What is the course about?
This one-term course for experienced creative writers explores the essential techniques of novel writing. If you've started work on your novel, this course will help you to shape your material into a coherent whole, and teach you to develop believable characters, structure scenes, and edit your own work.
Students say: "I loved the stimulating atmosphere and the motivating comments from the workshop"; "There was critical feedback encouraging excellence"; "Very inspiring"; "It was encouraging, challenging and affirming."
The Tutor: Natasha Bell is a novelist and creative nonfiction writer. She holds an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths and has taught Creative Writing to both adults and children. She’s published a memoir, as well as articles and stories in a variety of magazines and journals. Her debut novel, Exhibit Alexandra, was published in 2018 by Penguin.
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?
- Developing techniques for novel writing
- The art of constructive criticism and editing your own work
- Creating and honing a character
- Beginnings, endings, and everything in between
- Methods to thwart writers’ block.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Improvein your plotting and editing skills
- Produce a significant portion of a novel
- Identify a clear way forwards in terms of how to complete the novel.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is not a beginners' class. It is best suited for students who have already attended creative writing courses and
have started on a novel.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Some exercises will be set and hand-outs analysed, but the main focus will be on students' own work. You'll be invited to bring in extracts from and drafts of your work and/or to generate new scenes and to read these to the group in turn with a view to developing the writing.
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 and writing paper. An e-mail address that you would be willing to share with this rest of the group would be helpful.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may be interested in the How to write novels workshop, or our Advanced critical workshop for creative writers.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. 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