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An Approach to Creative Writing Summer School Short Course

Key information

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Course Code:
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Booking Deadline:
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Covid-19 update: The learning doesn’t have to stop, join our online community. We will be delivering courses remotely until further notice. Live tutor support and virtual lessons will take place during advertised teaching hours. The classes are taught in small groups, so you’ll get lots of support from your tutor. Book now.

This popular course provides a firm footing in the fundamentals of creative writing. Learn from professionals how to develop a story and gain the confidence to write creatively.

Why choose this course?

Inspiring and motivating, City's An Approach to Creative Writing short course is led by professional writers who are experts in their field. Aimed at beginners, the course makes up part of City's range of short creative writing courses that boasts a growing list of published alumni.

Delivered from the heart of London, a part-time City writing course is the ideal way to develop your potential as a writer.

Course overview

An intensive two-week introduction to creative writing short course.Taught online, the course will explore how to find inspiration and how to make your creative writing lively and engaging.

Delivered over 10 weekdays in a short intensive burst, with a weekend break in the middle for you to put your learning into practice, you will learn the key elements of fiction writing, particularly in relation to short stories and novels. Subjects covered include structure, characterisation, dialogue, point of view, narrative voice, style and how to develop, sustain and end a story.

On this highly practical course you will also learn how to support your practice as a writer and how to revise and edit your own work.

A mixture of theory, advice and lots of exercises using a wide variety of writing prompts, this course will provoke and support those wanting to explore their writing in a short intensive blast. You will be encouraged to take away learning from each day and try writing while it’s fresh in your mind, sharing what you have written and built from day to day. The aim is for you to draft two or three short stories to at least 1st or 2nd edit stage, as well as exploring what works for you in developing more sustained writing.

This course is ideal preparation for our Short Story Writing and Novel Writing and Longer Works courses.

  • “ Great course. Very stimulating. ”

    Yvonne Sampson

    Former student

  • “ A fascinating tour through the elements of creative writing ”

    Anonymous, former student

    Former student

  • “ This course was excellent. I enjoyed the mixture of interactive group work, writing exercises and teaching ”

    Anonymous, former student

    Former student

  • “ It’s a great course and I’d recommend it! ”

    Mel Spencer

    Former student

  • “ I really enjoyed the practical tasks that we undertook on the writing course at City. I made the most of every homework opportunity and produced a piece of writing every week. ”

    Bernadette Makepeace

    Former student

  • “ I got a lot out of it, it's been useful for me as I look to follow my ambitions of writing a novel/short stories, it was a good course to start off with. ”

    Laura Burkin

    Former student

  • “ Thank you… I've learnt a lot during this course. ”

    Janet Foster-Wollen

    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

In each session you will learn:

  • Different triggers for writing
  • Opportunities for writing
  • How to get inspired and stay that way
  • How published examples can help your writing

The structure of each day will be as follows:

Morning session 10:30-12:30, lunch 12:30-13:30, afternoon session 13:30-15:30

a.m. - Elements of Writing
p.m. - Character

a.m. - Plot
p.m. - Structure

a.m. - Atmosphere and Style
p.m. - Narrator and Point of View

a.m. - Dialogue
p.m. - 'Bad' writing and how to avoid it

a.m. - Editing
p.m. - Getting published

There will also be opportunities to cover the following, depending on feedback from students:

  • Writing for performance
  • Life writing
  • Creative non-fiction
  • Anything they passionately want to know about
  • More specific genres (world building etc.)



English requirements

Applicants must be proficient in written and spoken English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

Informal assessment will take place through group discussion, class room activities, and questions and answers sessions as guided by your tutor.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

  • Bird by Bird, Anne Lammot, Anchor 2007
  • Steering the Craft, Ursula Le Guin, Mariner Books 2015
  • The Voice that Thunders, Alan Garner, Vintage
  • The Well of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde, Hodder
  • Short Circuits (revised edition), Vanessa Gebbie (ed), Salt 2013

Please note that this reading material is entirely optional, but are books the tutor has found useful as a writer.

Tutor information

  • Cherry Potts

    Cherry Potts is the author of epic fantasy novel The Dowry Blade and two collections of short stories, Mosaic of Air and Tales Told Before Cockcrow, as well as numerous stories performed live in the UK and Hong Kong, and published in magazines and anthologies.

    Cherry owns Arachne Press, and is the editor of many short story anthologies including Award Winning Weird Lies, and a poetry anthology. She runs South London live literature event, The Story Sessions, and writes reviews for Sabotage Reviews. She curates the annual Solstice Shorts literature and music Festival.

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