This course will take place online, for a reduced rate of Full £95 / Conc. £71
The techniques we’ll be looking at will be helpful whether you’re interested in writing fiction (novels, short stories) or narrative nonfiction (memoir, biography, travel).
Each class will have a brief tutor presentation on the topic for the evening, then we’ll explore that topic in practice through a number of short writing exercises. There will be time for peer feedback on your writing in small groups as well as tutor feedback in the big group, but there’s no pressure to read your work unless you want to.
We will also discuss a different published story each week, with links supplied at the start of the course.
Who is this course for?
This course is for anyone with an interest in exploring their own creativity through writing prose. No prior experience is needed, although it’s helpful if you’re a keen reader.
Will I need any equipment or materials?
This course will be held via Zoom. You need a computer/laptop or mobile phone to access the Zoom website, and a reliable internet connection. For further information on how to join a Zoom meeting, you can watch the joining video here.
You will also need a pen and notepad for taking notes, or can use your computer/laptop.
Are there any follow-on courses I can take?
We run a range of creative writing classes, including classes in life writing, writing your family history, and short story writing. Explore what's on here.
Will I be assessed?
There is no formal assessment for courses at Bishopsgate Institute. However, to monitor your learning and progress, tutors will assess your participation in classroom activities.
You will learn
By the end of this course, you will have:
- Developed a habit of writing regularly
- Gained a practical insight into the craft of narrative: characterisation, story structure, setting, viewpoint, showing, and telling
- Learned how to apply these insights in your discussion of your own and other writers’ work.
Meet the Tutor
Vicky Grut’s short fiction has appeared in new writing anthologies published by Picador, Granta, Duckworths, Serpents’ Tail and Bloomsbury and, most recently, in Best British Short Stories, 2019.
Her collection Live Show, Drink Included was published by Holland Park Press in 2018 and was short-listed for the £10,000 Edge Hill Prize.
She has taught for the Open University, London South Bank University, the City Lit Institute and the University of Greenwich and she reads for the manuscript assessment agency The Literary Consultancy.
Starting to write creatively
We will look at ways of tapping into your own creativity, techniques for generating new material, and how to use both invention and observation in your writing.
Working with characters
Characterisation is a key element in any story. We will look at ways of developing people who come alive on the page.
This class will tackle the key elements of structure: beginnings, turning points, crises and ways of ending, as well as the importance of repetition and tension.
The same events might look different depending on the perspective of the viewer. We will look at the impact of the narrative voice on any particular story.
This class will explore ways of creating a sense of place and the power of sensory detail.
Showing and telling
Deciding what to dramatise in a scene (showing) and what to sum up more rapidly in overview (telling) is an important part of the art of storytelling. It’s about how we work with time and how we choose to direct the reader’s attention.
Need to Know
- 19:00 – 21:00
- Full £95 / Conc. £71
- Bishopsgate Institute
- Vicky Grut
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code