What is the course about?
This is a practical course ideally designed for participants who are already writing, however brief or embryonic your efforts. This is not primarily an analytical course or survey of existing crime writing, although examples will be used for purposes of illustration.
The Tutor: Nick Barlay is the author of four acclaimed novels and one book of non-fiction. He has written award-winning radio plays, short stories and wide-ranging journalism. He has previously taught fiction, life writing and Guardian Masterclasses on writing family history.
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?
- Where do ideas come from?
- Why crime?
- Point of view
- Character and conflict
- Plot schema
- Setting and atmosphere
- Evaluation and review.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to and assess a piece of writing with sensitivity
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of the basic elements of the genre
- Discuss the particular constraints and problems of the genre
- Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection of character, plot and conflict.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
For beginner and more experienced writers who read crime fiction and would like to try their hand at writing in the genre.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will consist of a mixture of taught themes, in-class exercises and feedback on students' work.
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?
Pens, paper, notebooks, previous work if wished.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
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