Masterclass: fiction (a one-term intensive workshop)

Course Dates: 14/01/20 - 24/03/20
Time: 19:40 - 21:40
Location: International House

This intensive fiction workshop is open by selective application to a maximum of ten fiction writers working at the advanced and professional levels. You will receive rigorous constructive feedback on your novel or short story as you develop it with a view to publication, and participate in detailed tutor-led discussions on advanced elements of fictional craft. New application deadline: Sunday 15 December 2019.


What is the course about?

This course is designed to support advanced and professional fiction writers who are working on long or short form fiction projects with a view to publication. The course offers an opportunity to share and receive constructive critical feedback, network with other writers, and discuss elements of advanced fictional craft.

The course is suitable only for fiction writers who have advanced workshop experience (e.g. Masters level) and/or a history of publication. Writers are invited to submit one document containing details of their writing background and workshop experience and a one-page sample of prose to by Sunday 15 December 2019. Please include the course code (HW221) in the subject line. Writers will not be authorised for enrolment except by way of this process.

Please note: City Lit operates a waitlist for this selective course. If your application is waitlisted, you will be contacted in the event a space becomes available.

What will we cover?

- Constructive workshopping of short stories and novel excerpts
- Advanced craft issues that arise from the material under review
- The process of revision.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Assess and respond to pieces of writing with acumen and sensitivity
- Identify complex issues involved in writing fiction, short stories, novellas, novels, etc.
- Apply your critical and editorial skills to your own work
- Produce submissions for comment on a regular basis.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is open for enrolment by application only. It is suitable only for fiction writers who have advanced workshop experience (e.g. Masters level) and/or a history of publication. Writers are invited to submit details of their writing and workshop experience and a one-page sample of prose to by Monday 12th August. Writers will not be authorised for enrolment except by way of this process.

You will be an enthusiastic reader of fiction, able to commit to attending regularly and participating fully, and fluent in English.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Through discussion, peer evaluation and tutor feedback. You will be expected to read your peers' workshop submissions closely at home and to provide them with constructive written feedback that will then be shared in class. The tutor will not provide feedback to any member of the workshop who does not attend regularly and/or participate fully.

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?

There are no additional costs. Writers will be expected to submit manuscripts in advance of class. You are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet if it will help you.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The next step will be discussed individually with each participant.

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


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

An excellent course, with considerable input and encouragement from a knowledgeable and personable tutor, and the stimulation of very skilled and motivated fellow students. The small group size is a definite plus.

Be prepared to put in the hours and effort - not only on your own writing, but also to do justice to fellow course members' work.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 12/07/2019)
Well worth it. There are more opportunities to submit writing for close scrutiny and feedback than on other courses I’ve encountered.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 12/07/2019)
Excellent course for advanced writers. The tutor is an excellent tutor who encourages critical feedback of the highest quality which is essential for writers with a professional piece in progress. I would say this class really is only for those serious about writing and have advanced to the right level.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 12/07/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Ellen Wiles

Dr Ellen Wiles is a novelist, anthropologist, critic and curator. She is the author of The Invisible Crowd (HarperCollins, 2017) and Saffron Shadows: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition (Columbia University Press, 2015), and is a regular contributor to the TLS. She has published poetry, short fiction and journalism in journals and magazines including Guernica, Versopolis and Elsewhere. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway and a PhD in literary anthropology. She currently teaches creative writing at QMUL, The British Library and Camden Arts Centre. She is the founder of Ark, an experimental live literature project. Before focusing on writing, Ellen practised as a human rights barrister, and worked on legal projects in a refugee camp in Thailand, with Bushmen in Botswana, and with lawyers in Myanmar. She studied Music at Oxford University and used to play the flute professionally.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Check your level

Course Code: HW221

Please choose a course date 

Tue, eve, 14 Jan - 24 Mar '20

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £339.00
Senior fee: £339.00
Concession: £339.00

Before booking on this course, please register or log in to your account to complete a short online assessment. We need you to do this to check that this course is the right level for you.
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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2717

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.