Duration: 10 consecutive weeks until 15th December
An important aspect of thi wurd is our engagement with writers who are new to writing fiction. Over the years many completely new writers have read at our events alongside established, and sometimes very well-known authors. So, the creation of introductory courses has long been important to us. There’s something particularly magical in seeing beginner writers work with major elements such as voice, characterisation, story, dialogue and a range of narrative techniques. It’s exhilarating to watch people become better writers.
If you’re a complete beginner or a nervous beginner, this introductory class is an excellent place to start. No prior knowledge is required. No prior writing is required. We’ll start with the basics. The opening sentence. How stories – long and short – are structured. Why stories need conflict. How to render interiority (thoughts). The roles of narrators and perspective. What narrators do in first-person, second-person, third-person. We’ll build from there and go to a lot of interesting places.
Our beginners classes don’t assume a lack of ability. Instead, they assume that new fiction writers are already intuitive storytellers. The sessions help people put things down on the page. Our groups are supportive and people find themselves inspired, producing better writing.
Writers in Other Fields
Some people new to writing fiction might be adept in other fields of writing: journalism, poetry, essay-writing, memoir-writing, academia, etc. But often a major realignment in approach can be required in order to shift from one type of writing to another. This is another way in which these classes and groups can be particularly helpful.
At the start of a new course, I sometimes find myself trotting out the old line ‘this isn’t a taught class’. I need to stop saying that, because in fact there’s a lot of teaching involved (not just from me). But I say the line because, while tutoring a writing group calls upon a broad experience of reading and writing (and my twenty years of putting on classes), it’s essentially a very intuitive, responsive, nuanced, free-flowing and ‘live’ example of teaching. It about creating an immersive experience: cultivating a place where writers inspire one another. This can be achieved by sharing work, and through detailed critiques, and the discussion of published fiction. But often the teaching is about the tutor knowing when to get out of the way and listen as others share their ideas and processes.
The classes are seminar based, never lectures. We do critiques of participants’ fiction and examine published work. We improvise and talk. So much information is yielded from discussion and analysis. Often, during a session, I find myself scribbling notes as ideas form in my mind. Participants become better writers and readers, it’s always the case. It’s an exciting thing. At its purest, the class is a group of people sitting in a room, or online, talking about stories, looking at how stories work, where they fail, where they can be improved. And always pointing the way to the next draft.
New Course for October 2021
Our new online class ‘Introduction to Fiction Writing’ is thi wurd’s first beginners’ class in three years. It’s for people who want to start writing fiction from scratch. Equally, it’s for those who wish to begin writing more seriously. And it’s a place where people who haven’t written for a while can come to re-engage or sharpen skills: a place to rethink the basics. The sessions will be structured to suit the particular individuals who attend. All writers are welcome.
To reserve a place or make an enquiry, please email firstname.lastname@example.org