Start Writing Fiction
The course is the perfect introduction to writing fiction for new writers and anyone wanting to write more regularly. Over 12 weeks of inspirational teaching, exercises and assignments you will receive personalised feedback on your work and learn how to write short stories.
Classes are capped at 15 places to ensure a high-quality experience. Book quickly to secure your place.
Special offer: All creative writing online courses include a free 12-week digital subscription to Granta Magazine!
What the course covers
- Getting started – explore exercises to release your creativity and meet your fellow students.
- Character – getting to know your characters inside-out and how to write credible dialogue.
- Finding the story – how finding the right structure can make even the simplest story engaging.
- Whose story is it, and who is telling it? – how does your story change depending on the point of view?
- Making it better – redrafting and self-editing and how to take and provide constructive criticism.
- Beginnings and endings – how to hook a reader and subvert expectations.
By the end of the course you will:
- Be familiar with the basic elements of a short story
- Have examined some published short stories in detail
- Write a complete short story, using what you have learnt about the workings of fiction
- Know how to give and receive useful, precise feedback and revise and improve your work
- Know how to keep your own writer’s notebook and generate new ideas
About the tutors
We’re lucky to have two expert tutors teaching the course this term. You can choose your tutor when you book your ticket, if you have a preference.
Eliza Robertson’s 2014 debut collection, Wallflowers, was shortlisted for the East Anglia Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Short Story Prize, and selected as a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Her critically acclaimed first novel, Demi-Gods, was a Globe & Mail and National Post book of the year and the winner of the 2018 QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize. She studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the University of East Anglia, where she received the Man Booker Scholarship and Curtis Brown Prize. In addition to being shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize and Journey Prize, Eliza’s stories have won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and 2017 Elizabeth Jolley Prize. Originally from Vancouver Island, Eliza lives in Montreal.
Lynne Bryan is the author of a short story collection, Envy At The Cheese Handout (published by Faber & Faber), and the novels Gorgeous and Like Rabbits (Sceptre). She has co-edited six anthologies of short prose, and her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and her story – A Regular Thing – was made into an award-winning Danish short film. Her memoir Iron Man will be published by Salt in June 2020. Lynne has taught creative writing for the Arvon Foundation, Norwich University of the Arts and the University of East Anglia amongst others, and she has critiqued scripts for The Literary Consultancy. She was the co-ordinator of UEA’s summer school for teachers who teach creative writing and, for many years, helped run Words And Women, a literary organisation which supported women writers in the East of England.
‘A powerful new writer’ – Daily Telegraph
‘Bryan handles with assurance a wide range of narrative voices and stylistic devices that never slow the pace’ – The Times
How it works
All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You can find out more about the requirements here.
The course is divided into six modules, each of which introduces an aspect of the craft of writing fiction. Your knowledge will be developed through writing exercises, the analysis of samples of writing and discussion with your tutor and fellow students.
The modules are posted fortnightly. Every two weeks you will submit an assignment to your tutor, who will then respond with constructive feedback and advice.
Module assignments are between 500 and 1,000 words. Your tutor will give you written feedback on every assignment you submit, but only the third and final assignments will be assessed for your Certificate of Completion.
This is a practical and engaging course with direct, expert tutor feedback.
Designed by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing.