|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. We offer great value for money. Click on the headers below for full details.|
|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.
|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.
|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.
Novel Writing II - Finishing and Getting Published
|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.
Why our online courses are better
Our 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.
In 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.
Our 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.
You 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.
If you have an IPhone, IPad or other mobile device you can get your free app and join in “on the go”.
While 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.
You 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.
You 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.
We 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.
Each course runs for ten weeks in real time (which includes the orientation week) and offers excellent value for money.
When we think of successful creative people we tend to think of artistic geniuses like Shakespeare or Michael Angelo or Wordsworth or Mary Shelly … you know who I mean, special people. However, research shows categorically that there is no specific personality type associated with creativity. In other words being creative is not just about special people doing special things. Turns out we all have creative abilities but we’re not always sure how to tap into them.
One way we can tap into our creativity is by working hard at something, keeping going regardless. If we persevere, nine times out of ten that eureka moment will happen. For us writers, this can mean setting out to write with little or no idea of how our story will finish. Possibly pegging away for what seems forever before a creative light bulb moment. You’ve heard that phrase, coined by the writing guru Robert McKee, “writing is a discovery we rarely know where we are going …”? This is what we mean by it.
Now, pegging away is fine but it takes courage and blind faith to boldly keep writing when you’ve not sure where you’re headed, especially when there are no guarantees. After all, it’s not a foregone conclusion we’ll have our eureka moment every time. There will be mistakes. We may even end up with something we’re never happy with. But you must not be discouraged. The acclaimed writer Pat Barker has three unpublished novels in her drawer. These unpublished novels did not stop her being a success.
So, what does this research mean for you, the emerging writing? It means there is no secret to being successful. You can be a succes if you:
stop worrying about having a special writing gene (we all do it!) because there isn’t such a thing
have a little bit of courage
a lot of blind faith
and don’t give up!
It won’t necessarily be easy, all that pegging away takes time, so you’ll have to find some, but as long as if you have the guts and the will to do it, you can be a successful writer.
‘One of the great secrets of success is “pegging away.” No disappointment must discourage, and a run back must often be allowed, in order to take a longer leap forward.’
Amelia E Barr
Have you ever struggled to finish writing a story? What made you carry on? Or did you stop? Are you struggling to finish something now? What is the hardest part about “pegging away”? I’d love to hear from you, so do leave a comment