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Programme Structure

There is a small fee for Weekend Schools (£30) and for Publishing Day (£50). These additional day schools can be published after you have enrolled on the programme.

The programme is delivered through weekly seminars which run for two and a half hours. Your face to face classes will take place in our teaching space in Brighton and you will access your online classes through your course page. For an online class, you simply click on the link on your course page to join your tutor and the other writers in the online classroom. Each weekly writing seminar runs for two and a half hours. Seminars will include a mix of practical writing exercises, discussion of work written in the seminar and discussion of published texts, group work, tutor led feedback and taught sessions. Over the course of the two-year programme you will work closely with two of our tutors. On each course you will be offered one-to-one tutorials and an opportunity to take additional seminars with visiting writers on the Creative Writing Programme Weekend Schools.

In the event of a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic and/or any restrictions on social gatherings, all courses will be taught via Zoom (our video conferencing platform) for the duration of the restrictions.

Autumn term 2021: Course One – Approaches to Non-Fiction

10 weeks of study with weekly two and a half hour seminars, plus tutorial. Weekend School (Optional – early November)

3 weeks-face-to face, 6 weeks online, 1 week face-to-face (All dates will be clearly identified on your course page)

 

Through workshops, practical exercises, group discussion and feedback, you will: explore the fundamental principles of life writing as storytelling and discover ways of enhancing the dramatic, sensual and visual impact of your writing; investigate your own memory and creativity and experiment with a variety of ways in which to recall and realise the dramatic potential of your material – including writing from personal artefacts, journaling, engaging with voices from the past etc. You will learn to understand the importance of the audience/reader and appreciate the application of techniques from fiction, poetry and drama to the craft of writing. There are reading, researching and writing exercises each week, both at home and in class. At the end of the term, you will submit work for creative and critical comment from your tutor in a tutorial session in February 2022.

Spring and summer term 2022: Course Two – Memory and Imagination

15 weeks of study with weekly two and a half hour seminars, plus tutorial. Weekend School (Optional – March)

1 week face-to-face, 9 weeks online, 5 weeks face-to-face (All dates will be clearly identified on your course page)

 

You will experiment with different ways of using memory, probing the boundaries of memory and imagination and discovering how research can underpin both; you will experiment with narrative modes, tenses and viewpoints and develop a sense of the importance of theme in your writing whilst considering how to balance historical and emotional truth with the demands of story. You will compare techniques and structures used in prose fiction and creative non-fiction. You will address ethical issues raised by life writing and think about such issues in relation to the second year project. At the end of the course, you will take part in a short series of writing workshops in which you will read and discuss your own work in progress and the work of the other writers in your group. At the end of term, you will submit work for constructive appraisal from your tutor and will have a one to one tutorial with them to discuss your progress and plan your writing project for the second year.

Autumn term 2022: Course Three – Story and Form

10 weeks of study with weekly writing seminars and tutorial. Weekend School (Optional – November)

3 weeks-face-to face, 6 weeks online, 1 week face-to-face (All dates will be clearly identified on your course page)

 

In this course you will explore a number of different approaches to narrative structure for creative non-fiction and consider what might govern choice of form. You will examine classic narrative structure, beginnings, middles and endings, transitional scenes and turning points but you will also look at the particular demands of shaping ‘true’ stories – taking into account matters of authenticity, integrity and the life writer’s intent. The role of prefaces and other framing devices will be discussed. Writers will be led carefully through the process of deciding on form – each writer will consider their and/or their subject’s vulnerability, their readers’ expectations and the fulfilment of the story’s potential. You will also continue to make progress on your life writing project and will give and receive criticism of your own and other’s work in progress. At the end of this term, you will submit work to your tutor for a written critical appraisal and will have a tutorial with them in February 2023.

Spring and summer terms 2023: Course 4 – Writing Workshops

15 weeks of study with weekly writing seminars, plus Publishing Day (Optional – dates to be announced)

1 week face-to-face, 9 weeks online, 5 weeks face-to-face (All dates will be clearly identified on your course page)

 

This part of the course is designed to offer you further insights into writing technique especially in the drafting and re-drafting of texts. It will focus on the structural editing of key scenes as well as developing your editing skills and appreciation of sentence and paragraph construction. In the second part of the course, the writing workshops, you will focus your attention on critical appraisal of the writing process, both on the level of prose and the level of story. In this final part of the programme there will be a series of writing workshops in which longer pieces of work, written by you and other writers in your group, will be read and discussed. At the end of the course writers will be given the opportunity to discuss finished manuscripts with literary agents and publishing professionals and submit a final piece of work to your tutor for written critical feedback.