar Writing Guild.)


Technique + Inspiration + Practice = Magic

I believe that writing is a combination of technique, inspiration, and practice. Alchemy is not a dry, how-to course filled with rules and regulations about what you "must" or "must not" do to be a better writer. It's also not simply a course about inspiration, even though there will be plenty of encouragement and nuggets of inspiration along the way. After all, what good are techniques without the muse?

As with all art forms, writing is a magical combination of the artist and the materials.

My photographer friends often say that it's not the camera that takes great shots, but rather the person behind the lens. But they know how the gear works, how to find the light, and how to frame the shot. Likewise, a painter creates the painting, but she benefits from knowing how to use different brushes, paints, and mediums.

And this is the magic: When you understand the tools and techniques of your craft, you know how to create pieces that express your unique vision. In Alchemy we'll explore writing tools and techniques to help you tell your stories in your voice.


Please email me: jennifer{at}thewordcellar{dot}com.


Registration for this class is currently closed. Please join my mailing list to hear about future classes and workshops.