A writing exploration of the city: an online creative writing course
21 October – 25 November 2013 (6 weeks)
An exciting and practical online creative writing course to deepen your understanding of a sense of place in both fiction and creative non-fiction, and introduce you to new ways of looking at and engaging with the urban landscape. The writing course is devised to stimulate your creativity and keep you writing, and will include practical exercises, critique, craft tips, and a close look at relevant literary texts. All participants will be included in an anthology to be published later in the year.
“…fiction depends for it’s life on place.” Eudora Welty
Write Around Town
is an opportunity to look closely at the role of place in the way you write and the themes of your work, as well as being a chance to examine, through writing, the centrality of place to the creation of characters in fiction. So, whether it’s for you or your characters, you’ll be sent out to walk, paddle, eat and write in the city you’re in. You’ll be encouraged to use the city itself – from the Zoo to the Art Gallery – as a rich resource for personal and fictional stories. No matter where you live or what time of day or night you like to write or wander the streets, Write Around Time: Online is a writing adventure that will inspire and surprise you.
For the 6 weeks of the course, weekly writing prompts and exercises will be sent to your Inbox, or, if you prefer, to your mail-box at home. The exercises will teach you how to map a character’s (or your own) journey through the city; look closely at the ways in which an environment impacts on psychology; and explore the symbolism in various aspects of the urban landscape. Whether you’re working on fiction, science-fiction or memoir the writing exercises are devised to suit all genres and cities!
“Sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception…” Rebecca Solnit
You’ll be encouraged to share your work with other course participants, and will receive regular feedback from the course tutor. Each participant will be offered detailed feedback on one short story written during the course to suggest ways of
expanding and refining the story. The course can be done in real time, or you’re welcome to save the exercises for when you’re ready to write. You can follow the exercises and prompts in the city or town you live in, or take them with you on holiday or while you travel. All course content will be relevant to any urban environment.
Writers in remote or rural places are very welcome to join, too!
Together with generating a significant amount of writing, we will also look at extracts from the works of writers who have used the city as setting and inspiration, and, in turn, explore ways of using those texts to roam the city in the name of adventure, discovery, and a deeper connection to the places we know (or think we know) so well.
All participants will be included in Writers in the Crowd II, an anthology of writing in the city. A dedicated and password-protected blog will be set up for the course and all participants will be invited to share their work. The course is aimed at writers of all levels who are looking for new ways of writing about the city, or who have a particular interest in a sense of place in fiction and non-fiction, or who just
need that extra nudge to write more.
All participants will:
- get weekly exercises and prompts
- be included in an anthology of city writing, Writers in the Crowd
- be able to contribute to the course’s dedicated blog
- receive detailed feedback on a story written during the course
- be encouraged to interact with other writers online
limited to 16 participants
Course tutor: Shaun Levin is the author of Seven Sweet Things, A Year of Two Summers, and Snapshots of the Boy. His most recent work is a fictional biography of the London-born painter, Mark Gertler. He has taught writing for twenty years in
colleges and other settings, and run workshops in cafes, art galleries, bookshops, parks, a cemetery, and a zoo. Shaun is passionate about exploring the landscape, the sea, the urban environment, as well as other art forms to enrich our stories and take writing to new and unexpected places. He has lived in London for the past fifteen years and has made the city an integral and important part of his work. Shaun is also the founding editor of the literary journal, Chroma, and is the director of Treehouse Press.
Dates: 21 October – 25 November, 2013
Venue: Online and wherever you are
Fee: £180 (£150 early-bird booking before 15 August)
Previous participants said:
- “I like the exercises, they have ample content but are not too rigid, a nice balance.“
- “I love that it’s online as I can fit it into my daily life.”
- “The feedback to one another is very helpful and an interesting variety of people/writers contributing.”