Centre for Continuing Education

Creative Writing Course

Creative writing. Express yourself with the written word.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses both online and in-person. Please check the delivery format for each class before you enrol.

Please note that course materials for all classes (excluding prescribed textbooks) are shared electronically within 48 hours of a course starting. Printing is not available.

Designed to give you the practical skills to approach your creative writing projects with confidence, this creative writing course is built around particular topics integral to the writing process such as: voice, place evocation, characterisation, structure, sentence-craft and editing. Using exercises to get started, we will look at the basic elements of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction and poetry) and at ways to develop your work. This creative writing course is an invaluable way to find your voice as a writer.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • write prose or poetry with more elegance
  • express both self and place more authentically
  • craft writing that tells your stories in your own voices
  • avoid cliché and coin original turns of phrase and shapely sentences
  • practise the rules of good style embodied in the best writing
  • plan and structure memorable tales
  • know the difference between your best writing and your second best
  • edit and trim your writing for more impact and readability.


What’s writing for?

  • Introduction
  • How we will work together
  • The nature of creative writing – how it happens, how it works on a reader
  • How writing is talking, heightened by art, and set down on paper
  • What works and what doesn’t
  • Fiction and non-fiction; poetry and prose
  • Voice and self, music and place
  • The art of indirection

From a deep place

  • Writing what we don’t know about what we do
  • Writing from the very centre of ourselves, out of everything we are and everywhere we’ve been and whom we’ve been there with
  • The necessary strangeness of one’s own perception, mind and voice
  • Writing from now for all time

Style is substance

  • Why less is generally more
  • Plain and fancy style
  • How fashionable writing, by definition, goes out of fashion, but stylish writing never does
  • The art of the sentence
  • Verbs
  • Rationing your modifiers

Tools and techniques

  • The secrets of plot and pace and place and speech and character
  • Some prose and poetry forms

Wild mind, tidy mind

  • Why form and structure count and how they help
  • Getting started
  • Keeping going
  • Knowing when you’re done
  • The Tao of the long-distance writer

The finish

  • The draft and the many edits
  • Editing yourself and being edited
  • Making the work ready to publish
  • How and where and why (and why not) to get published

Intended audience

This workshop targets beginning writers of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. It will also help experienced writers rediscover their creativity and improve their technique.

Delivery style

The workshop marries informally delivered pedagogy with inspirational ideas and practical tips from an experienced professional writer. It models great writing through a selection of fine readings across all genres; and it invites you to write each week and receive tutelage and feedback from the facilitator and fellow participants.


Course notes will be provided electronically.

Recommended reading

Dillard, A 1989, The Writing Life, Harper Collins, New York.

Le Guin, U 1998, Steering the Craft, Eight Mountain Press, Portland.

Strunk, W and White, EB 2000, The Elements of Style, 4th edition, Allyn & Bacon, Boston.

Zinsser, W 1998, On Writing Well, 6th edition, Harper Collins, New York.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • The course has an excellent teacher. I recommend this course to anyone who wants to write beautiful sentences.

  • This course is ideal for someone looking for basics on literary form and style. I took this course looking to get my creative writing back on track and its been great. The tutor makes the ideas accessible and creates a welcoming environment.

  • The tutor is passionate about the written word and it shows. I’ve always loved reading, this course has not only made me a more mindful writer but a closer and more observant reader. I highly recommend it.

  • I was impressed and inspired by this tutor’s teaching, which was clear, diligent, skilled, kind, constructive, and spirited. I am already reading and writing with more mindfulness and appreciation of the craft.

  • An exceptional tutor, with a wealth of knowledge. I gained a lot from the teaching and feedback on my work. I am keen to sign up for another course in the future and I would thoroughly recommend this class to anyone wanting to develop their writing skills.

  • The presenter for this course was a brilliant, engaged tutor. Could not have been better.

  • It is so heartening to know there are approachable, high quality tutors sharing their craft in Sydney/Australia. A breath of fresh air.

  • The facilitator is a fantastic teacher, whose encouragement and instruction really elevated the skills of all that attended.

  • It was a great introduction to authors I had not come across, and the tutor selected a superb set of readings.

  • The presenter is a very good communicator and very knowledgeable, making us feel comfortable and confident to share our stories and offering constructive criticism.

  • The presenter runs a superb course. I have gained much from the experience. I found the course life changing as well as life affirming... but maybe that’s just me.

  • An excellent presenter for this course – informative, supportive and a master of his craft, willing to wholeheartedly share his skills. Would recommend to anyone interested in creative writing. For me it was the perfect introduction and I now feel more confident to develop my writing.

  • This course provides a well-structured insight into the creative, structural, and practical problems that all writers face. Mark is an engaging orator and draws on a wealth of experience that will help you start writing the way that only you can write. Highly recommend.

  • I could have quite happily sat and listened to the tutor all day. The exercises were challenging, the reading inspiring and the discussions energising. The course pulled me outside of myself and enabled me to put it down on paper.

Creative Writing Course

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What others say.

  • The class was an excellent experience. I learnt much about the technical side of writing and I felt the class was a good environment in which we could share our work. I would definitely consider taking another writing course in the future.
  • This was my first introduction to adult education since leaving high school in the year 2000. The risk paid off, and I now feel ready to invest in my education again. The tutor was inspiring, and their influence has inspired me to take a risk and to write. I am very grateful for this experience. Thank you.
  • Great course with practical tasks to help apply what you learnt each week. The tutor was great and provided useful feedback on everyone's writing.
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