How a Self-Made Author Teaches Her Methods to Over Ten Thousand Aspiring Writers

A seasoned LifterLMS user puts the focus on enhancing the online teaching of writing methods

 Holly Lisle, Holly’s Writing Classes

Success Story Highlights

22 courses: At prices for any budget

10000+ Students: Have enrolled

Actionable free class builds trust & community

“Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.” —Anne McCaffrey

It all started with wanting to write fiction to be a stay-at-home mom.

Holly Lisle was working 24-hour weekend shifts as a registered nurse when she read a Writer’s Digest article by award winning science fiction author Anne McCaffrey about writing fiction.

From that inspiration, Holly decided to teach herself how to write commercially salable fiction while at home with her young children. As she built her fiction writing career, she also examined and dissected the processes of writing she employed in order to continuously improve her skills.

Holly Lisle

“LifterLMS is my trusted partner in elevating online courses. Just as courses require continuous improvement, LifterLMS provides the foundation for growth and success. Choose LifterLMS to build courses that not only engage but also evolve, empowering both creators and students on a transformative educational journey.”

—Holly Lisle, Holly’s Writing Classes

Eventually Holly realized that not only did she enjoy this “building block″ approach to writing, she also had something of value to share with others. This gave birth to, a series of courses and workshops powered by LifterLMS.

From Second Career to Full-Time Writer, Publisher and Teacher

First, however, Holly focused on building her second career as an author of fiction. Her 1991 fantasy novel Fire in the Mist sold immediately––the result of many long hours of work outside her regular RN job. Even more impressively, it also was awarded the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. 

Holly left her nursing job to writing commercial fiction full-time; when she did she celebrated by ceremoniously burning her nurse’s uniform in her back yard. She went on to sell more than thirty additional novels commercially to established publishers before becoming an indie publisher in 2010.

Interestingly, it was not only the writing Holly loved. She found she enjoyed examining the processes of writing, an activity she initially developed to develop her own skills in order to be competitive in the professional market.

When she realized that she could market these methodologies to other aspiring writers, she designed and launched her first course on selling fiction to New York publishers, How to Think Sideways––Career Survival School for Writers.

I’m very good at breaking down processes into simple steps, showing writers how you take an okay story idea and make it great, how you work your way through a first draft that fell apart, or how you pick up and revise a novel you quit on halfway through, even if it’s been years since you touched it.

Holly's Writing Class Courses- Teaching methods online

Finding LifterLMS as a Course Platform

The path to finding exactly how to present what she wanted to share was circuitous. Initially Holly published how-to articles on her personal website. When she discovered an early software script that could create a class, protect content, and accept payment, she went for it. The software only allowed her to post one lesson per URL, but for her needs at the time it sufficed.

When support ceased for the script came to an end she found WordPress and gave another early course creation plugin a spin. Over time she clarified her priorities and wish list features, which brought her to LifterLMS.

Holly's Writing Class Courses- Teaching methods online

What LifterLMS Brings to Holly’s Writing Classes

  • Unlimited classes
  • Unlimited classrooms
  • Flawless delivery of lessons
  • Integration with her shopping cart of choice, ThriveCart

For her course website, Holly uses the LifterLMS Launchpad theme, along with the LifterLMS add-on for ConvertKit. ConvertKit enables her to automate course and membership enrollments, and send targeted marketing emails. A huge fan of ThriveCart, Holly is enthusiastic about LifterLMS’ integration with that shopping cart. Finally, for her community forum she uses XenForo.

I needed a system that I could operate myself, that would allow me to build as many classes as I wanted in as many timed lesson delivery modes as my
students needed… and when I went through my list of necessary features, wish-list features, and “ease of use” features, LifterLMS was my only survivor”

Courses on Writing Processes and Success

Over time Holly has taught the processes of writing to over ten thousand students who also connect as a community. Aspiring authors learn of her course mostly by word of mouth, often hearing about them from writers who have already taken her e-classes.

She warns that her courses are for serious writers, however, those who genuinely love writing, and who want to write fiction at a professional level. She warns that her course is not for “someday writers.″

Holly's Writing Class Courses Access Plan- Teaching methods online

The job consists of imagining things that have never happened and making them feel so real to readers that they’ll wait in lines to buy your books so they can read what happens next.

And indeed Holly expects from her students the same nose-to-the-grindstone dedication she demands from herself. She guides her students to write every day to a word count goal. Her own goal is 1,000 words every day, toward either a novel or a new writing course. (A writing class can entail anywhere from 50,000 words to 200,000 words!) Impressively, Holly always has a novel in progress.

Currently, Holly offers twenty-two courses, each with anywhere from two to fifty-three lessons and with a correspondingly wide range of prices, from under $10 to several hundred dollars.

Students continue to have permanent access to classes they have purchased whether or not they are currently enrolled, and can get download updates. They are also welcome to join in on the community forum to chat with others about fiction they are reading or writing and stay connected to their peers.

Those who want to experience Holly’s teaching methods and paths to authorship success can also sign up for her free no-strings-attached three-week class, How to Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t SUCK, in which she teaches writers how to create good-quality, marketable flash fiction. The course description promises that students who apply themselves will complete five good 500-word short stories by the course’s completion.

“I’m a great fit for nuts-and-bolts writers — folks who already know they want to write, and who have maybe started a novel or two, and who may even have finished a few. I can help these writers with everything from finishing first drafts to revising novels to finding motivation to changing genres or formats.”