Centre for Continuing Education

Creative Writing Essentials 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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Delivery style



Something to write/type on.

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.


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

What others say.

  • I have had great experience in taking this course. It has encouraged me to read more and to pursue my dream of writing a short story successfully.
  • The most enjoyable thing about the class is that we were taught very clear techniques for how to create good fiction. Jenny created an environment that was open and engaging. She urged us to read our writing out in class and encouraged everyone to participate in workshopping, which made for lots of productive discussion. Thank you for kickstarting my creative writing juices!
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