Creative Writing Courses

Years ago, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. During my school days, English lessons allowed me to dream and write some of those dreams down onto paper.

The summer after I left school, I wrote a book. I was 16 and didn’t feel confident enough to know what to do next. So, instead of editing it, I wrote another one.

Then another.

These three books were pushed into the loft space to gather dust.

A few years ago my wife forwarded me an email from work. Our union were paying for members to enrol in a creative writing course: Start Writing Fiction – a 12 week course with the Open University.

Needless to say, I signed up and ended up completing the Diploma in Creative Writing. It gave me the confidence to write more, but more importantly, the skills required to re-draft and edit my stories. I now enjoy re-drafting my work as much as I do dreaming up the characters and the plot.

That one course, stimulated my creative side again. Gave it a nudge towards chasing my dreams.

So, if you’re thinking about boosting your skills, think about giving studying a try.

Might be the kick-start your writing needs.

What are your experiences with learning your craft? Any course you’ve done that you recommend or are you just learning as you read and write?



This is my C post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Halfway through the first week already! A list of all my A to Z Blogging Challenge posts are to be found here.

My pictures for today are Coastal:

Runswick Bay (10)

Runswick Bay. A great little, err, bay up from Whitby.

Staithes (11)

Staithes another place oop north of Whitby

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
This entry was posted in A to Z Blogging Challenge, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Creative Writing Courses

  1. bronbloxham says:

    Great post, Pete. It is often tough to get the momentum up to take that first step to study… you wonder if you’ll be good enough. I also ended up at University as a Mature Aged student (and I felt it at 24!) but it was one of the best things that I ever did.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚

      Mine was a correspondence course, but we did have a few lectures and whilst there were a few youngsters in their early twenties a few were retired so a nice balance.

  2. Jane Gorman says:

    Thanks for the post. I took a creative writing course a few years ago, after I realized how much time I was spending writing in my free time. It wasn’t the best class for me – not exactly what I was expecting – but I did meet other people who also wanted to write and we formed our writing group. So in the end I got so much out of it!

  3. Stepping forward into further study can be one of the most rewarding things a person can do! I agree, it can certainly change your life.

  4. I agree that taking a class or two can kick start the creative process or hep a writer move through a difficult point in their project. Mary Carroll Moore has several online classes dealing with structure which are very good. I’ve been lucky enough to take two of her classes in person.

  5. I’m looking to take a Creative Writing course when I get back into school. Thus far, I’ve only taken Literature classes, but I love those just as well, as I am drawn to Classic writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, and Jane Austen.

  6. Summer Ross says:

    I really enjoy writing courses. The provide some much needed inspiration with a deadline. Great post.
    My A-Z

  7. Joe Owens says:

    Those are beautiful coastal pictures. i never have been anywhere that looks like this, but I believe I would greatly enjoy it if I ever do.

  8. ocdreader says:

    Gorgeous pics! I loved my creative writing courses which were years ago now, because it forced me to write and get comments when I felt the pieces were nowhere near ready to share. I need something similar to kick start my creative process and to force me to sit at my computer to put ideas to paper. hmmm

  9. Love the pictures, and another great post. Sounds good – getting paid to write.
    Reading willed the pen into my hand years ago, and ideas poured onto the paper (just silly drafts). Took some classes later and acquired some skills. Now I belong to a critique group and a reading group, and that helps keep everything nice and focused.

  10. Love the pictures. Good advice on taking writing courses. I wish I had done that early in my career.

  11. Miriam says:

    Definitely, courses help. You can learn all the tips alone, but you get so much more by learning it with others.

  12. I did a creative writing module when I was at university and realised that I loved it, so carried it on and studied M.A. Literature with Creative Writing. I’m so glad I did that as I was introduced to Oulipo (the theme for my A-Z challenge), and I learnt so much about the craft of writing; it’s invaluable. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without having studied the craft of writing.

  13. Ooh. I wanna go there.

  14. Cynthia says:

    Hello from A to Z. It sounds like you belong to an awesome union. Congrats on earning your degree.

  15. I think most writers have a similar story. We are not confident enough in the beginning to take the risk. I think a writing course is a great idea.
    Denise at Organization and Inspiration for Fellow Writers, participant of A to Z Blogging Challenge

  16. I took an interesting editing course from Holly Lisle that I’d recommend, otherwise most of my writing class experience has been of the workshop variety.

  17. Maribeth says:

    What a neat story. You were destined to come back to writing and the class was the avenue that brought you back. I took two courses with the ICL and I loved them. They set me on the path to writing and helped me understand the craft more than I could have learned on my own.

  18. Julie says:

    It’s wonderful that you completed that course, and finally got to put your books to good use. Beautiful photos!

  19. I undertook a four week Unlocking Creativity creative writing course last year. It was a great group of people with a lot of talent and writing ambitions. The best thing I learned was just to keep your moving. Ideas first, them editing. It was extremely worthwhile.

  20. I really want to do the OU course, might do at some point.

    • Pete Denton says:

      The only problem with the OU courses are that the prices have rocketed this year. I enjoyed both courses particularly as the final CW one went through Plays and Screenplays and I’ve always wanted to write scripts. πŸ™‚

  21. auntyamo says:

    Am about to sign up for Tribe Writers with Jeff Goins.
    You heard of that one…?

  22. rtd14 says:

    These are beautiful pictures! You sound like you experienced a writing adventure similar to my own. I wrote my first novel in the seventh grade. I count it because I completed it. Many blog posts ago, I wrote about how many I have written. I think the total is four or five, but Sons of the Edisto became my serious commitment and the one with which I grew up in the writing sense.

    What a wonderful experience to take a Creative Writng course! Congrats on its completion! I am happy it has given you more confidence! ~Becca

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks. Adventures indeed πŸ™‚

      We should get marks for perseverance at least. I’d count anything where I’ve finished a draft. They are merely stepping stones to finishing your latest project. Good luck with Sons of the Edisto.

  23. I love water scenes. Great pictures.

    I’ve never taken a creative writing class, but I’ve considered it.

  24. cassmob says:

    Great tip Pete! Creative writing courses can all sorts of problems -it certainly helped me when writing my family history with a section I was writing about a place…I used a fictional piece to show about the place (and made it clear it was fictional though the places were real). I don’t think my abilities lie with creative writing all the time but how great that the course helped you so much. Like any skill, it’s a case of try, try again.

  25. EllaDee says:

    I’m running a bit behind reading but I’ve enjoyed your A-Z challenge posts and getting to know a bit more about you and your writing, plus the photos. As they say, your’e “rocking” this challenge πŸ™‚

  26. Great tips Pete. Just catching up (or attempting to) via the A-Z challenge.

    • Pete Denton says:

      I know what you mean. I need to do some serious catching up on other blogs when this A to Z challenge is finished. Only two more posts to go! πŸ™‚

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