Writers’ Workshop  Short Courses

This is an advanced fiction-writing course designed to help experienced writers move ongoing work towards a publishable standard. Students' fiction (chapters from novels or short stories) will be circulated in advance and then constructively critiqued within the group. You will also submit and workshop a synopsis of your novel; write an author biog and covering letter to send to agents and publishers; and will select a topic for proposed discussion in class (e.g., pace, multiple viewpoints). The size of this class will be restricted to 12 students, so early application is advised.

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Friday 10 October 2014 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £310.00 CS3209 Apply Now
Friday 23 January 2015 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £310.00 CS3209 Apply Now
Friday 1 May 2015 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £310.00 CS3209 Apply Now

Tutor Info

Autumn Term Only

Kirstan Hawkins:

Kirstan Hawkins' first novel, Dona Nicanora's Hat Shop, was published by Random House in 2010. Kirstan graduated from the Certificate in Novel Writing at City University in 2007, and has subsequently taught several guest slots as a visiting lecturer, bringing a unique approach as writer, tutor and alumna. She studied anthropology at Edinburgh University and has a PhD in anthropology and international development from the University of Wales, Swansea. As well as her creative writing, she also currently works in international development, and has travelled extensively in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Kirstan was previously a lecturer in anthropology and development studies at the University of Swansea, Goldsmith's College and a tutor for Open University.

Spring and Summer Term

Katy Darby:

Katy Darby's short stories have been read on BBC Radio, published in magazines including Slice,Mslexia and The London Magazine, and won prizes in several international fiction competitions. Her first novel, Victorian drama The Whores' Asylum was published by Penguin in 2012 (the paperback title is The Unpierced Heart). She has a BA in English from Oxford University and an MA in Creative Writing from UEA, where she received the David Higham Award. From 2010-12 she edited short story magazine Litro, and she co-founded and currently runs the monthly live fiction event Liars' League, involving regular collaborations with Granta Magazine.


You should have taken an introductory fiction writing course or be writing regularly, and some experience of workshopping is advisable.

What will I learn?

  • You will learn to: Understand the construction of a sustained piece of fiction;
  • Revise and edit your work;
  • Identify markets and the requirements of publishers;
  • Give, receive and apply constructive criticism;
  • Put together a submission for an agent or publisher, consisting of a synopsis, first three chapters or short stories and covering letter.    

    What will I do on the course?

  • Submit and workshop a synopsis of your novel (approx. 500 words);
  • Submit and workshop 3 chapters of your novel or 3 short stories (max. 3000 words each chapter or story);
  • Select a topic you are interested in for focused discussion in class (e.g., "Pace", "Dialogue", "Multiple Viewpoints");
  • Write an author biog and covering letter to send to agents/publishers.

Teaching and Assessment

Students are assessed by their contribution to class discussions and their work on in-class and homework exercises, as well as their submitted synopsis, chapters or stories.

Recommended Reading

Mittelmark, H. and Newman, S, (2009) How Not To Write A Novel.

London: Penguin. The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook (annual).

London: A & C Black, or Barry, T., ed. (annual) The Writers' Handbook.

London: Macmillan. Mullan J. (12 Oct 2006) How Novels Work. OUP Oxford

Leads To...

The Novel Studio

Application Deadline: