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 (7)

Image of a laptop left on a picnic table on a sunny terrace with blue railings
Fiction Development

Start to Write

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

Level

Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

Online

Length

1-5 days

Tutors

Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 28 Aug 2021

1 more start date available

£100
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Fiction Development

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

Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

Online

Length

5-12 weeks

Tutors

Helen Shipman

Start Date

Monday 20 Sep 2021

£350
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Image of a laptop left on a picnic table on a sunny terrace with blue railings
Fiction Development

Start to Write

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

Level

Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

Online

Length

1-5 days

Tutors

Sarah May

Start Date

Saturday 25 Sep 2021

1 more start date available

£100
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Fiction Development

Read Like a Writer

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

Level

Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

Online

Length

1-4 weeks

Tutors

Tom Bromley

Start Date

Monday 04 Oct 2021

£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

Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

London

Length

1-5 days

Tutors

Julia Blackburn

Start Date

Monday 10 Jan 2022

£550
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Fiction Development, Short Story

Writing Short Stories

Learn the craft of short story writing, then create and polish new stories of your own with an award-winning writer.

Level

Starting out

What do these levels mean?

Location

Online

Length

5-12 weeks

Tutors

Lucy Caldwell

Start Date

Thursday 20 Jan 2022

£795
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Writing for Children

Writing for Children

Don't you just take out all the long words? No. It's harder than that, but this inspiring children's writing course will help.

Level

Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

London

Length

5-12 weeks

Tutors

Anthony McGowan

Start Date

Monday 24 Jan 2022

£995

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.

Anthony McGowan

Anthony McGowan

Anthony McGowan

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.