‘’Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.’ Thomas Gray
The aim of this course is to help both the beginner and the more advanced writer to develop and improve their writing skills in a range of different areas, including short story writing, poetry, playwriting, TV scriptwriting, structural planning and writing of a novel. Varied exercises and stimuli will be used to aid the creative process, helping students to build on imaginative ideas and to discover new approaches to their work.
This experience is for adults aged 19+.
There are no formal entry requirements - all you need is enthusiasm and a keen interest in literature!
Week 1 – Getting Started – the need/inspiration to write. An introductory session, enabling students to get to know each other and their individual writing needs and interests, as they start to share their work within a workshop environment.
‘Playing with ideas’ – looking at the ideas and themes that inspire us, and how to begin to select those we wish to develop further, while also considering the required passion for the ‘subject’ which is necessary to carry us through and to bring the ‘story’ to life.
Week 2 – ‘The Importance of a Good Lead’ – looking at the importance of the ‘lead’ character(s) within a piece of literary work, and those characters that have remained the most constant in our memories and literary culture. Considering the importance of creating a ‘realistic/believable’ character, who ‘lives and breathes’ and the importance of achieving this both in dialogue and description.
Week 3 – ‘The Importance of a ‘Good Start’ - The importance of the ‘start’ of a novel, and looking at what makes us want to ‘read on’. How long do we give a piece of work before we ‘give up’, and is description/dialogue or reflection the most important hook for the opening lines? Considering our own favourite pieces of work and comparing the essential ingredients involved against our own.
Week 4 – ‘Writing for TV and Film’ – looking at how to structure writing for TV, creating a series, expanding TV networks and opportunities. Considering how to promote your own work, and the popularity of short films for developing both writers and actors.
Week 5 – ‘Short and Sweet’ – looking at what ‘makes’ a successful short story, and the similarities and differences which can be seen against approaching the writing of a full-length novel. Information will be given on a variety of short story competitions for those who are interested in submitting work.
Week 6 – ‘Flash Fiction’ and ‘The Mini-Saga’ – Maxi to Mini – taking ‘big ideas’ and the art of making them into small ‘masterpieces’. Using these shorter writing styles to help to focus and structure our ideas, and to highlight the key themes and intentions of our work.
Week 7 – ‘The Economy of Poetry’ - looking at the art of poetry, and how it can also work to help develop other forms of writing, and to enable writers to see ways into economising on longer unnecessary pieces of text. Also considering how poetry can be used in its complete form within an alternative form of writing.
Week 8 - ‘The Play’s The Thing’ - considering an alternative approach in ‘delivering’ a story through the art of playwriting, and the world of ‘dialogue’ and stage direction. Looking at when a story may work ‘better’ as a play, and looking at this form of writing as a living and collaborative experience between writers, directors and actors.
*Please note, the course content is developed each term. As such, the content may differ throughout the year.
You will workshop your writing with other members of the group and receive and supply constructive, kind notes for improvement. You may submit writing for the workshop sessions anonymously if you so wish.
You just need pen and paper or a laptop.
Further creative writing courses and workshops are running throughout the year.