Is your New Years Resolution to improve your writing? Maybe its to start a brand new story? Or even to attempt your first ever work of fiction?
The following eleven courses provide the foundations of crime and creative writing, so that you can be assured you have the basics ready to create your own masterpiece.
A four-week online course covering idea development, character creation and how to inject suspense into your writing. You will need to dedicate 5-7 hours per week during the course.
Tutor: Author Tom Bromley and a guest speaker
Next course: 29th January 2018 or email here to find out the next available dates.
A 10-week part time course on the basics of writing crime fiction, meeting once a week at the University for the two-hour workshop. Further reading and working on your writing is done in your own time during the course.
Week 1: Crime fiction – the hows and the whys.
Week 2: Choice of murder weapon – genre characteristics.
Week 3: Plotting the perfect crime.
Week 4: Detectives, traditional and otherwise.
Week 5: Criminals – the other side of the coin.
Week 6: Whose crime it is anyway? Thinking about point of view.
Week 7: Withholding evidence – showing not telling, and tension.
Week 8: Witness testimony – dialogue.
Week 9: Working out the details – research.
Week 10: Just one more thing: An opportunity for questions and course review.
Tutor: Katherine Stansfield
Next course: 15th January 2018
A residential weekend held in Scotland where you will learn how to research effectively, market your story and get one-to-one help with your work-in-progress.
Genre Expectations: Russel D. McLean
Getting to the Heart of the Story: Craig Robertson
Knowing your Characters: Michael J. Malone
Social media for Authors: Paul Teague & Graham Smith
1-2-1 Surgeries: Various Speakers
Synopsising your Novel and Preparing your Pitch: Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books)
Pitch your Novel: Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books)
When: 9th-11th March 2018
Where: Gretna Green, near Lockerbie
Cost: £295pp which includes course, hotel and food
A full week of workshops, readings, exercises and one to one tuition with up to 15 other students.
When: 21st-26th May 2018
Where: Totleigh Barton, Devon
Tutors: Crime authors Andrew Taylor and Louise Welsh, with guest speaker Mark Billingham
Cost: £770pp which includes course, hotel, food and drink
A free eight-week online course for complete beginners looking to start writing fiction.
Week 1: Starting to Write Fiction
Week 2: The Habit of Writing
Week 3: Writing is Editing
Week 4: Building Your Story
Week 5: Creating Convincing Characters
Week 6: Developing and Portraying Characters
Week 7: Reading as a Writer
Week 8: Your Final Story
Next Courses: 5th March 2018, 3rd September 2018
A free online course completed over 14 weeks. This one is better suited for those who want to improve the structure of their writing: grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, tenses and more.
I’d really recommend it for absolute beginners who have never written a fictional story.
A programme of educational and hands-on experience so that writers can better understand law enforcement, firefighting and forensics. This could include learning how to drive a police car, dog handling and shooting a gun.
Check out last years’ schedule here. I’m desperate to go to this!!!
When: 9th-12th August 2018
Where: Wisconsin, USA
Cost: TBA in February
A free online course you can start anytime, consisting of three emails received over three days. In fact, the whole website is a smorgasbord of advice, tips and other courses to help you learn.
Lesson 1: Character Ideas
Lesson 2: Conflict Ideas
Lesson 3: Setting Ideas
A free course hosted completely online which teaches you the basics of creative writing. You can skip to the lessons that most interest you by clicking the links below, or start at the beginning and work your way through.
There are a ton of exercises and lots of recommended further reading, this course is well worth your while.
This day course provides crime writing basics at a good price. You will undertake various exercises and come away knowing how to critique others and positively receive criticism for your own work.
City Lit also provide a lot of other writing courses for you to check out.
- Where do ideas come from?
- Why crime?
- Point of view
- Character and conflict
- Plot schema
- Setting and atmosphere
- Evaluation and review
When: 9th June 2018
Where: Keeley Street, London
Tutor: Crime author Gerry Byrne
This 8-week course is taught entirely by email and promises to teach you the tools to make your mystery story stand out.
Week 1: Introduction to Mystery Writing
Week 2: Background Stories
Week 3: Investigation
Week 4: Rules of the Game
Week 5: Puzzle Pieces
Week 6: Structure and Movement
Week 7: Sleuths, Sidekicks, Villains, and Victims
Week 8: Setting and Color
Tutor: Nancy Strauss
Over to you
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve taken any of these courses! Let me know of any others I’ve missed in the comments below!