What is the course about?
This hands-on course will introduce you to creative writing in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. You'll be encouraged to think in a creative way and to experiment with language in prose fiction, poetry and other media. You'll gain a greater understanding of the devices and techniques used by writers, and unlock your imagination as you begin to produce work of your own. This course is not designed for students wishing to improve their grammar and punctuation skills.
Paul Laffan is the author of four novels, a book of reportage and has ghosted several works of autobiography. He holds a BA in English Literature from Oxford and an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English from Florida State University in America. He taught writing and literature for six years at Florida State, and has also taught at Birkbeck, Morley College, the Mary Ward Centre and Lambeth College.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
Class exercises are designed to bring out each student's individual creativity, unlock the imagination, and promote confidence. Students and the tutor respond to the work that individuals choose to read out in a supportive workshop atmosphere.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to, assess and discuss pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Recognise and develop your own writing skills
- Identify various techniques used by creative writers, such as imagery, point of view, first person/third person narrative
- Begin to apply these techniques in your own writing
- Produce several pieces of writing - poems, short fiction or other media.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no previous writing experience is required. You should be able to read and write fluently in English, and be enthusiastic about the prospect of reading and writing prose fiction and poetry.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will learn through in-class exercises, out-of-class assignments, and discussion with the other students and your tutor. Writing tasks will also be set as homework. You will be invited to read out texts you produce in class and at home.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring writing materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a fantastic range of creative writing courses covering all genres and levels of ability. You can progress to Furthering your Creative Writing, where you'll continue to experiment with a range of forms. Or you can take a course in a particular medium, including novel and short story writing, screenwriting, playwriting, and creative non-fiction. To browse our full range of creative writing courses, visit www.citylit.ac.uk/creativewriting
All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit www.citylit.ac.uk/citylittalksback for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at www.citylit.ac.uk/betweenthelines. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details