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Beginners Creative Writing

Beginners Creative Writing (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Joanna Pocock


Have you ever wanted to know how the elements of prose work? What makes for compelling writing and what leaves readers out in the cold? And what are the best strategies for getting published? This beginners’ creative writing class is just the place to find out!

Through in-class exercises, readings, workshopping and plenty of constructive feedback, you will explore the basic elements of writing in a variety of genres from flash fiction and the classic short story to narrative non-fiction and more experimental forms. This course will involve some walking and writing on the subject of “place” within the urban environment. (Anyone with mobility issues can let me know and I will make sure they are accommodated.) By the end of the week students will have some wonderful pieces of writing under their belts and a lot of practical information to help them take their work to the next level. The focus will be firmly on literary fiction (short stories and flash fiction) as well as narrative non-fiction (memoir and essays). We will read examples from some of the best writers across many genres from the essays of Joan Didion and Maggie Nelson to the flash fiction of Lydia Davis and Dave Eggers, the classic short stories of Raymond Carver and Shirley Jackson to the nature writing of Barry Lopez and Rebecca Solnit as well as work by Teju Cole, Robin Wall Kimmerer and Brian Dillon, among others.

This course will enable students to flex their writing muscles, do some psycho-geographical exploration and find their literary voices in a fun, focused and supportive environment. This is the perfect class in which to try your hand at writing in various genres and in different styles. We will also discuss pitching and approaching editors for both online and print media.

Topics covered

  • There will be discussions on technique, with particular emphasis on point of view, characterisation, dialogue, structure, and the process of editing
  • We will explore different genres of writing from essays to flash fiction and much in between by reading and discussing classic examples of each genre
  • The course has a strong workshop component, which will enable students to become comfortable with reading and sharing work
  • Students will benefit from feedback from both the tutor and colleagues

This is an unmissable opportunity if you want to take the first steps in finding your voice and working out a style of writing that best suits you.

Who should take this course?

People with little writing experience who want to experiment with different forms.

Entry requirements: A willingness to explore the craft of writing and a very good command of the English language.

Level: Beginners

Please note that all courses scheduled until 11 September 2020 will take place in an online classroom. Courses starting after this date will be held in our onsite classrooms.

For more information on Online Short Courses please see the below information.

All our Online Short Courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes
  • Lesson recordings, for review
  • Access to VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • Certificate upon completion

Further details about preparing for your online course, and the equipment you need, can be found here.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

Joanna Pocock graduated with distinction from the Masters in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications in the US and the UK, such as The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, Orion Magazine, Dark Mountain, The Times Literary Supplement, the New Statesman, Dazed & Confused, and 3:AM, among others. She has taught Genre Fiction at Bath Spa University and Life Writing at the University of Roehampton, where some of her students have gone on to win substantial literary awards. In 2018 she won the Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize. Her book-length essay ‘Surrender’ was published in May 2019 by Fitzcarraldo Editions. House of Anansi published 'Surrender' in Canada in 2019 and it will be appearing in the US in April 2020. 'Surrender' is currently being translated into French, Spanish and Italian and has been included on University syllabuses. Joanna has lived in Canada, the United States and Britain and brings a global perspective to her writing and teaching.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • Pencil or pen and paper

Available dates

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