Online Course

Fiction: The Essentials (Level 1)

Mark McNay or Eliza Robertson
Course starts 8 January
12 weeks

This 12-week course is designed for people who have little or no experience of writing short fiction. It is also for those who have written some short fiction and who would like the guidance of an experienced writer to develop their craft.

Learn how to:

  • generate and develop ideas
  • use your memory and imagination in developing your story
  • weave your observations and sensory perceptions into your writing
  • create vivid characters
  • structure a plot
  • grasp the essentials of writing authentic dialogue
  • describe setting and place
  • begin the process of negotiating characterisation within plot
  • read like a writer

Find out more about how Creative Writing Online works by downloading the brochure.

Level 1 Fiction is taught by Mark McNay and Eliza Robertson, both published writers with extensive teaching experience at the University of East Anglia and beyond. You can choose your tutor during the application process.

How to apply

To apply for Level 1 Fiction, please fill out the application form below. Along with your contact details and your choice of course, you will be asked to complete the following exercises:

  • Mark McNay - Describe an incident from your life that had significant consequences (300 words)
  • Eliza Robertson - Describe a place that holds significance for you (300 words)

Once your application has been submitted, a member of the WCN team will be in touch within 10 working days to confirm whether you have been successful. You will then be sent a payment link for your course.

Application deadline: Monday 18 December 2017

Mark McNay's course

Mark McNay was brought up in a mining village in central Scotland. He read literature at UEA and there discovered a talent and love for writing. His first novel, Fresh, won the Arts Foundation New Fiction Award 2007 and the Saltire First Book of the Year Award. His second novel, Under Control, was shortlisted for the Aye Write award in 2009. Mark’s short fiction has been long listed for various prizes, and has been broadcast on Radio 4. Mark has taught writing at UEA and Anglia Ruskin University.

"The course leads very well through the intricacies of idea creation and the stages of writing. Mark gives very good constructive feedback."

Fully booked! 

Read Mark’s course outline

Eliza Robertson's course

Eliza Robertson studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the University of East Anglia, where she received the Man Booker Scholarship and Curtis Brown Prize. In 2017 she won the 2017 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. She has also won the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Journey Prize and CBC Short Story Prize. Her debut collection, Wallflowers, was shortlisted for the East Anglia Book Award, Danuta Gleed Short Story Prize and selected as a New York Times editor's choice. Her first novel, Demi-Gods, comes out with Penguin Canada and Bloomsbury this autumn.

"Eliza was incredibly generous, encouraging and insightful.”

Fully booked! 

Read Eliza’s course outline

Got a question? Email or call +44 (0)1603 877177