Beginners' Writing Courses Beginners' Writing Courses Beginners' Writing Courses

Beginners' Writing Courses

Whether you've always wanted to write fiction or are looking for an introduction to poetry, we offer a range of creative writing classes for beginners – from one-day workshops to longer twelve-week courses, online and in our London offices.

Our beginners' writing courses: an overview

Many of our beginners’ classes require no experience at all – if you’ve always wanted to write but never known where to start, you’ll find a supportive, welcoming environment with an experienced tutor and a group of fellow aspiring authors.

Our online courses are accessible wherever you are in the world, and many of our online beginners’ courses are self-paced, meaning you don’t need to be online at a set time and can work through the course materials at a time that suits you.

You’ll leave with a clear idea of the requirements of your chosen genre and the technical tools you’ll need to carry on writing.

Who are these courses for?

Complete beginners

Avid reader ready to start creating fictional worlds of your own? Looking for a new hobby or taking the very first step on a new creative path? These courses are designed to show you how to start writing – and how to carry on after the final session.

Writers looking to refresh their skills

If you've written before but feel you're lacking in confidence after a break, a short course can be a great way to brush up your knowledge and get those ideas flowing again, with a supportive group to cheer you on.

Writers exploring a new genre

An experienced non-fiction writer looking to try your hand at poetry? Or a poet who'd like to experiment with fiction? Our beginners' courses are a great place to test out a new discipline

Beginners' Writing Courses (24)

Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Getting Started: Beginners' Fiction

Everything you need to call yourself a writer – discipline, craft skills and a great group of people to work with – in one online writing course experience.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

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Online

Length

i
8 weeks

Tutors

Helen Shipman

Start Date

Wednesday 25 May 2022

1 more start date available

£350
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Image taken from behind a woman's shoulder as she sits on the grass, writing on her laptop
Writing for Children

Writing YA

Young Adult fiction is one of the boldest forms of recent times – learn how to write for the most passionate and discerning audience out there.

Level

i
Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
Online

Length

i
8 weeks

Tutors

Lee Weatherly

Start Date

Wednesday 25 May 2022

£495
Book Now

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Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 28 May 2022

£100
Book Now

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Details
Close-up image of a notebook open in a woman's lap, with her pen poised to start writing on a blank page
Poetry

Start to Write Poetry

Kickstart your writing life with a specially designed day of learning, writing and discussion from the home of British poetry.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Scott

Start Date

Saturday 28 May 2022

3 more start dates available

£75
Book Now

Sold Out

Details
Woman sitting cross-legged on living room floor, thoughtful, with her laptop in front of her
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Fiction Skills: Plot

Create storylines that keep readers turning those pages in this self-paced online course.

Level

i
Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

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Online

Length

i
4 weeks

Tutors

Tom Bromley

Start Date

Monday 30 May 2022

£120
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Non-fiction

Five Days to Write a Life

There are many ways in which a life story can be presented but this course aims to understand the story you wish to tell – and to help you tell it well.

Level

i
Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Julia Blackburn

Start Date

Monday 06 Jun 2022

£550
Book Now

Sold Out

Details
Overhead shot of a jumble of hardback books, pages facing the camera
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Read Like a Writer

Read wider, read smarter and find new ways to get your words onto the page.

Level

i
Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
Online

Length

i
4 weeks

Tutors

Tom Bromley

Start Date

Monday 13 Jun 2022

£120
Book Now

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Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Getting Started: Beginners' Fiction

Everything you need to call yourself a writer – discipline, craft skills and a great group of people to work with – in one online writing course experience.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
Online

Length

i
8 weeks

Tutors

Helen Shipman

Start Date

Monday 27 Jun 2022

1 more start date available

£350
Book Now

23 spaces left

Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 02 Jul 2022

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

10 spaces left

Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 30 Jul 2022

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

23 spaces left

Details
Close-up image of a notebook open in a woman's lap, with her pen poised to start writing on a blank page
Poetry

Start to Write Poetry

Kickstart your writing life with a specially designed day of learning, writing and discussion from the home of British poetry.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Scott

Start Date

Saturday 30 Jul 2022

3 more start dates available

£75
Book Now

Sold Out

Details
Focused young african american woman writing notes, working on computer.
Fiction Development, Non-fiction

Writing Lives

Life writing is perhaps the most exciting and broadest literary genre of our times – spend a week discovering how you can work within the form to tell your story of a life.

Level

i
Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner

Start Date

Monday 08 Aug 2022

£550
Book Now

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Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner

Start Date

Saturday 20 Aug 2022

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

13 spaces left

Details
Colourful stacks of books
Short Story

The Five Day Short Story

Five days, one story – master the art of the short story in one intense week.

Level

i
Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Shelley Weiner

Start Date

Monday 29 Aug 2022

£550
Book Now

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Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Writing Difference

Discuss the challenges of writing about minority experiences on this unique course, taking place on weekends over four weeks.

