Northamptonshire Writing Courses
*** Six online courses now available (many more to follow)
and they’re currently just £1 or $1-2!!***
I currently teach eight different topics for Northamptonshire County Council’s Adult Learning Department at various venues around Northamptonshire, England. These are currently:
- creative writing – beginners (1-day only)
- creative writing – intermediate (10-week and 1-day)
- writing genres (1-day only)
- plan and write a novel (10-week and 1-day)
- short stories (1-day only)
- editing your fiction (1-day only)
- eBooking (1-day only)
- blogging (1-day only)
I will, however, be introducing new creative writing courses – in addition to those listed above – for the 2016/17 academic year including:
- fact vs fiction
- starts, middles and endings
- plot scenarios
- locations, locations, locations
- creating convincing characters
- dynamic and distinctive dialogue
- getting to grips with grammar
- writer’s block breaker (how to avoid / fix when you get it)
- poetry for beginners
- and the short story and novel courses will be combined as they share similar traits.
If you are local (or are not but can’t get to them) and are interested, do email me. The courses are listed below (and I shall be running them online from late spring 2015). 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 (creative writing and I.T.) but the others (creative writing) are 10-weekers, starting from the dates shown below. The main difference between a one-off and 10-week course is that you will create a larger body of work over the 10-week period (at least ten new pieces / starts per course) rather than two or three than on a 1-day (creative writing only), as well as receiving feedback on up to 1,000 words a week on the 10-week courses… so that’s up to 10,000 words!
You can book the forthcoming courses* via NCC’s website: here for the creative writing courses and here for the IT courses+. The 10-week courses (10 x 2 hours) are currently £105 and the 1-day Saturday courses (6-hour) are currently £35 (slightly more where food is provided), bookable via the Council’s website (links also on each course title in the tables below). There are remitted fees for unemployed etc. and these run at £30 and £12.50 (more where food is provided) respectively. You can also call the council on 0300 126 1000 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm (charged as a local rate call).
PLEASE NOTE: There is a maximum places of 16 for the creative writing and 12 for the IT courses with a minimum number of students (five) 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 (these are based on the six-hour Saturday courses, so the ten-week courses will vary, especially upon the needs of the class, with part tuition, part reading and feedback, and I will be setting homework between each two-hour session). 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.
- This course will run (as 1-day and 10-week courses) in the 2015/2016 academic year (details and booking links in the grid below), running on:
- Saturday 7th May 2016 (Kettering) – currently 12 spaces remaining.
- 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.
This course will run as a 10-week and 1-day in the 2015/6 academic year (details and booking links in the grid below), running on:
Monday 9th May 2016 (10-week in Northampton) – currently 13 spaces remaining
Saturday 14th May 2016 (Towcester) – currently 11 spaces remaining.
- Short Stories and Flash Fiction*: Identify the elements needed to create a good short story or piece of flash fiction. Utilise different strategies for sparking inspiration to write stories. Write a 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.
This course will run as a 1-day course only (details and booking links shown below) on:
Saturday 28th May 2016 (Corby) – currently 16 spaces remaining.
- Plan & Write a Novel*: Identify different writing styles, techniques, genres and forms. Produce a synopsis, book jacket blurb and tagline for your novel. Discussion of planning / plotting your novel. Look at beginnings, middles (and how to avoid a saggy one!) and endings. Software used to write a novel and other helpful aids. Write the beginning of your novel and discuss its impact (1-day course) or write the first draft (10-week course). 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 novel course will be concentrating on that format of fiction writing only, from planning to writing; the opening on the 1-day course or potentially the first draft of the whole novel on the 10-week course.
This course will run as both 10-week and 1-day courses in the 2015/6 academic year (details and booking links in the grid below) running on:
Wednesday 27th April 2016 (10-week in Northampton) – currently 10 spaces remaining.
Saturday 4th June 2016 (Towcester) – currently 15 spaces remaining.
- 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.
This course will run as a 1-day (Saturday) course only in the 2015/16 academic year (details and booking links in the grid below) running on:
Saturday 21st May 2016 (Ecton, Northampton) – currently 16 spaces remaining.
Saturday 9th July 2016 (Stanwick, Wellingborough) – currently 15 spaces remaining.
- 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. This will next run (details and booking links in the grid below) on:
Saturday 2nd July 2016 (Blakesley & Woodend Village Hall) – currently 16 spaces remaining
- 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.
This course will run as a 1-day course (tuition alongside practice) in the 2015/2016 academic year (details and booking links in the grid below), next running on:
Saturday 18th June 2016 – currently 5 spaces remaining.
- 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.
This course run only as a 1-day course in the 2015/2016 academic year (details and booking links in the grid below), running next on…
Saturday 11th June 2016 – currently 7 spaces remaining.
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 below (then below that is a breakdown of what I’m teaching when).
2015 / 2016 Courses – in Date Order
(booking links in orange below):
NB. Mon / Wed are ten-week evening sessions, Sat are one-off 1-day courses.
Do email me for specific venue details and / or more information.
|Plan & Write a Novel||27.04.16||Wed||19:00||21:00||Northampton|
|C/W – Beginners||07.05.16||Sat||10:00||16:00||Kettering|
|C/W – Intermediate||09.05.16||Mon||19:00||21:00||Northampton|
|C/W – Intermediate||14.05.16||Sat||10:00||16:00||Towcester|
|Editing your Writing||21.05.16||Sat||10:00||16:00||Northampton|
|Short Stories & Flash Fiction||28.05.16||Sat||10:00||16:00||Corby|
|Plan & Write a Novel||04.06.16||Sat||10:00||16:00||Towcester|
|eBooking for Beginners||11.06.16||Sat||10:00||16:00||Northampton|
|Blogging for Beginners||18.06.16||Sat||10:00||16:00||Northampton|
|Editing your Writing||09.07.16||Sat||10:00||16:00||Stanwick|
The booking links will appear as soon as they are available. Do email me if you have any queries or need more information.