TUTOR: Nikki Sheehan is an author, journalist, mentor and teacher. She has published three novels for young adults, short stories, one biography and two picture books. Her first adult novel is forthcoming. She has also written poetry, advertising copy, subtitles and a TV comedy script. Nikki has been shortlisted for, and won many awards, including being twice nominated for the Carnegie medal.
Nikki loves nurturing creativity as a mentor and course leader, and has been instrumental in several writing careers. She believes that there are fundamental misunderstandings about creativity that stop many people from pursuing their creative goals. As well as sharing the tools of the craft, a sensitivity to the psychology at play in the writer’s mind underpins her teaching, and Nikki is proud to have enabled many writers to find enjoyment, satisfaction and success whether their goal is a flash fiction poem, a novel or a movie script.
Start Date: 28th July 2021 – 1 place remaining
Note: We are currently experiencing a high demand for our online creative writing courses. We therefore recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment.
(If you booked a course with Kerry Hadley-Pryce for a June 30th start date, that course is going ahead as scheduled. We just removed it from the site as it’s full and to prevent overbooking)
Duration: Six weeks
Places are strictly limited to 10 participants. You don’t have to be based in the UK to take the course. We accept students from around the world!
You don’t have to be online at any particular time or day. Instead, the course is carried out through email correspondence, so you can read the notes whenever it suits you. There will be weekly notes and assignments over the course of six weeks. Your tutor will read each assignment and provide written feedback. You’ll find out more about how the online courses work here.
Note that this is a course for adults.
1. The stories only you can tell. Writers are always asked, ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ In Week 1 you will answer this for yourself by exploring your own fascinations, feelings, fears and interests, and uncovering the stories and characters that are waiting to emerge.
2. Writing real people. We are all a complex mix of nature, nurture and chance, but as writers have a limited time in which to establish credible characters on the page. So, in Week 2 you will learn to use the archetypes from mythology and the classics in combination with modern psychology to develop stronger characters.
3. Whose line is it anyway? Sometimes we struggle with which of our protagonists we should focus on, and how to do this in the most compelling way. Whether you write short stories, flash fiction or longer works, in Week 3 you will deepen your understanding who says what, why and how.
4. Plotting with snowflakes and more. Whether you’re an instinctive writer or a plotter, the structure of your story is the backbone without which your story will sag. So, in Week 4, we will briefly cover plot basics before moving on to a practical guide to putting your knowledge into action in order to plot a longer piece of fiction.
5. Drowning in metaphor. Modern readers of commercial fiction are hungry for story, and description and metaphor has become sidelined. But putting the sensory and thematic aspects of a story into words is still a vital part of the author’s job. In Week 5 we will look at how to subtly bring alive the world of your story in a way that keeps your reader reading.
6. Kill your darlings. Do we really need all those words? Does that character have a good reason to be there? Is that scene doing enough? In Week 6 we look at editing, both on a word level and in terms of plot. We get to grips with choosing the right words, scenes and characters, and daring to delete the rest.
Please note that we do not require you to fill out a registration form. Instead, please click on the ‘Check Out Securely’ button. During the payment process you can input your name and email address which we will use to register you on the course. If you’d prefer to use another email address for the course correspondence or if you’re paying on behalf of another student, when you have processed the payment, please send the relevant email address and name for the course correspondence to email@example.com. Once you have processed the payment, we will email you within 24 hours to confirm receipt.
Our next Online Intermediate Creative Writing Course course starts on 28/07/2021
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