Level

i
Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
Online

Length

i
4 weeks

Tutors

Sameer Rahim

Start Date

Monday 05 Sep 2022

£495
Book Now

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Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 24 Sep 2022

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

29 spaces left

Details
Close-up image of a notebook open in a woman's lap, with her pen poised to start writing on a blank page
Poetry

Start to Write Poetry

Kickstart your writing life with a specially designed day of learning, writing and discussion from the home of British poetry.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Scott

Start Date

Saturday 24 Sep 2022

3 more start dates available

£75
Book Now

10 spaces left

Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 29 Oct 2022

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

30 spaces left

Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 26 Nov 2022

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

30 spaces left

Details
Close-up image of a notebook open in a woman's lap, with her pen poised to start writing on a blank page
Poetry

Start to Write Poetry

Kickstart your writing life with a specially designed day of learning, writing and discussion from the home of British poetry.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Scott

Start Date

Saturday 26 Nov 2022

3 more start dates available

£75
Book Now

15 spaces left

Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 17 Dec 2022

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

30 spaces left

Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 28 Jan 2023

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

30 spaces left

Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 25 Feb 2023

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

30 spaces left

Details
Fiction Development, Novel Writing

Start to Write

A no-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing course to kickstart your writing life.

Level

i
Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

i
London

Length

i
1-5 days

Tutors

Richard Skinner, Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 25 Mar 2023

9 more start dates available

£100
Book Now

30 spaces left

Details

Beginners' Course Tutors

The tutors on our beginners' writing courses are all experienced teachers and published writers themselves, with a wealth of experience in introducing new writers to the craft.

Helen Shipman

Helen Shipman

Helen has been teaching people to write for thirty years. She has devised and delivered writing courses from adult classes...

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Helen Shipman
lee-weatherly-tutor

Lee Weatherly

Lee Weatherly has written more than fifty books for children and young adults, including the bestselling Angel series, and is...

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Lee Weatherly
richard-skinner-tutor

Richard Skinner

Richard Skinner is a novelist, poet and critic. His most recent book, The Mirror, was described as ‘beautifully written...

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Richard Skinner
sarah-may-tutor

Sarah May

Sarah May is the highly acclaimed author of seven novels, including The Nudist Colony, which was shortlisted for the Guardian...

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Sarah May
richard-scott-tutor

Richard Scott

Richard Scott was born in London in 1981. His pamphlet Wound (Rialto) won the Michael Marks Poetry Award 2016 and his poem...

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Richard Scott
tutor-4-min

Tom Bromley

Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name, both fiction and non-fiction...

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Tom Bromley
julia-blackburn-tutor

Julia Blackburn

Julia Blackburn was born in London in 1948, the daughter of the poet Thomas Blackburn and the painter Rosalie de Meric. Her first book...

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Julia Blackburn
shelley-weiner-tutor

Shelley Weiner

Shelley Weiner is an acclaimed novelist, short-story writer and journalist who has, over the years, established a reputation...

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Shelley Weiner
sameer-rahim-tutor

Sameer Rahim

Sameer Rahim is a novelist, critic and editor who has been working in literary journalism for nearly 20 years. His critically...

More About This Tutor
Sameer Rahim

Inspiring surroundings, excellent tutor, supportive fellow participants. I learnt a great deal about character, plot, voice, narration and language.

Inspiring surroundings, excellent tutor, supportive fellow participants. I learnt a great deal about character, plot, voice, narration and language.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start writing?

There’s no “right” way to start writing – it really is about taking that first step and writing that first line! It could be that you start straight away with a project of your own; a poem or a short story or a novel. Or you can use creative writing exercises and prompts to provide some structure (you can find ours [here]). In either case, the most important thing is: don’t be afraid of it not being perfect. No-one’s first draft of anything ever is. You hone your voice and prose over time, by continuing to put words on the page and experimenting with techniques and styles to find what works best for you. Beginners’ writing courses will offer a good introduction to those technical elements, as well as a constructive place to start getting feedback on your work.

What skills do you need to be a writer – do I need any particular experience to take these courses?

You don’t need any experience to take these courses – they’re designed as an introduction to your chosen discipline and are suitable for complete beginners. In terms of skills, being an enthusiastic and eclectic reader will always serve an aspiring writer well – when you read a book you enjoy, try and think about what in particular you liked about it, and whether there are qualities you might also like to see in your own work. And paying attention to the world around you is also a good habit to have. Listen out for interesting snippets of overheard conversation and watch out for images or scenes that catch your eye – you never know where inspiration may strike!

I've done some writing before, but I still feel like a beginner – are these courses right for me?

Absolutely. With all of our courses, we usually say that the level is something of a confidence thing rather than based entirely on experience. If you feel like you need to get a solid grounding in the foundations of your chosen genre before moving on to something more advanced, these courses will help you do that.

Can't find the right course?

Manuscript Assessment

Get comprehensive editorial feedback on your manuscript from our experienced readers – whether it’s still a work-in-progress or you’re preparing to submit to literary agents.

Find out more

Mentoring

We offer a range of mentoring options if you’d prefer to work one-on-one with an established writer to help you shape your project and realise your writing ambitions.

Find out more

Browse the Reading Room

From author interviews and writing tips to creative writing exercises and reading lists, we've got everything you need to get started – and to keep going.

My Road to Publication

Academy alumna Sarah Clarke on getting her book deal, and the hope that kept her going

Read More
My Road to Publication
Am I Marmite?

Academy alumna and debut novelist Liz Webb on the perils of writing a character based on yourself

Read More
Am I Marmite?
Ten Questions for Your Character

If you're planning to do some character development this weekend, get started with these ten writing prompts

Read More
Ten Questions for Your Character