Fiction Skills: Research Fiction Skills: Research Fiction Skills: Research

Fiction Skills: Research

Learn how to convert dry facts and higgledy-piggledy materials into compelling stories packed with atmosphere.



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4 weeks
  • Start Date
  • Time
  • Flexible (see Course Schedule)

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7 in stock


Add depth and authority to your writing

This four-week course shows how to take the raw material from internet-trawling, library sessions or your own notebooks and diaries and turn it into engaging writing. You will be encouraged to use background reading to kick-start the creative process, and explore ways to use research material to transform a nice story into something more unusual, more credible and more substantial. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, you’ll draw on facts, research and personal experience.

Is this the right course for me?

This course is part of our online Fiction Skills series, designed for writers looking to finesse technical aspects of their writing. It's suitable for both fiction and non-fiction writers, and while you don't need to be an experienced writer, if you're a complete beginner it might be better to start with one of our starting out courses.

Over two fortnight-long sessions, you'll work through guided reading, practical exercises and creative writing prompts. You'll have video introductions to the topics covered from your tutor, and instructions and tips on how to craft a satisfying story.

You'll be joined by a supportive group of fellow writers to read, discuss and feedback on your work, and we'll host forum discussions about hooking and keeping your readers engaged with your setting. We'll give you guidance on how to turn a sharp lens on your creative work and become a better editor of your writing, as well as honing those skills giving feedback to your classmates.

You'll have a special Q&A forum to keep in touch with and post your critical writing questions for your tutor during the four weeks. And at the end of the course, you'll find carefully curated additional reading and resources so you can take your interests further, as well as the opportunity to produce a piece of writing of up to 2,000 words based on one of the exercises you've worked on during the course.



Philip Marsden

Philip Marsden is the award-winning author of a number of works of travel, history and fiction, including The Bronski House...

More About This Tutor
Philip Marsden

    The course consists of two fortnight-long sessions, which you work through progressively with a small group of peers, your tutor and a moderator. There’s no need to log on at a certain time each week – as long as you complete the set assignments and peer feedback by the end of each session, you can work at any time of the day or night.

Course Programme

Session 1

13 February – 26 February

Approaches to research...

Session 2

27 February – 12 March

Putting research on the page...

See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Fiction Skills: Research

Session 1

13 February – 26 February

Approaches to research

This first session will explore some of the skills and processes involved in research, including background reading, note-taking, and the use of sources. You’ll look at different writers’ approaches to research, reflect on your own practices, and try your hand at some active research.

Session 2

27 February – 12 March

Putting research on the page

The second session will look at how to put research on the page, turning notes and facts into compelling prose. You’ll explore how researched details can be used to engage the reader and bring scenes and stories to life. This session will also look at the use of language, style and tone when putting your research onto the page. You will post your final piece to the forum for comment from your peers.

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.

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Announcing Faber Academy Newcastle
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