Reading for writers: craft texts and fiction writing guides (a fortnightly course)
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW243
Duration: 6 sessions (over 11 weeks)
What is the course about?
For fiction writers serious improving their writing craft, this fortnighly course is a deep dive into the world of craft texts, exploring how they can challenge us to think hard about writing, learn a lot, and expand our own writing practice. During the term we'll read three very different texts - Stephen King's 'On Writing,' Anne Lamott's 'Bird by Bird,' and Ursula K .Le Guin's 'Steering the Craft' - and use them as springboards to analyse approaches to specific elements of writing craft, share our ideas, and generate creative responses to writing prompts. You will come to class having read each text in its entirety, ready to discuss your thoughts and feelings about it.
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?
- Making use of craft texts
- Stephen King's 'On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft'
- Usula K. Le Guin's 'Steering the Craft: A 21st Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story'
- Anne Lamott's 'Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.'
- Giving and receiving feedback with sensitivity
- Writing to a prompt.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Use a craft text to support your writing practice
- Discuss craft texts with confidence
- Identify the key points in three craft texts
- Write a piece of fiction to a prompt.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is designed for fiction writers of any level who are serious about improving their craft. You will need to be fluent in English and capable of committing to reading three books plus some possible supplementary articles and stories during the course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This course will be delivered online. You will be taught using a variety of interactive tutor presentation, discussions, and writing exercises. You will need to commit to reading the books in your own time.
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 purchase or borrow a copy of each of the craft texts, and bring them with you to each relevant session. All other materials will be provided.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may also be interested in taking another of our intermediate writing courses such as Short story writing, Writing fiction, or Starting your novel. Or, if you feel ready to submit your work for rigorous constructive feedback, why not enrol in one of our Advanced fiction writing workshops? See our website for details of the courses on offer.
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.