Start Writing Fiction 2018

Start Writing Fiction is a free online course offered by The Open University. The eight-week program focuses on a skill which is central to the writing of all stories and novels – creating characters.

Participants will hear from a number of successful authors, including Michele Roberts, Alex Garland, and Louis de Bernières, as they talk about how they started writing. The rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal will also be explored.

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The Sustainable Arts Foundation is offering $5000 awards to writers and artists with children. The money can be used for costs such as child care, workspaces, new equipment, research and travel.

The Sustainable Arts Foundation was founded in 2010 with the aim of encouraging parents to continue pursuing their creative passion, and to rekindle it in those who may have let it slide.

In 2018 the foundation will award $5000 each to twenty artists and writers who have demonstrated excellence in their disciplines. The awards are offered as unrestricted cash, and recipients can use the funds as they see fit.

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Learn about character, conflict, context and craft with a New York Times Bestselling Author

Daniel José Older is a very busy person. Since he stopped being a full-time paramedic in New York City in 2014, Older has published five novellas, three books in his Bone Street Rumba series, the first two books in his Shadowshaper series and in April of this year he released his first Star Wars novel, Last Shot, which serves as a tie-in to Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Thankfully for us, he has also made time in his jam-packed schedule to launch a new eight-part short course with online learning community Skillshare. Creative Writing Essentials: Writing Stand-Out Opening Scenes utilises the first and last drafts of the opening scene of Older’s urban fantasy novel Shadowshaper as a case study. He uses this to break down the anatomy of a scene and provide useful exercises to help you analyse character, movement and structure. Students who complete the course will learn about the tools needed to build gripping opening scenes and write cohesive stories.

We have fifty FREE passes for this class to giveaway.
Update: All free places have now been claimed but you can still participate in the course by signing-up for a free two-month premium Skillshare membership. Other writing classes available on the site include Older’s first Skillshare class on Character, Conflict, Context, and CraftWriting from Memory with Ashley C. Ford and Creative Nonfiction with Susan Orlean.

To find out more about Daniel José Older visit his website and follow him on Twitter.

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Study Fiction and Inclusion with Iowa’s International Writing Program

Iowa’s acclaimed International Writing Program is offering a new free online course focusing on fiction and inclusion.

The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa is a “unique conduit for the world’s literatures, connecting well-established writers from around the globe”,  Its principal program is its Fall Residency; since 1967 over fourteen hundred writers from more than 150 countries have participated.

In 2014 the International Writing Program offered its first MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). These courses, funded by the University of Iowa and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, welcome all participants; no application is required and there is no charge for enrollment. In its first year alone, 15,789 readers and writers from around the world participated in these online courses.

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The Jan Michalski Foundation is inviting applications for its third annual writers’ residency program. The residencies take place at the foot of Switzerland’s Jura Mountains and the selected writers each live and work in modern treehouses.

Writers from around the world are invited to apply, and applications from new or emerging writers are welcome. In 2019, a percentage of the residences will be dedicated to nature writing. Residencies can run from between two weeks and six months, and the length of stay should match the scope of the project.

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