Creative Writing – Brighton (Year 1)

Programme length
Two years

Dates & times (please select one of the following days)
Monday afternoon 1pm – 3.30pm (limited spaces)
Tuesday evening 6.30pm – 9pm (FULL)
Friday morning 10am – 12.30pm (FULL)

Autumn: 30 September – 15 December 2019
Spring: 6 January – 22 March 2020
Summer: 20 April – 24 May 2020

Dates for 2020-2021 will be given in the summer term of 2020

£995 per year

Course fees for the year can be paid in full, in advance, by 1 September 2019 or by instalments (over 6 or 9 months). You will be charged a non-refundable administration fee to join an instalment plan which is payable at the time of booking.

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

Entry requirements
No formal qualifications required

Programme tutors
Dr Mark Slater (programme director), Catherine Smith, Susannah Waters, Rosie Chard, Dr Beth Miller, Hannah Vincent, Lizzie Enfield, Christine Harmar-Brown, Umi Sinha

The Creative Writing Programme in collaboration with New Writing South

Two years: One morning or one evening for 25 weeks per year

Course overview

The Creative Writing Programme has been carefully designed to develop your understanding of the craft of writing, to provide you with the support and structure you need to push your skills to another level and to complete a planned writing project. Whether it is a novel, a novella or collection of short stories, your course tutors will teach you the writing techniques you need to complete your work, offer you focused written feedback and help you set realistic deadlines.

In your first year you will reflect on the sources and themes of your own writing: develop a greater understanding of your own creativity and the creative process; learn how to create dynamic fictional characters; discover ways of enhancing the dramatic impact of your fiction and explore the different ways in which stories can be told. In the second year the focus will shift from short scenes to longer narratives: you will develop your understanding of plot, story structure and the ‘world of the story’; explore the complex relationship between characters, narrators and readers; discover the importance of theme, conflict and dramatic tension and gain further insights into language, technique and style.

Throughout the course you will continue to explore all aspects of characterisation, deepening your understanding of the function and role of character as you move from short character sketches to multi-character scenes to the complex interaction and character development of longer narratives. You will be shown ways to enhance your own creativity, hone your critical and editing skills and develop your eye for a good story. In the writing workshops, you will share, discuss and evaluate your work with the other writers in your writing group.

By the end the programme you will have significantly increased your understanding of how to write good fiction, have developed a substantial body of work and have either finished your 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.

Over the course of the two-year programme you will work closely with two of our tutors. On each course you will be offered one-to-one tutorials and a Weekend School and at the end of the programme you will be given the opportunity to discuss your work with a publishing professional.

What this programme 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. It is an ideal programme for writers who want to write a novel, a collection of short stories or an experimental piece of imaginative prose and are looking for structure, encouragement and feedback to help them achieve this.

All you need to bring to the programme is your imagination, a love of reading, a passion to write and the determination to succeed.

Jess’s perspective

‘I’d been secretly writing short stories for years but lacked the confidence to show anyone else my work. The creative writing programme is ideal for developing confidence – it’s a combination of giving and receiving feedback from peers, great tutors with fantastic writing exercises, knowledge of theory, technique, and the publishing industry. My tutor, encouraged me to send off stories in the first term, and as a result I ended up with seven short stories in print in different publications. By the end of the programme I had almost completed my first novel Snake Ropes. Through the Agents and Publishers Day on the programme I met an agent who liked my work. I have now published two books with Sceptre, ‘Snake Ropes’ and ‘Cooking With Bones’.

If I’d been asked a couple of months before starting the course if I’d ever feel able to write a novel, I’d have said no. Doing the Creative Writing Programme really helped me to realise my potential.’

Jess Richards – novelist

What is required of me?

You will need to be able to make a two-year commitment. Over these two years you will need to organise a minimum of twelve hours per week for reading and the development of writing activities and exercises: this includes seminar time, writing time and reading time. You will also need to have access to a computer with email and an internet connection as the programme uses an internet learning site to allow students to keep in touch outside of the taught sessions. Reading, writing and researching exercises will be regularly set outside of seminar time.

How are seminars structured?

Each weekly writing seminar runs for two and a half hours. Seminars will include a mix of practical writing exercises, discussion of work written in the seminar and discussion of published texts, group work, tutor led feedback and taught sessions.

Programme Structure

Course 1. Approaches to Writing
Autumm Term 2019: 10 weekly writing seminars (two and a half hours), tutorial and a Weekend School (late November)

Through workshops, practical exercises, group discussion and feedback, you will explore the fundamental principles of storytelling and discover ways of enhancing the dramatic, sensual and visual impact of your writing; explore your own creativity and the ways in which you can realise the dramatic potential of your ideas; understand the importance of writing for your reader and learn the fundamentals of good characterisation. There are reading, researching and writing exercises each week, both at home and in class. At the end of the term, you will produce a portfolio of short pieces of creative writing for creative and critical comment from your tutor and will discuss your work and progress with them in a one-to-one tutorial.

Course 2. Tactics for Writing
Spring and Summer Terms 2020: 15 weekly writing seminars (two and a half hours), tutorial and a Weekend School (early March)

You will experiment with different narrative modes, tenses and viewpoints and explore the subtle nuances of perspective that can be achieved through their careful and consistent application. You will explore the techniques and structures used in prose fiction and gain a greater insight into the way scenes are structured and the different ways in which characters and readers can be positioned in relation to the action of a story. At the end of the course, you will take part in a short series of writing workshops in which you will read and discuss your own work in progress and the work of the other writers in your group. At the end of term, you will submit work for constructive appraisal from your tutor and will have a one to one tutorial with them to discuss your progress and plan your writing project for the second year.

Please see year 2 Programme for details of Course 3 and Course 4

Term dates
Autumn: 30 September – 15 December 2019
Spring: 6 January – 22 March 2020
Summer: 20 April – 24 May 2020

Dates for 2020 – 2021 will be given in the summer term of 2020

This course is now fully booked. Please email to join a waiting list.

Enrolment re-opens in spring/summer 2020. Sign up for our newsletter to receive information and hear about other opportunities from New Writing South.

Location: Jew Street, Brighton BN1 1UT, UK

  • Creative Writing Programme logo


30 September 2019 - 24 May 2020

£995 per annum (Deposit: £100)

Creative Writing Programme