Self-paced online courses

Our online courses offer young people the time to explore writing through fun, engaging prompts and activities – whether it’s poetry, prose or any other kind of writing they want to develop. 


All of our online courses for young people are completely free, and entirely online and at your own pace. We have identified recommended age ranges below, but please note that these are advisory, and participation is at the discretion of parents/carers.

How do online courses work?

Our self-paced activities contain a mixture of reading and fun creative writing exercises.

We have partnered with digital learning platform Teachable to host our courses.

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

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Story Prompts for Young Writers

For ages 6 years and above

These fun and imaginative prompts help parents and teachers create a sense of excitement about creative writing.

Tutor Isabelle King explains how to create characters and memorable settings, encouraging young writers to then explore their stories further.

These short exercises are suitable for children to work through on their own or in a group setting. We recommend a parent or teacher being present to help.

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All the World’s a Stage

For ages 6 – 9 years

Do you love making up stories? How about stories with animals, court jesters and a magnificent Queen? Join us on an adventure back in time to the Tudor theatre…

In this course, children’s author Isabelle King will teach you how to create a Tudor inspired story to be performed in front of Queen Elizabeth I and her dog. At the end of the workshop you will have created a character, setting, poem, title and start of your own amazing story.

You can keep writing your story in your own time after the workshop. You will also have uncovered the name of the Queen’s dog and received a poster to design as a front cover from your story.

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Jurassic Words

For ages 8 – 11 years

If you were going to write a poem to a dinosaur, what would you say? How would you fill a museum so that people in the future knew all about us? Can you create the biggest of stories using the smallest details?

These three workshops have been designed by specialist tutors with the support of National Centre for Writing and Young Norfolk Arts. You can work through each one start to finish, with your child or class, or you can pick and mix different activities from each as fun creative lesson starters or extension activities.

Co-commissioned by National Centre for Writing and Young Norfolk Arts

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All My Friends are Superheroes

For ages 9 – 12 years

Do you have a superpower? Everyone has something they’re really good at, no matter how big or small…

In this course, Daisy Henwood will help you create your own superhero story. Using the small things that you’re really great at (picking a banana at its exact ripeness, or knowing the exact moment your friend needs a hug), you’ll build your own superhero character profile – which you can then use to write your own superhero story.

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The Magic of Language

For ages 9 – 12 years

Poems, stories, songs and words are all capable of transporting us to new worlds, seeing things differently or of expressing ourselves in ways we might not have thought possible…

In this course, we’ll explore how you can start to tap into the magic of language, find out some of the things you can do with words, have fun, and do lots of writing exercises and games too! Everyone has words inside of them and with just a little help, we can all write stories or poems from thin air.

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Poetry, Paradise and Playing

For ages 9 – 12 years

What does paradise mean? Is it a place? Is it a person? What does it smell like? What does it feel like? How can you write a poem about paradise?

In this course, Lewis Buxton is going to introduce you to poetry, why he thinks it’s great and how it can help you express big abstract emotions in concise, specific ways.
You’ll unlock your creativity with prompts and activities, letting your mind run across the page, and you’ll read some poems Lewis thinks are beautiful. By the end of the course, you’ll have written your very own poem. The theme of the whole course is Paradise.

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Writing Lyrics

For ages 9 – 12 years and 13 – 17 years

Ever wanted to have a go at writing your own songs? Maybe you don’t play an instrument… perhaps you don’t have the confidence to sing. This online course is perfect for you!

Your course tutor is Norwich based singer-songwriter Jess Morgan – you can find her songs on Spotify here. Jess has worked as singer songwriter for more than ten years – writing songs and touring very small, very dark folk music clubs all over the world… and just once, the O2 Arena.

This course is entirely free and is available for 9-12 year olds and 13-17 year olds.

9-12 year olds 13-17 year olds

Writing Interesting Characters

For ages 10 – 12 years and 13 – 17 years

Learn how to create all sorts of interesting characters, exploring helpful tips along the way…

In this course with Cara Marks, you’ll learn all about what makes characters interesting and realistic. By the end of the course, you’ll have created a character profile for an interesting character which you can use in your own stories.

10-12 year olds 13-17 year olds

Writing Boudica

For ages 10 – 12 years

Are you ready to go on an Iron Age adventure? In this course you will imagine that you have stepped back in time to Ancient Britain…

The Romans rule the land. You are part of the Iceni who live in the East of England, a little tribe who are causing a lot of trouble. The Iceni have risen up in rebellion against the Roman rule – they don’t like getting told what to do by the Romans. The leader of the Iceni is a fierce and fiery woman called Boudica. In the evenings, Stories are often shared around a fire, an important community activity to entertain and inspire. This is where you come in. You are the Star Storyteller of the Iceni.

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How to Write Weird

For ages 13 – 17 years

In this course, we’ll explore how you approach writing in new ways, how you can unlock the weird in your writing and how you can look to other forms of art for inspiration. We’ll do some reading, lots of writing and break some writing rules too!

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Art in a Time of Crisis

For ages 13 – 17 years

How do you turn emotion into writing? Can we find possibility in times of emergency?

There are lots of strange and difficult things happening in the world at the moment. In this course, Daisy Henwood is going to show you how writing can help you navigate your feelings and create something positive and active. We’ll look at the different ways you might use writing to generate feelings of hope and to imagine a better future.

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Bodies of Work – Writing Poems

For ages 13 – 17 years

Do you love to draw and write? Are you looking for creative ways to explore your feelings?

In this course, Lewis Buxton will show you how to make big abstract emotions specific and tangible. Through a mixture of drawing and writing you will learn how to centre emotions in the body, craft metaphors, write freely and without inhibition and finally read two poems and use them as a basis to write a poem from your own feelings and experiences. The key thing to take away from this course is that you and your experience of the world is important and worth writing about.

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Get in touch!

Got a question? Not sure what’s right for your child?

If you want to find out more about how our courses work and whether a course is right for a young person, click here.

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.

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