Writing Fiction Writing Fiction Writing Fiction

Writing Fiction

This unique twelve-week course is about finding a way to write that is yours – whether you're starting out, starting again, or rethinking your approach to fiction writing.

Level

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Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

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London

Length

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12 weeks
  • Start Date
  • Time
  • Thursdays, 19.00–21.00

£995

£995

£300 / month for 2 months and a £395.00 deposit

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Find your own way in fiction

You want to write fiction that is distinctive, new. Fiction that comes out of your own subjective experience of the world, and out of your own subjective reading of great literature. Fiction that is yours.

Keith Ridgway is the prizewinning author of novels like A Shock and Hawthorn & Child. He’s been writing distinctive, arresting fiction for over twenty-five years, and has been teaching fiction writing at the Faber Academy for almost ten. In that time he has developed the unique Writing Fiction course. It will immerse you in the fundamentals of the craft, and will ask some fundamental questions:

- Why fiction? Why make things up in the first place?
- For that matter, what is fiction? Is it just making things up?
- It’s all been done already, hasn’t it? How can you come up with something new?
- What does it mean to write about what you know? What might it mean to write about what you don’t know?
- What does a reader care about? What makes a reader care?

Is this the right course for me?

This three-month course is intended for fiction writers who are starting out, and for those who are already underway but perhaps feel the need of a course correction. If you're looking for new ways to explore and consider the possibilities of fiction, as well as a group of supportive and inquisitive peers to share work and discussions with, this one's for you.

The course has a lively, inclusive atmosphere in which discussion and the spirit of engagement foster a supportive and respectful environment. Considerations of technique, process and motivation form a large part of things – as does reading with a writerly eye.

'You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.' – Annie Proulx

With this in mind we'll look at examples of strong, distinctive fiction and at how it can allow us to see the world in new ways. Ways that have been fashioned for us by writers who don’t try to please or persuade, but who put us where they want us to be. This is the sort of writing that lives in the heads of readers, and that’s the sort of writing we want to create.

Keith will encourage you to write, and to write every week. But this is not mandatory. You decide the extent to which you want to share your work. But all students who share their work will have that work read by Keith and by the other students, and will have at least two opportunities to have it discussed during the weekly sessions.

By the end of the course you should be beginning to find your feet in fiction. And importantly, they will be your own feet. The material and subject matter, the style and language, the motivation and intention that is uniquely yours.

    The course consists of twelve two-hour evening sessions, which will take place on Thursdays from 19.00 until 21.00 at the Faber offices in Bloomsbury.

Course Programme

Session 1

Thursday 19 January, 19.00–21.00

Introductions...

Session 2

26 January, 19.00–21.00

Imagination...

Session 3

2 February, 19.00–21.00

Language...

See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Writing Fiction

Session 1

Thursday 19 January, 19.00–21.00

Introductions

What is fiction? What do you hope to gain by writing it?

Session 2

26 January, 19.00–21.00

Imagination

Making things up is a skill. It’s a skill you have, but how rusty is it?

Session 3

2 February, 19.00–21.00

Language

What is your favourite word? And why should you never use it?

Session 4

9 February, 19.00–21.00

Narrative Voice

Let’s get technical. Where do you put the reader?

Session 5

16 February, 19.00–21.00

Character

Creating people. What are you? God? (Spoiler: yes you are.)

Session 6

23 February, 19.00–21.00

Dialogue

She said, he said, blah blah blah. Not all of your characters can be strong silent types.

Session 7

2 March, 19.00–21.00

Accumulation

Can you be a writer without writing? No! How to make a habit of it.

Session 8

9 March, 19.00–21.00

Shape

How to keep your fiction in shape – and what do we mean by that?

Session 9

16 March, 19.00–21.00

Not Writing

Can you be a writer without writing? Yes! How to keep the habit in check.

Session 10

23 March, 19.00–21.00

Editing

Cut! Cut! Cut!

Session 11

30 March, 19.00–21.00

Finishing

Do you finish a piece of fiction? Or abandon it? Is there a difference?

Session 12

6 April, 19.00–21.00

Rounding Up

Who are you now?

Keith was an exceptional tutor — he was both encouraging and inspiring, just what I needed from this course.

Student, 2022

He was interesting, human, never patronising, enabling, challenging, and incredibly on the ball. There was a sense of complete commitment to the process.

Student, 2021

Keith Ridgway was an excellent teacher; his classes were rigorous, material well-prepared, and approaches varied.

Student, 2022

Keith was an exceptional tutor — he was both encouraging and inspiring, just what I needed from this course.

Tutor

keith-ridgway-edited

Keith Ridgway

Keith Ridgway is from Dublin. He is the author most recently of A Shock (Picador, New Directions, 2021), which was the winner...

More About This Tutor
Keith Ridgway

Location

Bloomsbury House

74 - 77 Great Russell Street

London WC1B 3DA

How to get here

Bloomsbury House is well connected by public transport, with Russell Square, Holborn and Tottenham Court Road stations all nearby, and stops for several bus routes a short walk away. We’re right next to the British Museum, on the corner of Montague Street.

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.

Announcing Faber Academy Newcastle Read More
Announcing Faber Academy Newcastle
Writing Prickly Female Protagonists

Writing a Novel alumna Ania Bas on writing the main character of her debut novel, published earlier

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My Road to Publication… And What I Learned Along the Way

The author of Honey and Me (published by Scholastic Press) on how her book came to be

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For more information, message us or call 0207 927 3827