Centre for Continuing Education

Creative Writing Essentials Course

Creative Writing. Express yourself with the written word.

Develop your creative style the smart way with Creative Writing courses at the University of Sydney.

Have you always wanted to write? Have you started a novel and are looking for some tips to get you to the next level? Are you looking to transform your love of reading into a creative practice? In this course, you will learn both basic and intermediate fiction writing techniques in a supportive and collaborative environment.

This course will help you develop your understanding of key elements in narrative development, including: creating believable characters, writing effective dialogue, crafting memorable descriptions, internalising story structure and self-editing.

Over the duration of the course, your instructor will walk you through the processes needed to complete a self-contained work of creative writing—whether a short story or novel chapter.

This course is designed both for both beginners and more experienced writers looking to brush up on their technique.

Aims

This course aims to develop your fiction writing skills through the process of writing a self-contained short story or redrafting a novel chapter or both. Each week you will complete multiple writing exercises, thereby increasing your understanding and fluency of creative writing essentials.

Outcomes

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

  • master a sustainable writing practice to suit your individual aims and goals
  • apply craft essentials to your writing with more confidence and skill
  • demonstrate your understanding of basic fiction writing techniques in your writing, including: character development, effective dialogue, description writing, story structure and story editing
  • identify and submit to market opportunities most receptive to your work.

Content

This course covers the following topics:

Introduction to writing techniques

  • The six creative writing essentials:
    • character
    • plot
    • setting
    • dialogue
    • structure
    • revision
  • Story tricks and tips from your instructor, a professional, acclaimed author with experience teaching at all levels.

Voluntary workshopping and weekly feedback

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to share your writing with course participants, receiving and giving constructive criticism. You will also have the opportunity to receive written instructor feedback on any work you submit.

Weekly in-class practice

Each week, you will practice writing techniques in-class. The course facilitator will also provide (non-compulsory) extension exercises, both reading and writing, that you can complete in your own time.

Introduction to self-editing, publishing and further learning opportunities

  • Editing techniques
  • Self-publishing opportunities
  • Where to look for further learning and practice

Intended Audience

Beginners and experienced writers of all levels.

Prerequisites

No assumed knowledge or experience is required, just a love of writing and reading.

Delivery Style

Workshop

Materials

Something to write/type in.

A booklet of optional weekly readings including exemplary craft essays and instructive works of creative writing will be provided. Included in the booklet are guidelines for revision and preparing work for publication.

Recommended Reading

Gardner, J 1991, The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, Vintage Books, NY.

King, S 2000, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Hodder & Stoughton, London, UK.

Le Guin, U 2015, Steering the Craft: a Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, NY.

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion
Creative Writing Essentials Course

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