Online Taster: Ballad Writing

Ref: C3530393

An introduction to ballad writing, the oldest way of telling stories in verse. Learn something about the history of the ballad, hear excerpts from some of the more well-known ballads, focusing in particular on those by the Cornish poet Charles Causley, and learn how to write them yourself.

Course aim

To introduce ballad writing, the oldest way of telling stories in verse.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This short course could be particularly valuable for those who want to expand their knowledge of written and spoken English

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

  • Discuss the history of the ballad
  • Demonstrate how poetry can be turned into song
  • Recognise and apply some of the poetic tricks as used by Charles Causley
  • Tell a story in ballad form
  • Write your own ballads

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Those on the course can select a ballad of their own and read it to the group. Welcome and desirable, but not essential

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • As this is an on-line course, students will require access to the internet and will need to set up/use free video conference software in order to participate. Participants will also need pen and paper

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Not essential, but desirable to find a ballad and read it to the group

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Online Taster: Ballad Writing

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This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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