Writers' Workshop

Ref: C3670500

This course is suitable for students with all levels of ability and intends to promote the writing of short stories and poetry, writing scripts for radio, television and screen, as well as poetry. The class is tailored to meet each students needs so that they maintain interest and achieve their full potential. This is exemplified by students attending the previous course submitting scripts for review with the BBC and Scriptwriting Yorkshire, and five students who have completed novels and are preparing them for submission to agents and publishers.

Course aim

The aim of this course is to continue to inspire and encourage students to write. Students will be required to expand their academic skills by reading fiction or books of their own choice in order to aspire to standards, evaluate and assess the content, expand their knowledge of spelling, grammar, punctuation and techniques used by the authors in structuring their novels. Students will be expected to write at home and requested to read their work aloud in order to receive constructive feedback and criticism. They will also discuss writing issues and and events relevant to the subject. They will be encouraged to expand their existing skills, employ researching skills to unearth writing material, and develop a clear understanding of prose, poetry appropriate for the multi-cultural community and different cultures.

Who is the course for?

The course is for those beginning creative writing and the more experienced writers. No previous knowledge of the subject is required. Providing they are literate and willing to learn the course is suitable for all.

What topics will this course cover

The course will cover a broad range of subjects related to creative writing. Best practice examples of creative writing are introduced to the students as an introduction to the main topic for discussion. In essence the course covers the Nuts and Bolts of Creative writing, starting with ideas and Inspiration, Genre, Character, Plot Dialogue, Point of View, Tone, Tension, Structure. Exercises to emphasise salient points will be conducted, and all aspects relating to all forms of writing will be imparted. Suggestions for homework will be offered, but it is considered preferable other than compulsory for them to complete. These writings often inspire longer pieces of work to be read aloud for the other students to critically evaluate and assess. This affirms their abilities and spurs them on to continue writing. Other students enjoy the beneficial and therapeutic effects from the class discussions. Students are introduced to poetry by using humour in simple rhyme schemes, as in Limericks, which are designed to attract unwilling students to familiarise themselves with poetry instead of rejecting the subject.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

By the end of the course students will be able to produce at least one short story or poem. They will begin to recognise different types of poems, how to structure and analyse the contents. Students are encouraged to prepare and compile a folder of completed works that can be added to in subsequent courses and measure their own progress. Work can be perfected in preparation for submission to agents and publishers, or formatted for electronic submissions. Confidence will grow, and ambitions develop. Enjoyment at their achievements will encourage other class members.

How will I know I'm making progress?

At each class the tutor will monitor your performance and progress. This usually happens after the work produced at home has been read aloud to the class. Advice will be offered in ways to improve your work. The tutor will offer helpful suggestions and advice designed to improve your work, and encourage you to build on your achievements in the future.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

No prior reading is required for the course, but students will be encouraged to read fiction novels and short stories once the course has started. Writing paper and a pen will be needed.

Reading and information sources

As mentioned previously, no specific books are required to be read before the course, but a wide variety of books can be bought or loaned from the library on the subject of Creative Writing. Authors may present the words in a different way but they all convey the same basic information about the subject in a way that is simple and understandable. Reading these books can consolidate the knowledge learned in class. Reading is a valid occupation, but it is the actual process of writing on a regular basis that will be of benefit to students.

What could the course lead to?

The course can prepare people for many opportunities. Whether students are looking for employment or attending the course for pleasure or therapeutic reasons, their confidence, ability and self-expression will be enhanced by this course. Potential employers look for prospective employees who can express themselves clearly. It will also be beneficial to those studying towards written examinations to achieve promotion in work or academic qualifications. A Writers Workshop can spur students into further study at Colleges of Higher Education, Universities or on line Distance Learning Courses.

Download full course outline

Writers' Workshop Course Outline


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