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Creative Non-Fiction Programme (Blended) 2021-2023

(Blended Learning. Two years. One afternoon per week for 25 weeks per year)


The Creative Non-Fiction Programme has been carefully designed to develop your understanding of the craft of turning personal or researched experience into narrative. It has a particular emphasis on the different forms of creative non-fiction: life writing, autobiography, biography, historically researched fiction, travel writing, diaries, journals, comic writing and blogs and teaches writing techniques that can be used in both non-fiction and creative fiction.


In your first year you will reflect on the sources and themes of your own writing

  • develop a greater understanding of your own creativity and the creative process
  • learn how to create dynamic characters
  • discover ways of enhancing the dramatic impact of your writing and explore the different ways in which your stories can be told.

In the second year the focus will shift from shorter scenes to longer narratives. You will:

  • reflect on the role of memory and imagination in the writing process
  • develop a greater understanding of plot and structure in storywriting
  • explore the ways in which characters evolve and stories are resolved, and gain further insights into language, technique and style.

Throughout the course you will continue to explore aspects of character and setting, learning to negotiate memory and constructs of time in relation to life writing.

You will hone your critical and editing skills and develop your eye for detail and for a good story. In the writing workshops, you will share, discuss and evaluate your work with the other writers in your writing group.

By the end of the programme you will have significantly increased your understanding of how to write well, have developed a substantial body of work and have either finished your writing project or be in a position to bring it to completion.

What the creative non-fiction course will do for you

This creative non-fiction course will help you:

  • develop your confidence and ability as a writer.
  • organise and manage your work
  • evolve a strong individual style.

All you need to bring to the programme is your imagination, a love of reading, a passion to write, a commitment to your writing group and the determination to succeed.

You will be working closely with other writers and reading and commenting on other people’s work is an essential part of this process. You will also be required to read short pieces of published work in preparation for in-class discussion around different aspects of writing technique. The sharing of life stories is integral to the teaching on the programme and you will be encouraged to write from personal and researched experience, but the sharing of work is not seen as an end in itself. The emphasis will be on improving the quality of your writing and of understanding the complex process of narrative construction – and this will become significantly more important in the second year of the programme.

What is required of me?

Over the two years you will need to organise a minimum of twelve hours per week for classes and additional writing and reading time.

You will need to have access to a computer with a video camera and with email and an internet connection as the programme uses an internet learning site to allow students to keep in touch outside of the taught sessions.

How the course works

The programme follows a structure of four creative writing courses over two years, blended to maximise the benefits of both online and in-person learning and collaboration. Weekly seminars of two and a half hours include a mix of practical writing exercises, discussions, group work, tutor-led feedback and taught sessions.

You will work closely with two of our experienced tutors, who will meet you for one-to-one tutorials. You can also take additional Weekend School seminars with visiting writers if you choose.

The in-person seminars are taught in the Phoenix Art Space, Brighton, which offers a buzzing creative atmosphere, a coffee bar, great accessibility and art galleries. For the online sessions you join a Zoom meeting. In the event of any further restrictions on gatherings all sessions will be delivered online for the duration.


Click here for further more information on the structure and content of individual courses


Key Facts

Programme Length

Two years

Term Dates

Autumn: 4th October – 17th December (Reading Week 25th – 29th October)

Spring: 10th January – 25th March (Reading Week 14th – 18th February)

Summer: 25th April – 27th May

(Dates for 2022-2023 will be given in the summer term of 2022)

Venue: The Phoenix Art Space, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Brighton, BN2 9NB


Tuesdays, 10am – 12.30pm

Entry requirements

No formal qualifications required

Programme team
Dr Mark Slater (director), Holly Dawson, Lulah Ellender, Christine Harmar-Brown, Dr Hannah Vincent

£995 per annum. Fees can be paid in full or at the beginning of each term. There is a small additional admin charge for the Summer Term if fees are paid per term.

Autumn Term: £400

Spring and Summer Term: £620

Optional Weekend Schools £30 per session. Publishing Day (manuscript submission only) £50

To enrol

Choose one of the options in the links at the bottom of this page and click on it

Please ensure that you have read our Terms and Conditions. For further information on this course or our other programmes contact

Mark Slater