Reading for writers: contemporary Black British fiction (a fortnightly course)
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW245
Duration: 6 sessions (over 11 weeks)
What is the course about?
The world of black British fiction is diverse and thriving. From stories of love and relationships, adventure and fantasy, to those that explore identity and sexuality. This practical course is designed to help writers connect to their creativity through active engagement with black British texts. You'll explore some of the techniques and themes in black British fiction and develop your own writing through a series of guided exercises. You will need to read each assigned novel in its entirety and classes will meet every other week to give you a chance to read and reflect.
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?
- Cannonicity and black Britsh writing
- How to read as a writer
- Key fiction craft elements such as character, structure, and point of view
- Giving and receiving constructive feedback.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify some of the key debates in queer fiction
- Analyse and discuss fictional texts with confidence
- Understand some fundamental techniques in fiction writing and apply understanding to own work
- Produce several pieces of fiction
- Give and receive constructive feedback with sensitivity.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an intermediate course suitable for those with some creative writing experience. You should be an enthusiastic reader with an interest in black British perspectives in fiction. Fluency reading and writing in English is essential.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This course will use analysis and discussion of published texts to inspire creative writing. Through tutor presentations, group work, and guided writing exercises that connect to the reading, you will gain an insight into your own fiction writing practice and develop your skills. You will be expected to complete reading and writing assignments in your own time. You will need to be able to commit to reading one novel a fortnight over the duration of the course.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need to borrow or purchase copies of the following texts:
- Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo (please read before the first class and have your copy to hand)
- Rainbow Milk, Paul Mendez
- Ordinary People, Diana Evans
- Gingerbread, Helen Oyeyemi
- The Lost Child, Caryl Phillips
Copies of short stories will be provided. You will need to bring writing materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may consider joining another intermediate fiction writing course such as Writing fiction, Starting your novel or Short story writing. If you feel ready to submit your writing for rigorous constructive feedback, you can progress to Advanced fiction writing workshop.
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.
Maria Thomas is an award-winning writer of short fiction. She has taught writing at the University of Virginia, and as a Promising Scholar and Margaret McBride Lerhman Fellow at the University of Oregon where she studied for her MFA in Fiction. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she researches creative writing pedagogy and working on a novel. Maria sits on the editorial board of acclaimed literary journal, Short Fiction.
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.