Novels & Short Story Writing - Online Courses

Explore character, structure and plot development on the journey to producing quality fiction. All kinds of narrative fiction, long and short, are supported on our wide range of courses. Whether you want to get your great idea down on paper or are already writing and redrafting, we have a course that will suit your level. All our writing courses are taught by practicing writers.

City Lit's writing students frequently go on to further study or publication. Read their success stories.

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Many of our courses are delivered online. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Reading for writers: the short story (a fortnightly course)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    The best way to write good short stories is to read a lot of good ones first. Dive into the best of short fiction, explore point-of-view, character and pacing, and begin to apply the lessons learnt to your own writing in this fortnightly course.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Writing horror: a beginners’ guide
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 6 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Where does terror begin? This fun workshop explores the core elements of the horror genre so you can walk in the footsteps of writers like Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    60% of 100
  3. Craft focus: character in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    In fiction, character and plot are inseparable elements of craft. Without characters in stories there can be no action, and without characters acting there can be no plot. In this short course you'll learn how to create characters that can drive a narrative forward and deepen its themes.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  4. Craft focus: writing a strong story opening
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    To get your reader’s attention, a great opening is essential. But do you pique their interest with a quirky phrase? Explode your story into action? Or build slow-burning intrigue? Find the perfect start for your story with this fun, interactive course. Suitable for those interested in writing short fiction and novels.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  5. Craft focus: how to edit your novel
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 28 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Once your story is on the page, the editing process begins. But where do you start and what skills do you need? This course guides learners through the editing of a story or manuscript, exploring approaches to making line edits, improving narrative structure and everything in between.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Craft focus: novel plotting workshop (advanced)
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    If you have made a start on your novel, but need help getting it into shape, this course provides a flexible template that will help you to overcome the obstacles ahead.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £80.00
  7. Writing romance
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a single pen can compose an unforgettable romance novel. This interactive course will guide students through the plotting of modern romance stories.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Writing experimental fiction: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Writing fiction is always an experiment in how to connect to your reader, but some stories push the established boundaries of form to the extreme. In this advanced course you'll test the limits of your imagination to craft fiction that breaks all the rules with purpose. Suitable for those with lots of creative writing experience.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  9. How to write a novel synopsis
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This one-day workshop teaches students how to write a synopsis of their completed manuscript, an essential requirement of submitting to agents and publishers.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  10. Theme focus: writing sex, love, and sexuality
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made



    anew." -Ursula Le K. Guin. Learn how to write compelling representations of all kinds of love, sex, and sexuality on this supportive course designed to support those writing in any creative form.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
  11. Getting published
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 18 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    So you've finished your novel. What's next? This short course provides guidance in submitting to agents and publishers, and helps you to tailor your work to maximise its potential in the marketplace.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  12. How to write a short story
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 18 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Through a series of inspiring and practical exercises, you'll be encouraged to tap into your imagination and draft a short story from beginning to end in this supportive short course.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Craft focus: scenes in fiction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Lights, camera, action! Scenes in fiction are essentially no different to those in film. They both make us watch as action unfolds, as a story is moved closer to its conclusion. In this short course you'll learn about this essential unit of fiction craft and develop scenes that will grab readers' attention.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  14. How to write a novel
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course deals with all aspects of novel writing technique and prose style. Ideal for fiction writers about to begin a novel or those with a novel at early draft stage.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Writing flash fiction: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 31 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    A sideways glance: succinct, powerful. This short workshop on the essential components of flash fiction will teach you to tell a complete story in very few words. Please note: this course will have a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00

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