Do you love to read and want to write? Do you want to move from consuming narratives to creating them yourself? Are you wondering how to start, or maybe you have started but can’t seem to finish after that first rush of creative enthusiasm has evaporated or the business of life has intervened. Then look no further – this is the writing course for you: no unrealistic claims, just solid and practical guidance and advice by a noted teacher, editor and author.
‘Becoming a Writer: An Introduction to Writing Fiction’, delivered by Unthank School of Writing in association with TLC, is a 12-week online writing course intended for beginners and early career authors, and is designed to teach you the basic components of the prose narrative, focusing upon but not limited to the short story. This online creative writing course has four easy to navigate online teaching modules, each one comprising a detailed lesson, required reading, ‘extras’ (hints and tips), a discussion forum, short writing tasks and more detailed critical and creative exercises. Each module builds upon the last, and will become available as the course progresses. The course lasts for three months, allowing three weeks per teaching module, and is written entirely by the tutor. Unlike most online courses, the tutor is live and online for a full day each week to guide and to comment your writing.
There are approximately thirty writing tasks and exercises to undertake, should you wish, intended to illustrate key points and to help you practice. There is one formally assessed assignment which is required to officially pass the course and receive a certificate. The teaching programme is both progressive and holistic, and students are encouraged to cherry pick writing exercises based on their individual needs and interests, as well as what is practical for them. (This is not ‘homework,’ there is nothing to ‘fail,’ and you work at the pace that suits you.) The assessed piece will be a short story of between 2500 and 3500 words, and will receive very detailed editorial feedback by the tutor (a professional author and editor).
This online creative writing course contains the following course modules:
1. Starting to Write – This module explores the mindset and discipline required to write seriously, and teaches you how to set a scene and begin a story, adding depth and atmosphere to your prose.
2. Story and Plot – This module will teach you how to structure and pace a narrative more professionally and effectively, choosing the best point of view, heightening tension, and adding drama.
3. Creating Characters and Writing Dialogue – This module will teach you how to conceive original and authentic fictional characters, and then bring them to life.
4. Going Public – This module will teach you how to get your work to a professional standard by editing and redrafting, and offers practical advice on the short story market, competitions, and your options for publication.
The principle aim of this online writing course is to encourage your progress as a writer, help you improve and refine your work, and to inspire you to keep on writing. By the end of the course, you will have gained valuable knowledge and insight into the process of writing fiction, and should have a growing portfolio of short stories. You will also be ready to progress to writing a novel.
All Unthank School students will be able to submit a story or extract to be considered for the forthcoming USoW annual UnVeiled edited by the Unthank School teaching staff.
‘I thoroughly enjoyed this course and would recommend it to anyone with even a slight amount of seriousness in wanting to become a writer. It awakened in me a creativity that I barely knew existed and was an invaluable challenge and learning process with an extremely accommodating and accomplished tutor. I would say to new students: be prepared to find within you something precious and valuable that will take over your life – but realise then that it absolutely should!’
To book your place on the Becoming A Writer online course, click ‘Book Your Place’ at the top of the Unthank booking page here. You can pay online, and your payment will be processed securely via PayPal. Don’t forget if you are a TLC newsletter subscriber to enter the promotional code (see December newsletter) to receive your special discount.
After creating an account, your tutor will be in touch within 48 hours to confirm your place on the course and provide you with a link to the Unthank School virtual learning environment to which all students have access.