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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A guest post by H. C. Gildfind

There are infinite online articles debating the ‘merit’ of creative writing courses. This is evidenced, for example, by the many articles responding to Hanif Kureishi’s apparent declaration that creative writing courses are (despite the fact he teaches one) a ‘waste of time’ because most students are talentless and simply can’t tell a good story. Kureishi’s claim kicked off an entirely predictable debate where professional writers, writer-teachers, students and nobodies-in-particular argued whether writers are ‘born’ or ‘made.’

The following article is not going to engage in this debate because, as Nell Stevens notes, the debate has been ‘done…to death.’ What follows is simply a description of how formal writing courses are taught, and what they have done for me as a writer. View Post


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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A guest post by Kristyn M. Levis

I have never met my publishers. I have been signed with them for three years now and we have never been in the same room together. As I am based in Sydney, Australia, it is virtually impossible for me to pop into their office in Manila, Philippines, for a meeting. Strangely enough, the arrangement still works thanks to the power of technology. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning. View Post