Writing classes, the Edinburgh online school of creative writing, is where I learned to write. Back in 2010, I decided to write a novel…and I did. But it was crap, terrible, honestly cringeworthy to read now. The story and concept were okay, if a little overused and cliche, but the writing itself was utter garbage. I sent the novel to a bunch of agents, mostly to radio silence, or at the best, stock rejections.
So I googled ‘creative writing courses’ and http://www.writingclasses.co.uk was one of the results. I looked at their range of courses available (there are 5; creative writing 1 and 2, novel writing 1 and 2 and poetry) and decided as I’d written a novel (terrible!) and was well into my second, that I would go with novel writing 2.
Novel writing 2 is for those of you who have completed Novel Writing 1 – The Basics. If you have not completed NW(I), it is an entry requirement that you have started working on a first novel.
So I enrolled and paid the very reasonable price of £200 and found to my delight that I was put into a group with 5 other writers, all at similar stages to me, having begun a novel. My
tutor was the wonderful Anne Hamilton, someone I have continued to remain in contact with and has done quite a bit of editorial (and moral support) work for me. She guided me through the 10 weeks of the course and, along with my fellow writers, great progress was made, not only in the writing of my novel, but also in improving my craft.
The course is structured to cover 3 objectives –
1) to help you hone your writing skills further
2) to help you complete your novel to as near publishable standard as possible
3) to show you all the options available when it comes to getting your novel published.
And it does. In 3 teaching blocks, we covered The Words (what makes a successful novel?/rewriting/conflict), The Writer (the liar: and the (honest) truth about dishonesty/Touched with Fire – and the manic depressive artistic temperament or not!) and Being Published (Legacy Publishing and the submission package – (query letter/synopsis/first three chapters) / Indie Publishing or Self Publishing and writing a successful press release/Your Social Platform/ Stunts and How to Build a Brand).
By the end of the course, I had 9 weeks of feedback from my peers and my tutor (on 18,000 words of my novel!), had notes on the aspects of the industry mentioned above and most importantly had the motivation and the guidance to have completed most of my novel. The real strength of the course is the peer support/feedback, but especially the tutor feedback, which is kind (if you are feeling shaky) or brutally honest (which I like) and always is given in the best interests of the individual writer and their goals.
So if you are new to writing, or perhaps you’ve written a novel but don’t know how to improve it or need feedback/support, writing classes have a range of courses to suit a writers needs at all levels.
I have been back 5 times for their courses since my first one…
They are currently open for their autumn courses which start on Monday 3rd October.
But if that’s too soon for you, they have all their courses running 3 times a year. Check out the website for details on the courses and the dates.