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Northamptonshire Writing Courses

*** Seven online courses now available (many more to follow)
with five currently half price and two FREE!!***

aaa-morgen-smallI teach thirteen different topics for Northamptonshire County Council’s Adult Learning Department at various venues around Northamptonshire, England. These are:

  • blogging
  • creating convincing characters
  • creative writing – beginners
  • creative writing – intermediate
  • dynamic and distinctive dialogue
  • eBooking
  • editing your writing
  • fact vs fiction
  • getting to grips with grammar
  • locations, locations, locations
  • novels & short stories
  • plot scenarios
  • writer’s block buster (how to avoid / fix when you get it)

If you are local (or are not but can’t get to them) and are interested, do email me or complete the form at the end of the page. The courses are listed below (and I shall be bringing them all online in the next few months). I have been teaching writing groups around Northampton since 2005 so it’s especially exciting to bring my skills to a wider audience.

The Saturday courses are one-offs per term with some repeated within the same academic year. You can book them via NCC’s website: HERE for the creative writing courses and HERE for the IT courses+. You can also call the council on 0300 126 1000 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm (charged as a local rate call). Each Saturday course is 6-hour (10am to 4pm) are currently £49.20 (slightly more where food is provided), bookable via the Council’s website (links also on each course title in the tables below). Unfortunately there are no remitted fee rates as the one-day courses are deemed as hobby and not subsidised.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a maximum places of 16 for the creative writing (12 at Towcester) and 12 for the IT courses with a minimum number of students (six) required for each course to run, with the decision (by NCC) made three weeks before the course starts, so please do book early. If you have any queries before booking, please do email me.

I have been writing (and studying) for ten years, have written 400+ short stories (mostly flash fiction), seven novels (will be doing my eighth this November for NaNoWriMo), some poetry and non-fiction writing-related articles. See Morgen With An ‘E’ and Books: mine for more details. I am also a freelance editor.

The courses, venues and dates are below but first a little about each course. Every course I run will have handouts so you wouldn’t spend time worrying that you’ll miss something or get distracted writing every word down. So, without further ado, here are the details:

