Writing comics and graphic novels
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW636
Choose a start date
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
This is a creative course focusing on the skills necessary to write short and long form comics. It will also contextualise the various genres in comics to show the range possible in the medium.
Students like: "practical experience, good feedback, and a supportive atmosphere"; "analysing comics/scripts and workshopping our written work"; "it helped me to gain confidence in my work"; "interactivity"; "it really put everything I needed to know into easily-digested classes and I feel very prepared!".
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 write a comic.
- The vocabulary of comics.
- Different methods of storytelling.
- Different genres of comics, from autobiography to superheroes.
- Developing your own idea for a comic or graphic novel.
- Insights into comics as culture.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Plan and write a comic.
- Be able to call on a number of different storytelling skills to do so.
- Have developed an ongoing project to work on.
- Have an idea of how to get published.
- Have the beginnings of a comics network to support your further output.
- Have an idea of the range of stories it’s possible to tell in the comics medium.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
- You need to be able to read and write English.
- You need to be able to have a certain level of sightedness as the course works partly with visual material.
- The level is open to all comers, from amateurs to professionals. Enthusiasm for the medium is the key requirement.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Teaching will include group and individual writing exercises in class, lectures, some viewing of film and group discussions.
- There will be some required reading/writing exercises outside of class time, but this will be minimal.
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.
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?
Pen, paper and notebook. You may be encouraged to buy comics, but only within students' means – it won’t be essential.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
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.
Rachael Ball has been a cartoonist since 1988 when she started creating strips for cult comic Deadline. Her graphic novel, The Inflatable Woman (Bloomsbury 2015), was one of the Guardian’s Best Graphic Novels, 2015. Her work has featured in the HOI’s Comixatrix exhibition and the Cartoon Museum’s ‘The Inking Woman’ exhibition. Her second graphic novel, WOLF (SelfMadeHero, 2018) was described by the Times Literary Supplement as ‘Poignant and elegiac.’ She has taught how to create graphic novels and children’s books at the House of Illustration, the Art Academy, the Cartoon Museum and at Anglia Ruskin 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.