What is the course about?
This course will provide an encouraging and imaginative environment to help you improve your creative writing skills and sustain a commitment to your work. You will read and discuss your work with the class, explore various techniques of writing and develop confidence in giving and using constructive criticism. If you wish to work towards publication, this course will help you do so.
Caroline Natzler's publications include a collection of autobiographically based short stories, Water Wings (Onlywomen Press) and four collections of poetry; Design Fault (Flambard Press), Smart Dust (Grenadine Press), Fold (Hearing Eye) and Only (Grenadine Press). Caroline has been running writing workshops for many years and is a contributor to Taking Reality by Surprise: Writing for Pleasure and Publication, ed. Susan Sellers (The Women's Press).
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- How to develop and improve your writing
- Exploration of aspects of writing, according to your and other participants' needs and interests. For example; how to sustain a piece of writing, narrative tension, structure, point-of-view, character, dialogue, voice, genre, poetic form, language, imagery
- Giving constructive criticism
- Evaluating, revising and editing your own work.
This course supports all kinds of creative writing, including prose fiction, poetry, reflective writing and memoir, whether they are finished pieces or works-in-progress. It is not suitable for people interested in journalism, informational or academic writing.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to, and assess, pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Write more confidently and effectively in your chosen genre(s)
- Evaluate, revise and edit your own work.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This workshop is for writers with some experience of creative writing. It is ideal if you have completed our Ways into Creative Writing course or a similar introductory course. Students should have a work-in-progress or ideas for a piece of writing they want to work on.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Most sessions will consist of a balance of teaching and students reading and discussing their work. Each week two students will be scheduled to present the group for half an hour each. The rest of the session will consist of an open reading, for students to read and discuss shorter pieces of work, and teaching and discussion on a particular topic.
The tutor will find out from each student what aspects of writing they are interested in, or what they are grappling with, so that these topics can be explored in discussion. The tutor will generally give the first response to a piece of writing before opening up the discussion. If students do not want to read their work aloud other arrangements can be made.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You should bring paper and pens or pencils. You will need to make copies of work you bring to present to the class. These will be returned to you as soon as the class ends.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may wish to explore a particular medium or genre on more detail. We run a variety of courses dedicated to particular types of writing, including novel and short story writing, playwriting, screenwriting, and creative non-fiction. Alternatively, you can progress to one of our advanced critical workshops for experienced writers.
All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details