  • Creative Writing – Beginners*: Identify different writing styles, techniques, genres and forms; including novels, short stories, flash fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, monologues, dialogues, and non-fiction. Writing tips, advice on editing etc. Produce a short piece in a style and form of the student’s choosing. Review own work and that of others with a critical eye. What to do next; publication, competitions etc. Advice of ongoing support including online and in-person writing groups.
  • Creative Writing – Intermediate*: Develop new (and existing if appropriate) prose works-in-progress and writing techniques (grammar, punctuation, dialogue, description, narrative drive etc). Discuss other areas of fiction pursued or aspired to. Writing tips, advice on editing etc. Review own work and that of others with a critical eye. What to do next; publication, competitions etc. Advice of ongoing support including online and in-person writing groups.  In summary, the intermediate will cover various formats and techniques (in the 10-week course this will depend upon the requirements of the group), with a mixture of writing-on-the-spot, tuition and in-class feedback. There are variations of this course for anyone who has attended one before so you can keep coming back to the intermediate and still learn new things.
  • Novels and Short Stories (includes Flash Fiction)*: Identify the elements needed to create a piece of flash fiction, longer short story or a novel. Identify different writing styles, techniques, genres and forms. Produce a synopsis, book jacket blurb and tagline for your novel. Utilise different strategies for sparking inspiration to write stories. Write the beginning of short story or flash fiction utilising plot and characters. Learn how to edit a story so that it says what you really want it to say. Writing tips, advice on editing etc. Review own work and that of others with a critical eye. What to do next; publication, competitions etc. Advice of ongoing support including online and in-person writing groups. 
  • Editing Your Writing*: To assist learners who have written fiction and non-fiction in editing their pieces to a submission standard. Identify the elements needed to fine-tune flash fiction, short stories, novels, and non-fiction. Edit a previously-written piece so that it says what you really want it to say.  Write a short fiction piece utilising characters, dialogue, plot and setting, then edit it (group participation). Write a short non-fiction piece, then edit it (group participation). What to do next; publication, competitions etc. Taught through tutorial and exercises, with an emphasis on learners tapping into their own creativity. Group work and discussion encouraged. Handouts distributed. 
  • Writing Genres: A course looking at specific prose genres (poetry is included in the ‘Creative Writing for Beginners’ course).
    The 1-day (6-hour) course will look at crime, women’s fiction, historical, science-fiction, and humour, with some writing on the spot and feedback.
  • Blogging for Beginners*: An overview of some of the available blog sites including WordPress, Blogger / Blogspot, Weebly, Google Sites, Tumblr – free and payable options. Identify different blogging techniques (finding the right site for you) and applying content within the social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc). Design your site, create new posts / website pages, and answer reader comments.
  • eBooking for Beginners*: Design your eBook text format and cover. Learn how to upload your eBook on to Amazon and Smashwords (including iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader). Price and promote your eBook including Amazon’s KDP Select Program and on the social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc). Tax issues for UK-based authors. Options for self-publishing your book in paperback format.
  • Fact vs fiction: To identify the use of fact in fiction and the limits our readers will believe, as well as writing and analysing non-fiction pieces, with encouragement for group participation and to produce new writing. a) Discuss life experiences that could be used in factual or fictional pieces. b) Examine traditionally published works, concentrating on believability (including group discussion). c) Develop an existing work-in-progress with an emphasis on the accuracy of facts used. d) Create one or more new pieces and review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group participation). e) Distinguish different submission and publication opportunities, and what to do next.
  • Starts, middles and endings: To introduce learners to techniques for creating ‘hook’ beginnings, satisfying endings, and dealing with saggy middles, with encouragement for group participation and to produce new pieces. a) Creating a variety of compelling beginnings for flash fiction, short stories or novels. b) Identify uninspiring story middles and how to fix them. c) Ensure a story’s ending concludes so the reader is satisfied (includes a discussion on open-ended flash fiction and twist endings). d) Review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group participation). e) Distinguish different submission and publication opportunities, and what to do next.
  • Plot scenarios: details t.b.a.
  • Locations, locations, locations: To introduce learners to different techniques for realistic locations (settings) in creative fiction, with encouragement for group participation and to produce new pieces. a) Identify techniques for creating believable settings within fictional frameworks. b) Examine locations used in traditionally published pieces (including group participation). c) Develop an existing work-in-progress and / or start new projects with an emphasis on the settings used and review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group participation). d) Distinguish different submission and publication opportunities, and what to do next.
  • Creating convincing characters: To introduce learners to different techniques for creating convincing and compelling fictional characters, with encouragement to produce new pieces. a) Identify different techniques for creating characters that readers can identify with and care about. b) Examine established characters (including group discussion). c) Develop an existing work-in-progress and / or start new projects with an emphasis on the characters involved. d) Review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group discussion). e) Distinguish different submission and publication opportunities, and what to do next.
  • Dynamic and distinctive dialogue: To introduce learners to different techniques for creating realistic and impacting dialogue in fiction, with encouragement for group participation and to produce new pieces. a) Identify techniques for creating believable dialogue within creative fictional frameworks. b) Examine dialogue used in traditionally published pieces (including group participation). c) Examine an existing monologue and create a new piece as a standalone or to be incorporated within a longer body of work (including group participation). d) Develop an existing work-in-progress and / or start new projects with an emphasis on dialogue and review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group participation). e) Distinguish different submission and publication opportunities, and what to do next.
  • Getting to grips with grammar: To introduce learners to techniques for improving grammar for creative writing and everyday life, with encouragement for group participation and to produce new pieces. a) Identify techniques for improving a variety of aspects of grammar. b) Create one or more short pieces of fiction, then review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group participation). c) Create one or more short pieces of non-fiction, then review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group participation). d) Distinguish different submission and publication opportunities, and what to do next.
  • Writer’s Block Buster (how to avoid / fix when you get it): To introduce learners to techniques for avoiding writer’s block when creating new pieces, and fixing stalled works-in-progress, with encouragement for group participation and to produce new pieces. a) Identify a variety of techniques for ideas to create new pieces. b) Develop current works-in-progress that have stalled or are uninspiring. c) Discuss traditionally published works with a view for improvement. d) Create one or more new pieces and review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group participation). e) Distinguish different submission and publication opportunities, and what to do next.
  • Scriptwriting for beginners: details t.b.a.
  • Poetry for beginners: To introduce learners to different forms of poetry, with encouragement to produce new pieces. a) Identify different forms of poetry, concentrating on shorter forms during the course. b) Develop an existing poetry work-in-progress and / or start new projects. c) Review own work and that of others with a critical eye (including group discussion). d) Distinguish different submission and publication opportunities, and what to do next.

