Start Writing Fiction with Mark McNay or Anjali Joseph
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You will learn the components of strong short fiction with the guidance and feedback of a published author. Together, you will explore how to build credible characters, develop a narrative and plot, read like a writer and edit your own work.
This course is designed for people who have not yet begun to write short stories, or for those who have done some writing but would like to begin writing more regularly. It is also for those who may have completed a short story, but have had little or no feedback and would like to improve and polish their writing.
30 places are available with a choice of two tutors. Book quickly to secure your place – find out about the tutors below then choose your tutor during the checkout process.
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 come up with further stories
Designed by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing.
About the course
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.
You have a choice of two tutors for this course. Mark and Anjali’s courses cover the same core material but are tailored to each tutor’s individual styles. Either way you’ll receive a detailed, practical and engaging course with expert tutor feedback. You can choose your preferred tutor during the checkout process.
Mark McNay’s course
Mark was brought up in a mining village in central Scotland. He read literature at the University of East Anglia and there discovered a talent and love for writing. His first novel, Fresh, won the Arts Foundation New Fiction Award 2007 and the Saltire First Book of the Year Award. His second novel, Under Control, was shortlisted for the Aye Write award in 2009. Mark’s short fiction has been long listed for various prizes and has been broadcast on Radio 4. Mark has taught writing at UEA and Anglia Ruskin University.
- Beginnings – explore exercises to release your creativity and meet your fellow students.
- Mining the memory – learn how to take the events from your life and rework them into new stories.
- Character – build vivid characters and bring them to life through observation of real people.
- Point of view – learn the technicalities of POV and how it affects your narrative.
- First draft to finished piece – how to take and provide constructive criticism with a checklist of self-editing strategies.
- Structure – discover how the final story is often revealed in the process of writing.
Booking opens soon!
Anjali Joseph’s course
Anjali was born in Bombay. She read English at Trinity College, Cambridge, and did the MA course in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she also taught creative writing to undergraduates for four years. She teaches at the Arvon Foundation and elsewhere. Saraswati Park (2010), her first novel, won the Desmond Elliott and Betty Trask Prizes, and was joint winner of the Vodafone Crossword Book Award for Fiction in India. Another Country, her second novel (2012) was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. The Living, her third novel, appeared in March 2016.
- 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.
Booking opens soon!