Kickstart Your Poetry (Beginner)

Monday 12 February
£ 475.00

Join us on a journey into the transformative world of writing poetry. On this 12-week online creative writing course you’ll read inspiring poets, explore how poems take shape, and begin to write poems.

Want to take your poetry to a more sophisticated level?


Join us on a journey into the transformative world of writing poetrhis 12-week online creative writingy. On t course you’ll read inspiring poets, explore how poems take shape, and begin to write poems and share your own work with a friendly supportive group.

This course is ideal for people who have done no formal training or courses who want to learn the basic skills of structuring and writing poetry. Build your confidence and a writing routine with the support of your peers and individual feedback from a highly experienced tutor.

Start date

Monday 12 February 2024





12 weeks (please see course schedule below)




On this course, you will learn to…


  • Consider different sources for poems
  • Use your imagination and memory
  • Examine contemporary poetry
  • Feel more confident to write your own poetry
  • Develop your own voice
  • Explore the power of language.
Online course

Why study with National Centre for Writing?

National Centre for Writing has been supporting writers to develop their craft for over 25 years. Our online tutored courses are developed in partnership with University of East Anglia, home to the prestigious School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, which boasts award-winning alumni including Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan and Anne Enright. Our course tutors are all published writers, many of whom have studied or taught at UEA themselves.


While there are many online courses available to you across the world, ours are unique in offering:

  • One-to-one feedback on up to six assignments, directly from your course tutor
  • A tailored learning experience with 15 students maximum
  • Flexibility to progress through the course anywhere, any time
  • Support and structure to develop a writing routine
  • Skills and knowledge to improve the craft of writing
  • Confidence in your ability as a writer
  • Opportunity to join our NCW Alumni, an international network of like-minded writers and translators.

The course really opened my eyes to the different ways of writing poetry, I really enjoyed it!

Liz Mingo

Course programme

Module one – What is Poetry Anyway?

In this introductory module, you’ll explore where poems come from. You’ll meet your tutor and your peers, and together you’ll generate ideas and share work through a series of exercises.  For your assignment, you’ll submit two draft poems to your tutor, for personal feedback.

Module two – The Image

In this module, you’ll explore one of the core components of poetry: imagery. You’ll start by looking at similes, and you’ll read poems that use symbolism to provide dual meanings. Again, you can submit up to two draft poems for feedback from your tutor.

Module three – The Metaphor

This module takes imagery in poetry to the next level. You will explore what a metaphor is and how to extend one over an entire poem. You’ll play with riddles to discover the double nature of language and you’ll invent your own riddles to put this to the test. You’ll read poems that contain hidden metaphors, as well as poems where the metaphor is extended throughout the piece. You’ll finish by submitting two poems that use metaphor.

Module four – White Space

This module looks at the spaces where words aren’t. You’ll read poems that are only one stanza, poems that have multiple stanzas and poems that contain more white space than words. In this module, you’ll also explore the notion of poetry as visual art and you’ll learn how to make shapes with your poetry and experiment with layout to enhance your work.

Module five – Who’s Talking?

In this module, you’ll look at narrative voices in poems. You’ll look at dramatic monologues, confessional poems, and transformational poems.  You’ll read poems form a variety of voices before sending two draft poems to your tutor for feedback.

Module six – Musicality

In this final module, you’ll explore rhythm and rhyme in poetry. You’ll read and listen to poetry out loud to better understand the sound and musicality of poems, and you’ll experiment with meter in your writing. For this final assignment, you’ll submit two draft poems to your tutor for feedback.

Live sessions

There will be two live sessions for this course, which will take place over Zoom.

Timings for these live sessions will be confirmed shortly.

Kathryn Simmonds


Kathryn Simmonds’ first book of poems, Sunday at the Skin Launderette won the 2008 Forward Prize for best first collection and was short-listed for the Costa Poetry Award. She has written short stories and a comedy-drama for Radio 4, and a novel, Love and Fallout, set at the Greenham Common peace camp. The Visitations, a second collection of poems, was published 2013. Her third poetry collection is Scenes from Life on Earth (2022). Kathryn lives in Norwich with her family.

Compared to the many other online writing courses — I’ve done many — the personal contact was tremendous.

Barry Norton

How does this course work?

We have partnered with digital learning platform Teachable to host our self-paced courses. The platform is accessible across a range of devices, simple to use, and does not require any specialist equipment.

We want to make sure that you get the most out of our tutored online courses and feel confident that you’re choosing the right course. Each course contains a mixture of teaching content, reading to prompt discussion, writing exercises for you to hone your skills, and group and one-to-one feedback.

Click to read more about how they are structured and what equipment you may need.

Find out more

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Got a question?

If you still have questions, get in touch with the learning team by email [email protected] or phone (+44) 01603 877177 between our working hours of 9am – 5pm BST, Monday to Friday. We’re here to help!

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