Writing funny fiction

Course Dates: 02/02/23 - 16/02/23
Time: 19:40 - 21:40
Location: Keeley Street
Tutors: 
What does it really mean to write funny fiction and what are the techniques writers use? Learn how to harness the power of humour in your fiction in this fun, supportive workshop.
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Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00

Course Code: HW194

Thu, eve, 02 Feb - 16 Feb '23

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Lines open Monday-Friday 12:00-18:00

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2717

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?

In this short course you'll learn how to write fiction that tickles the funny bone. You'll analyse excerpts from published texts to examine what rhetorical strategies can make fiction 'funny,' and experiment with techniques in exercises designed to inspire laughs for you and your reader.

What will we cover?

- Humour in the fiction context: purposes and approaches
- Funny characters and funny plots
- Learning from stand-up comedy
- Satire
- Tone and rhetorical stratgies for humourous prose.

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

- understand the purposes and some different types of humour in fiction
- identify several key rhetorical strategies for writing funny fiction
- develop a least two different pieces of 'funny' prose
- give and receive feedback with sensitivity.

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

This is an intermediate level course suitable for those who have some experience with creative writing. You will need to be an enthusiastic reader of fiction, comfortable sharing your work and sense of humour, and fluent in English.

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

You will learn through a mixture of interactive tutor presentation, group work, discussion and analysis of published texts (including stand-up clips), and writing exercises. You will be expected to share your written work for peer and tutor feedback.


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?

There are no additional costs. Please bring your sense of humour and writing materials.

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

You can enrol on our intermediate fiction writing course Writing fiction, or if you're ready to submit your work for rigorous constructive feedback, you can enrol in our Advanced fiction writing workshop.

Our Craft Focus series is also available to writers who wish to focus on an isolated element of fiction writing craft. We offer short intensive courses in developing character, plot, setting, point of view, and more. See our website or contact the department for more advice on how you can develop a programme of fiction writing study.

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.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.