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Programme Structure

There is a small fee for Weekend Schools (£30) and for Publishing Day (£50). These additional courses are optional and can be purchased once you have enrolled on the programme.

Course one: Approaches to Writing

Autumn Term 2021

 

10 weekly writing seminars, plus a tutorial. Weekend School (Optional – late November)

3 weeks face to face, 6 weeks online, 1 week face to face

 

Through workshops, practical exercises, group discussion and feedback, you will explore the fundamental principles of storytelling and discover ways of enhancing the dramatic, sensual and visual impact of your writing; explore your own creativity and the ways in which you can realise the dramatic potential of your ideas; understand the importance of writing for your reader and learn the fundamentals of good characterisation. There are reading, researching and writing exercises each week, both at home and in class. At the end of the term, you will produce a portfolio of pieces of creative writing for creative and critical comment from your tutor in a one-to-one tutorial session.

Course two: Tactics for Writing: Prose Fiction

Spring and Summer Terms 2022

 

15 weekly writing seminars, plus individual tutorial. Weekend School (Optional – early March)

1 week face to face, 9 weeks online, 5 weeks face to face

 

You will experiment with different narrative modes, tenses and viewpoints and explore the subtle nuances of perspective that can be achieved through their careful and consistent application. You will explore the techniques and structures used in prose fiction and gain a greater insight into the way scenes are structured and the different ways in which characters and readers can be positioned in relation to the action of a story. 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.

Course three: Story Structure

Autumn Term 2022

 

10 weekly writing seminars, plus individual tutorial. Weekend School (Optional – November)

3 weeks face to face, 6 weeks online, 1 week face to face

 

In this course you will explore a number of ‘classic’ plots and different approaches to narrative structure and consider the ways they can be utilised within different genres. You will consider the key turning points in the structure of a story; the importance of beginnings, middles and endings and transitional scenes in narrative; further ways of generating tension and conflict to create narrative drive and hold your reader’s attention; ways of focusing and connecting your writing to increase coherence and resonance and ways of managing the writing process so the narrative arc you create fully realises the story’s potential. You will also continue to make progress on your 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 discuss your work with them in a one-to-one tutorial.

Course four: Writing Workshops

Spring and Summer Terms 2023

 

15 weekly writing seminars. Publishing Day (Optional – dates to be announced – usually towards the end of May)

1 week face to face, 9 weeks online, 5 weeks face to face

 

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 you will have the option to attend Publishing Day where you can get advice on how to prepare for publication and discuss your work and different routes into print with visiting literary agents and publishing professionals. In July you will submit a final long piece of work to your tutor for written critical feedback