***

All courses are taught with a practical approach encouraging learners (students) to take notes, practice new skills, ask questions and explore the topic. Group work and discussion encouraged. Handouts distributed. If you have any queries or need more information, please complete the form at the end of this page, or you can email me if you have any queries or need more information.

The remaining courses of the spring term are (the links will take you to the relevant course booking page):

Summer Term:

Fact vs Fiction 22/04/17 Sat Daventry
Writing Fiction – Beginners 25/04/17 Tue Northampton
Creative Writing – Plot scenarios 27/04/17 Tue Northampton
Creative Writing – Beginners 29/04/17 Sat Badby
Novels & Short stories 06/05/17 Sat Burton Latimer
Crime Writing for Beginners 13/05/17 Sat Daventry
Writer’s Block Buster 20/05/17 Sat Sywell
Creative Writing – Intermediate 10/06/17 Sat Northampton
Creative Writing – Plot scenarios 17/06/17 Sat Kettering
Creating Compelling Characters 24/06/17 Sat Little Houghton
Dynamic and Distinctive Dialogue 01/07/17 Sat Towcester
Getting to grips with Grammar 15/07/17 Sat Sywell

and for the 2017-8 academic year…

Course title Start Day Location/ area
Autumn / Winter Term:
Writing Fiction – Beginners 12/09/17 Tue Northampton
Fiction – Characters, Settings, Plots (NEW) 14/09/17 Thu Northampton
Creative Writing – Beginners 23/09/17 Sat Wellingborough
Novels & Short stories 07/10/17 Sat Burton Latimer
Fiction – Characters, Settings, Plots (NEW) 14/10/17 Sat Daventry
Writing Fiction – Intermediate (NEW) 04/11/17 Sat Wellingborough
Writing Fiction – Intermediate (NEW) 07/11/17 Tue Northampton
Fiction – Dialogue and Description (NEW) 09/11/17 Thu Northampton
Fiction – Dialogue and Description (NEW) 11/11/17 Sat Daventry
Blogging for Beginners 02/12/17 Sat Northampton
eBooking for Beginners 09/12/17 Sat Northampton
Spring Term:
Fiction – Characters, Settings, Plots (NEW) 09/01/18 Tue Northampton
Writing Fiction – Beginners 11/01/18 Thu Northampton
Creative Writing – Beginners 13/01/18 Sat Sywell
Novels & Short stories 20/01/18 Sat Towcester
Fiction – Characters, Settings, Plots (NEW) 27/01/18 Sat Kettering
Writing Fiction – Intermediate (NEW) 03/02/18 Sat Little Houghton
Fiction – Dialogue and Description (NEW) 20/02/18 Tue Northampton
Writing Fiction – Intermediate (NEW) 22/02/18 Thu Northampton
Fiction – Dialogue and Description (NEW) 24/02/18 Sat Stanwick
Blogging for Beginners 17/03/18 Sat Northampton
eBooking for Beginners 24/03/18 Sat Northampton
Summer Term:
Writing Fiction – Beginners 17/04/18 Tue Northampton
Fiction – Characters, Settings, Plots (NEW) 19/04/18 Thu Northampton
Creative Writing – Beginners 21/04/18 Sat Wellingborough
Novels & Short stories 05/05/18 Sat Stanion
Fiction – Characters, Settings, Plots (NEW) 12/05/18 Sat Daventry
Writing Fiction – Intermediate (NEW) 09/06/18 Sat Corby
Writing Fiction – Intermediate (NEW) 05/06/18 Tue Northampton
Fiction – Dialogue and Description (NEW) 07/06/18 Thu Northampton
Fiction – Dialogue and Description (NEW) 16/06/18 Sat Wellingborough
Blogging for Beginners 23/06/18 Sat Northampton
eBooking for Beginners 30/06/18 Sat Northampton

 

3 responses to “Northamptonshire Writing Courses

  1. Teresa Amos

    January 6, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Morgen
    Really enjoyed your 10-week course in Northampton last term. Have prepared some work for you to edit but have been struck down by a bit of Christmas inertia so a slight delay! Am unable to commit to an evening class this term but am extremely interested in some of the Saturday classes outlined above and will definitely be signing up for a few of these during the summer term.
    See you then!
    Warm regards,
    Teresa

     
    • morgenbailey

      January 6, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you, Teresa. It’s been a pleasure having you in my classes. I’ve really enjoyed your enthusiasm, and I look forward to meeting up with you again. Maybe my weekday blog exercises will help eliminate the inertia that, I’m sure, is hitting a few of us.

       

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