What Kind of Writer Are You?

Critical Thinking & Literary Expression in Public Life


There’s a better way to live: Through a conversation between what you want and what the world is desiring of you. Show up to this meeting.

You might show up through writing. After all, isn’t good writing simply good thinking? How else can you engage with the torrent of thoughts competing within you? How else can you salvage the insights of that internal storm? How else can you put to others how you survived and changed?

Each of us hears this call but few answer it. The reward for those that do is to discover how to develop one’s own questions. To learn how to live better and to better coordinate with others as a force for good.


Begin by struggling with this question: What kind of writer are you?


4 weeks, 5 hours per week (20 hours in total) - independent study w/ feedback from instructors.

This course is entirely email based, a conversation between you and us, between you and the authors whose writing we will read and respond to.

On Day 1, you will receive an email from me, Erik, with a welcome message, curriculum, and your first assignment.

At the end of each week, you will email your assignment to writer@hey.com, get feedback on that assignment, and receive your next challenge.


Robert Kehoe, writer, editor, and teacher. Editor at The Point. Developer of curriculum at U of Wisconsin. Known for articles on David Foster Wallace & Roger Federer and, presciently, in ‘What We Despise’ which predicted how Americans have now come to emulate their president. Through active listening and knowledge of subject matter—which students will benefit from directly in What Kind of Writer Are You?—he has a way of getting people to reveal themselves, as shown in this conversation with Alan Jacobs.

Erik van Mechelen was one of Robert’s first students, now working on his third novel. For a living Erik helps people express their ideas online, serving as ghostwriter to governors and business leaders. He currently writes with Scribe Media and David Blake. Erik has guided hundreds of students in an online behavior design course and was head coach of a college junior varsity team. He also co-founded a community learning series for artists in Minneapolis called Test Kitchen. Though it may be a lifelong journey, he believes good writing is the fast-track to good thinking. And good thinking helps us be better humans and live better together. What’s the alternative?

Curriculum Summary

Week 0: Foundations

Setting student goals and introduction to course.

Week 1: What kind of writer are you?

Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and essayist, journalist and critic. His work is characterized by lucid prose, biting social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.

Week 2: The Author is in the Work

Joyce Carol Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published 58 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction

Week 3: Embodying the Writer You Are

Saul Bellow was a Canadian-American writer. For his literary work, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts.

Week 4: Poetry & Prose

Seamus Justin Heaney MRIA was an Irish poet, playwright and translator. He received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Among his best-known works is Death of a Naturalist, his first major published volume. Heaney was recognized as one of the principal contributors to poetry during his lifetime.

What you take with you at end of course

Getting Started

This course personally taught me what kind of writer I am. (And that I might be a poet.) I'm indebted to Robert for helping me explore that terrain.

We are excited to learn more about you, help you set writing goals, and guide you through our 4-week course: What Kind of Writer Are You?

This course is limited to 20 students so that we can give ample feedback to all student responses each week.

Reserve your spot in our September cohort by clicking 'Start Course' below.

After payment, you will be asked to email writer@hey.com to receive your Week 0: Foundations questionnaire, to help us learn about your writing background and aspirations for the course.