sign up now for september courses 2014

Books by our tutors

Marianne Wheelaghan

The Blue Suitcase

Food of Ghosts

Anne Hamilton

A Blonde bengali wife

Louisa Jones

Rest and be thankful

Natalie Scott

Berth by Natalie Scott

typewriter image

Our Courses  
Whether you are wanting to take that first wobbly step on the rocky road to becoming a writer, or are struggling to complete your novel, one of our creative writing courses can help you. Starting at £175 for a ten week course, we offer great value for money. Our next session of courses begin on the 22nd of September 2014. Click on the headers below for full details.
The course was fantastic This course was fantastic
Creative Writing I - Getting Started
Writing can be a very lonely and daunting activity for many writers, but especially in the case of the beginner writer. Without the right encouragement it can be all too easy to never pick up your pen, or worse still, give up after only just beginning. Our tutors aim to get you writing, and keep you writing. If you have already started writing, our purpose is to encourage you to keep going, especially when the going gets tough.
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Creative Writing II - Keeping Going
KEEPING GOING is essentially for those who have completed our Creative Writing (I) course (GETTING STARTED) or for those who have some previous writing experience.

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Novel Writing I - Start Writing Your Novel
This course is tailored for all those who are wanting to concentrate on writing a long narrative or a first novel. Some creative writing experience is recommended but not essential.
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Novel Writing II - Finishing and Getting Published
This course is for those of you who have completed Novel Writing (I) or for those writers who have started a first novel. It is designed to inspire as well as help you shape and structure your work. It helps you take your first steps towards the publication and promotion of your work. If you have any questions, contact Marianne

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Poetry I - First Steps
The idea of creating a poem can seem daunting to many people. Poetry is often perceived as being too difficult or is simply dismissed as a past time for the literary elite. FIRST STEPS aims to dispel the myths and give you the ‘know how’ to get you writing poetry. Essentially for people who are new to poetry writing, it can also be of help to those who have perhaps already been on a course and are looking for some further direction and encouragement.
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Why our online courses are better

dotOur courses are all online. All you need is a computer and access to the internet to begin. For all our writing courses we use a simple online conference programme called FirstClass, which is very easy to use and very secure – it is used by the G8 countries as the medium of communication during the conferences.

dotIn the unlikely event that you need help with the software, we offer excellent technical support by email or telephone throughout the duration of the course, no query is too small or too big.

dotBlankOur virtual conference room is always open. You can log on at a time that suits you and from absolutely anywhere in the world. Our students come from all walks of life and from as far away as New Zealand, Dubai, China, USA, South Africa, Norway and Afghanistan.

dotblankYou do not have to be online at the same time as your colleagues or your tutor when you log on, which means you can never be late or too early for class. Never the less, the way the programme works means communication feels instantaneous.

dotblankIf you have an IPhone, IPad or other mobile device you can get your free app and join in “on the go”.

dotblankWhile the classroom may be virtual, your tutor is a very real and experienced person, who will give you very real guidance and encouragement. Just as the virtual conference never closes, your tutor is always contactable.

dotblankYou receive weekly course notes, writing exercises and writing assignments. There is no right or wrong amount of writing to do but your tutor will encourage you to write what you can, given your own personal commitments.

dotblankYou are encouraged to share your writing work/assignments with your tutor and colleagues to read and comment on. The more assignments you complete the more feedback you will get, which is enormously helpful in developing your writing skills.

dotblankWe like small groups. Studies have shown that people work more effectively online when they are in small groups. This is why we keep our course groups to between 6 and 10 students.

dotblankEach course runs for ten weeks in real time (which includes the orientation week) and offers excellent value for money.

Stephen King on Writing, Scary Stories, and More.


A conversation with Cynthia Ozick about her book "The Shawl".



Read Marianne's latest Blog

The Museum of Words (Museo de La Palabra) is a nonprofit foundation in Spain that organizes a flash fiction competition every year, with a $20,000 first prize!

IV Edition of the International Flash Fiction Competition “Museum of Words”


As one of the objectives of the Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation is the value of the word and dialogue as a tool for uniting peoples, the slogan of this contest edition will be, Mandela: Words and Concord. The rules of the competition are as follows:

1. The IV edition of international award for “Museum of Words” microfiction is open.

2. Writers from any country may enter their microfiction into the competition.

3. Submitted stories must be original creations; writers are free to cover any subject.

4. Writers may only enter a maximum of two stories. Stories may be written in the following languages: Hebrew, English, Arabic or Spanish.

5. A first prize of $20,000 will be awarded to the winning story. The three remaining finalist stories in the remaining language categories will receive a $2000 runner up prize.

6. Stories must not exceed 100 words. Entries must be sent exclusively by filling in the entry form that can be found on the foundation website: All stories entered must be original, unpublished in all means (paper, electronic publications, network…) and have not been awarded in any other contest. Those who do not meet this condition will forfeit the entry.

7. The author certifies that the story sent is of his own authorship

8. The competition will end on November 23rd, 2014 GMT+1, on the International Day of the Word as Bond of Humankind.

9. The finalists will be judged by a selected jury. The list of finalist’s titles will be published on the website of the César Egido Serrano Foundation.

10. The César Egido Serrano Foundation reserves the right to publish the finalist’s stories.

11. The decision of the jury is final.

12. Entry in this contest implies the total acceptance of their rules.

13. Texts failing to comply with any of the rules will be disqualified.
This competition helps carry out part of the foundations activities. One of the goals of the Foundation is to unite people with words and dialogue. This is why the motto of the Museum of Words is, “Words are the bond of humankind.” Words being used by their double condition of communicative elements and language as cultural heritage of all human beings.

In this competition (like in the previous), short stories may be submitted in Spanish, English, Arabic and Hebrew. This lists the languages in which the three monotheistic religions of the world express their religious feelings. The fourth edition is expected to exceed the level of participation of the third edition where over 20,000 writers from 119 countries entered.
For more info, see:





"One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places, to explore."
Anne Lamott

Creative writing students from all over the world participate in our online creative writing courses.globe

"Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.”
Roald Dahl

blog image marianne Wheelaghan was
co-founded by Marianne Wheelaghan in 2002. Click
here to read Marianne's blog.

"If you wait for inspiration, you're not a writer, but a waiter."

Edinburgh was the world's first UNESCO City of Literature. It was awarded the title in 2004 in recognition of its literary heritage, vibrant contemporary scene and aspirations for its future. edinburgh city of literature
This literary heritage is exemplified through Edinburgh's wealth of publishers and print houses and the history of writers who have originated from or been drawn to the city - writers such as Robert Burns, James Hogg, JM Barrie as well as more modern writers such Ian Rankin and JK Rowling.

Visit the Edinburgh City of Literature website to find out more about what’s happening in the world’s first City of Literature.

Try this rather addictive game and help give rice to poorer nations

Online game to end hunger Edinburgh city of literature

Edinburgh online school of creative writing










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