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An Approach to Creative Writing Short Course

Key information

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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

This introduction to creative writing short course, taught at our Central London campus, will explore how to find inspiration and how to make your creative writing lively and engaging.

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.

Due to popular demand, please note the same Approach to Creative Writing evening course will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You do not need to register for both nights, just pick your preferred day of the week.

Please note, Tuesday evenings are taught by Cherry Potts and Thursday evenings by Amy Prior. For more information on both tutors please scroll down.

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

  • “ Good introduction and lots of ‘take home’ tips on writing ”

    Alex Peachman

    Former student

  • “ Gave me many ideas and understanding of structure of story writing ”

    Jhimiti Roy

    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?

Over the course of 10 weekly evening classes on the Approach to Creative Writing short course, you will learn:

  • How to find inspiration for your writing;
  • How to structure, develop and end a story;
  • How to create characters, write convincing dialogue and use different narrative voices and points of view;
  • How to ensure your writing is lucid and vivid;
  • How to assess, revise and edit your work.



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.


Students should buy according to interest, though some photocopies of these and additional texts will also be provided:


  • The Art Of Writing Fiction, Andrew Cowan (Routledge, 2011)
  • On Writing Short Stories, Tom Bailey (OUP, 1999)
  • Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews Series Editor: George Plimpton - various themes, publishers and years


  • The Art Of The Story: An International Collection. Edited By Daniel Halpern. (Penguin Books, 2001)
  • The New Penguin Book Of American Short Stories. Edited by Kasia Boddy (OUP, 2012)


  • The Creative Writing Workbook, John Singleton (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001)

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.

  • Amy Prior (Thursdays)

    Amy is a writer who works across both fictional and non-fictional forms. She started writing and publishing her own short stories in literary journals and books before beginning to teach creative and life writing and taking an MA in Creative & Life Writing at the University of London. She teaches at all levels, from beginning and new writers to undergraduate and creative dissertation levels in universities. She has a PG Diploma in Academic Practice (Creative & Life Writing Discipline) for teaching at universities and art schools, having taught part-time as a visiting lecturer for over 13 years.

    Her writing interests sometimes link with cinema, and her work occasionally attracts adaptation interest. She contributes her own writing to literary journals, book collections and single-author books. They can appear as boutique books, or as large independently-published books or are published with more major presses – on both sides of the Atlantic. She has also curated several book collections.

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