Even if You've Never Drawn, You Can Learn to Think Visually to Write for Comics

Comics For Writers collects what award winning graphic novelist, Tom Hart, has taught for over 20 years and tailors it for people like you, who are used to words and ideas, but who are just starting to work with images, visual narrative and design.

When you join Comics for Writers, you'll have immediate access to hours of seasoned instruction, inspiration, presentations and exercises to get you understanding how comics can be magic and to make that magic yourself.

You'll use what you're good at—writing—to create good, well-written comics.

This course won't teach you to draw, but Tom will teach you to plan the drawings, (whether those will be finished by you or someone else), to think about your visuals and to craft your story through comics.

You’ll find your way—and your voice.

Comics For Writers

Comics For Writers is a complete curriculum designed for scholars, historians, memoirists, journalists, storytellers and writers of all kinds looking to expand into graphic novels or short-form comics.

This is an online, continuous-running, self-paced course taught by Tom Hart, New York Times #1 Bestselling graphic novelist and founder of SAW—the Sequential Artists Workshop—in Gainesville, Florida.

If you have a story that you’d like to tell graphically, Comics for Writers will teach you what you need to know to make the transition!

Start any time and proceed at whatever speed works for you. Receive feedback on your work from Tom as you go.

I'm So Glad You Found Us


I'm Tom Hart, a New York Times #1 Bestselling graphic novelist who has been creating comics tirelessly since 1993.

Despite my decades of drawing, it took me years to figure out that I'm a writer first, and now that I have, I have made it my passion to help people tell their stories.

Some of my favorite graphic novels and memoirs succeed on the power of their writing, with the images serving the ideas and story. Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Are You My Mother? And Art Spiegelman’s Maus come to mind.

My Memoir

When I needed to make my most important book, my book about my fabulous daughter, I knew I didn't have the visual skills to make you believe it was happening in front of you, and that's not what the book was about. It was an internal book. To work, it needed to rely on honesty, concepts, and language.

My memoir, Rosalie Lightning, relies on the power of the thought and emotion behind it, not on the skill of the drawings.

Every work I create starts with copious notes, and pages and pages of free-writing. From there I try to find the magic combinations of words and pictures to let the ideas soar.

I know where writers like you are coming from—and I know how to make the jump from prose to image.

What others have said about the course...

“I was fortunate to discover SAW as a resource for working on my graphic history, Perpetua's Journey. Tom Hart was an incredible teacher and our lessons discussed how to make my project, a prison diary, come to life in sequential art. Tom has said that creating comics is all about "writing, drawing, thinking, history, and responding," and we discussed all of these topics during my lessons."”

“It’s been many years since [this story] made me sad, but there, in class, as I transformed the words into visual images, I sobbed.”

Course Curriculum At a Glance

    1. Video Introduction to Adapting a Passage

    2. Section 1 Info and Assignment PDF Format

    3. Section 1 Info and Assignment TEXT Format

    1. Simple Actions Simple Text Video Introduction and Objective

    2. Simple Actions, Simple Text Info and Assignments PDF Format

    3. Simple Actions, Simple Text Info and Assignment #1 TEXT Format

    4. Simple Actions, Simple Text Info and Assignment #2 TEXT Format

    1. Cause and Effect Video Introduction and Objective

    2. Cause and Effect Info and Assignment PDF Format

    3. Cause and Effect Info and Assignment TEXT Format

    4. Some Silent Stories VIDEO PRESENTATION

    5. Some Silent Stories PDF PRESENTATION

    6. Jim Woodring Congress of the Animals Preview PDF

    7. BONUS: Faces and Emotions PDF

    1. Time Through the Panels Video Introduction and Objective

    2. Time Through The Panels Info and Assignment TEXT Format

    3. Time Through The Panels Info and Assignment PDF Format

    4. Time Through The Panels WORKSHOP Video

    5. Time Through The Panels WORKSHOP PDF

    6. BONUS - Steve Canyon Multi-Panel Exercise

    7. BONUS - Comics Kuleshov

    1. Discord and Rhyme Video Introduction and Objective

    2. Discord and Rhyme Info and Assignments PDF Format

    3. Discord and Rhyme Info and Assignment 1 TEXT Format

    4. Chris Ware - I Guess PDF

    5. Discord and Rhyme Info and Assignment 2 TEXT Format

    6. INSTRUCTIONAL: How To Use Nancy Panels for your Assignment

    7. McCloud Chapter 6 Show and Tell

    8. VIDEO: David B - Epileptic and the Dragon Metaphor

Sign Up Today

  • $197.00


Is this a self-guided course or is there a community aspect?
This course is self-guided but includes access to the SAW Mighty Network, an online gathering place for comics artists, writers and lovers. 

Additionally, Tom Hart posts frequent updates, challenges, ideas and exercises.

I'm already an artist, is this course for me? 
The course is for anyone who wants/needs to understand how comics works , and how words and images work together. 

In other words, it doesn't teach writing (like story, character, plot), and it doesn't teach drawing (like anatomy, composition, style), it teaches how to think about the words and the pictures so they serve the story you've brought or been given.

What materials will I need?
Pens, pencils, whatever you’re comfortable with. Printer paper or sketchbook. You'll need at least one page of your own prose, or something you'd like to adapt anyway.

What's the final outcome of the course?
You will have adapted in rough form, a single page of prose twice (from my friend Jenny Offill) and one of your own pieces of work into script, then panels and then a page. Additionally, we will have completed at least four other substantial exercises.

You'll be amazed at how much you learned!

Can I get a refund?
You have a week to test if this course is for you. If it turns out its not the right fit, contact Tom (tom at sequentialartistsworkshop dot org).

Is this similar to classes you run at SAW?
This course brings together a lifetime of teaching comics, in person and online. I ran a version of this course in person at SAW in Feb-March 2017. Here we are at culmination celebration!

Other questions? Email [email protected]


Tom Hart


Tom Hart is a cartoonist has been the Executive Director of The Sequential Artists Workshop, a school and arts organization in Gainesville, Florida since 2012.

His 2016 memoir, Rosalie Lightning, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and was featured on many Best-Of-2016 lists.

His Hutch Owen series of graphic novels and books, were nominated for all the major industry awards. His The Collected Hutch Owenwas nominated for best graphic novel in 2000. He was an early recipient of a Xeric Grant for self-publishing cartoonists, and has been on many best-of lists in the Comics Journal and other comix publications. He has been called “One of the great underrated cartoonists of our time” by Eddie Campbell and “One of my favorite cartoonists of the decade” by Scott McCloud. His daily Hutch Owen comic strip ran for 2 years in newspapers in New York and Boston, and his “Ali’s House”, co-created with Margo Dabaie was picked up by King Features Syndicate.

He was a core instructor at New York City’s School of Visual Arts for 10 years, teaching cartooning to undergraduates, working adults and teens alike. Among his students were Dash Shaw, Sarah Glidden Box Brown and other published cartoonists like Leslie Stein, Jessica Fink,Josh Bayer, Brendan Leachand many others. He has taught comix and sequential art at schools and institutions all around New York City for more than 10 years, and has conducted week-long workshops from Maine to Hawaii. He also teaches sequential art in the School of Art and Art History at UF.

His website is http://www.tomhart.net

Tom Hart

Executive Director of The Sequential Artists Workshop