Developing your creative writing
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now started
Course Code: HW051
Please choose a course date
Duration: 10 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course will provide an encouraging and imaginative environment to help you improve your creative writing skills and sustain a commitment to your work. You will read and discuss your work with the class, explore various techniques of writing and develop confidence in giving and using constructive criticism. If you wish to work towards publication, this course will help you do so.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- How to develop and improve your writing
- Exploration of aspects of writing, according to your and other participants' needs and interests. For example; how to sustain a piece of writing, narrative tension, structure, point-of-view, character, dialogue, voice, genre, poetic form, language, imagery
- Giving constructive criticism
- Evaluating, revising and editing your own work.
This course supports several kinds of creative writing, including prose fiction, poetry, reflective writing and memoir, whether they are finished pieces or works-in-progress. It is not suitable for people interested in journalism, informational or academic writing. We recommend that those interested in writing for stage or screen consider Ways into playwriting or Ways into screenwriting respectively.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to, and assess, pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Identify and demonstrate understanding of some key technical aspects of creative writing
- Write more confidently and effectively in your chosen form
- Evaluate, revise and edit your own work.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This workshop is for writers with some experience of creative writing. It is ideal if you have completed our Ways into Creative Writing course or a similar introductory course. Students should have a work-in-progress or ideas for a piece of writing they want to work on. This course is only suitable for those with reading and writing fluency in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through interactive tutor presentations, writing exercises, prompts and games in class, along with analysis and discussion of published texts. You will also be expected to share your written work for feedback from your peers and the tutor. The tutor will also set short homework assignments.
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?
You should bring paper and pens or pencils. You are also welcome to bring a laptop or a tablet for use during in-class writing exercises if it will help you.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You are welcome to continue developing your skills by enrolling in another term of Developing your creative writing, or an intermediate course in a specific form such as Writing fiction, Short story writing, Developing your poetry, or Creative non-fiction. If you feel ready to submit your work for rigorous constructive feedback you are also welcome to enrol in an advanced level course, however we recommend taking a form-specific course at intermediate level first.
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.
Sarah Leipciger’s debut novel, The Mountain Can Wait, was published in 2015 with Tinder Press in the UK and Little, Brown in the US. She has had short stories shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Fish Prize and the Asham Award, and is a past winner of THIS Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt. She has also written non-fiction for The Guardian and The Toronto Star. She has facilitated workshops at several literature events, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and has been teaching fiction and life writing to young people and adults in prisons since 2003; she is currently the Creative Writing tutor at HMP Brixton in London. Her second novel, Coming Up for Air, will be published in February 2020 with Doubleday UK and House of Anansi Press in Canada. Doubleday UK has also procured her third novel, with a release date TBA. She is a PhD student in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University.
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.