Creative Non-Fiction Programme, Brighton (Year 2)

Programme duration

This is the second year of a two year course

Times: Tuesdays, 1pm – 3.30pm (Brighton)

CWP Term dates:
Autumn: 28 September – 11 December 2020 (10 weeks)
Spring: 11 January – 26 March 2021 (10 weeks)
Summer: 19 April – 24 May 2021 (5 weeks)

Venue: The Writers’ Place, 9 Jew Street, Brighton BN1 1UT

Programme tutors: Dr Mark Slater (programme director), Hannah Vincent, Holly Dawson, Dr John Donoghue

This course is now sold out. Enrolments for 2021-22 will open in spring 2021



The Creative Writing Programme in association with New Writing South

Course Overview

There are limited places, subject to availability on the second year of the Creative Non-Fiction programme in 2020. You would be joining a group of writers who have already spent a year working together developing their work. If you have worked in a writing group before, have taken courses at university level, or you are working on a memoir or similar project, this course will help you to focus and develop your work.

In the second year the focus will shift from shorter scenes to longer narratives: you will delve into the meaning of memory and imagination; explore complex matters of form and authenticity; develop your understanding of life writing structure, and gain further insights into language, technique and style.

Throughout the course you will continue to explore aspects of character and setting, learning to negotiate memory and constructs of time in relation to life writing. You will be shown ways to enhance your own creativity, hone your critical and editing skills and develop your eye for good life writing. In the writing workshops, you will share, discuss and evaluate your work with the other writers in your writing group. By the end of the programme you will have significantly increased your understanding of how to write well, have developed a substantial body of work and have either finished your life writing project or be in a position to bring it to completion.

The programme is delivered through weekly seminars in which you will develop your writing technique through practical exercises, readings, discussion of published work and group discussions led by your tutor on different aspects of the writing process. All our courses are supported by interactive learning sites where you can access seminar notes and exercises as well as a Writer’s Forum in which you can contact other writers in your group, share work and information about events and contact your tutor. You will have the option of attending Weekend Schools run by visiting writers and of attending Publishing Day where you can discuss your work with a publishing professional and find out more about the process of preparing a manuscript for publication.

What this course will do for you

This programme will develop your confidence and ability as a writer. Through discussion and experimentation, in practical work guided by your tutor, you will learn how to improve the quality of your writing; develop your creative and critical skills; organise and manage your work and develop a strong individual style.

This is an ideal programme for writers who want to write autobiography, biography, historically researched fiction, autoethnography, travel writing, diaries, journals, comic writing, blogs, a collection of short stories based on true events or experimental pieces of imaginative life writing and are looking for structure, encouragement and feedback to help them achieve this.

Course Three: Story and Form

Autumn Term 2020

10 weekly writing seminars (Autumn Term) and tutorial

In this course you will explore a number of different approaches to narrative structure for life writing and consider what might govern choice of form. You will examine classic narrative structure, beginnings, middles and endings, transitional scenes and turning points but you will also look at the particular demands of shaping ‘true’ stories – taking into account matters of authenticity, integrity and the life writer’s intent. The role of prefaces and other framing devices will be discussed. Writers will be led carefully through the process of deciding on form – each writer will consider their and/or their subject’s vulnerability, their readers’ expectations and the fulfilment of the story’s potential. You will also continue to make progress on your life writing project and will give and receive criticism of your own and other’s work in progress. At the end of this term, you will submit work to your tutor for a written critical appraisal and will have a tutorial with them in February 2021.

Course Four: Life Writing Workshops

Spring and Summer Terms 2021

15 weekly writing seminars, plus Publishing Day (Optional – usually end of May)

This part of the course is designed to offer you further insights into writing technique especially in the drafting and re-drafting of texts. It will focus on the structural editing of key scenes as well as developing your editing skills and appreciation of sentence and paragraph construction. In the second part of the course, the writing workshops, you will focus your attention on critical appraisal of the writing process, both on the level of prose and the level of story. In this final part of the programme there will be a series of writing workshops in which longer pieces of work, written by you and other writers in your group, will be read and discussed. At the end of the course you will have the option of attending Publishing Day where you can get advice on preparing work for publication and discuss your work and different routes into publication with visiting literary agents and publishing professionals. In July you will submit a final long piece of work to your tutor for written critical feedback.

Key facts

Venue: The Writers’ Place, 9 – 10 Jew Street, Brighton, BN1 1UT

Programme length: This is the second year of a two year programme.

Times: Tuesday morning 10am – 12.30pm

Term Dates:

Autumn: 28 September – 11 December 2020 (10 weeks)
Spring: 11 January – 26 March 2021 (10 weeks)
Summer: 19 April – 24 May 2021 (5 weeks)

Entry requirements: Applicants must be able to show that they have sufficient prior experience of working at the level required for the second year of the Creative Non-Fiction Programme.

Fee: £995 per annum (Fees can be paid in full or in monthly instalments over 6 months)
Fee includes a non-refundable deposit of £100

Weekend Schools (optional) £30 per session (5 hours)
Publishing Day (optional) £50

Tutors: Dr Mark Slater (programme director), Dr Hannah Vincent, Holly Dawson, Dr John O’Donoghue

This course is now sold out. Enrolments for 2021-22 will open in spring 2021


This course is now sold out. Enrolments for 2021-22 will open in spring 2021. If you have any further enquiries about the programme, please contact

Update July 2020: Given that social distancing measures are currently in place, all courses delivered by the Creative Writing Programme will be taught online via Zoom for the first term. The Creative Writing Programme will take a decision about teaching in subsequent terms based on government guidance at the time. Before booking a course with the Creative Writing Programme please ensure that you have access to a computer/laptop connected to the internet with a video camera (most modern computers have one built in).

All tutors on the Creative Writing Programme have experience of teaching online and there is a secure and stable system for providing this service built into the Creative Writing Programme website.  Participants will be given a simple step by step guide to accessing the Zoom platform and advice and support from our tutors and IT staff. Moving classes online will not have any significant effect on the structure or content of the class.

  • Creative Writing Programme logo


29 September 2020 - 18 May 2021
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

£995 per annum (Deposit: £100 non-refundable)

by NASA Earth Observatory via Wikimedia Commonswriting-hand