Achieve what you want to achieve from your writing, whatever stage you’re at
The depth of a university course at a fraction of the price
News, tips and essays from the teaching team
Maybe youâ€™ve always had a desire to write but never knew where to start. Maybe you havenâ€™t written since school, or youâ€™re going back to that novel you hid in a drawer and tried to forget about. Perhaps you see the world as a series of stories or scenes from a film but have never had the confidence to write. Or maybe youâ€™ve been writing on your own for a while and could use some helpful advice and honest feedback. Whatever your history, the Unthank School has a creative writing group that can help you explore your creative potential in a friendly and supportive environment.
Staffed only by published writers and professional tutors, we are an independent school that offers the depth and quality of a university course at a fraction of the cost. Our creative writing programme offers a range of affordable, accessible writing workshops that are suited to both the outright beginner looking to join a creative writing group, and the experienced writer working towards that final draft. Available both as evening classes and online courses that you can fit around your busy schedule, we provide introductory tasters as well as advanced creative writing workshops where writing groups can share and discuss work-in-progress in a convivial and sympathetic atmosphere. We have longer courses for novelists and an online course that specializes in historical fiction. For script and screenwriting, we have courses both in soaps and serials, at introductory and advanced workshop level, and an online course in film scriptwriting.
Our tutors have a wealth of practical and industry experience, all being published and acclaimed writers, professional editors and university lecturers. We can help you achieve what you want to achieve from your writing, whether itâ€™s to experiment and play, complete a commercial blockbuster, produce soap opera episodes as part of a team or compose a literary or unusual novel.
Our first step is always to work out what you want to achieve. Are you still working out what you want to say, or are you polishing up a final draft to impress an agent? Are you working in a distinct and specific genre, like fantasy or crime, or are you going off somewhere on your own? Are you better suited to the novel or the short story? We can help you decide.
Whatever it is that you need, we will always work outwards from what you want to do. We have no other artistic agenda beyond that you achieve your aims and enjoy your writing and your time with us.
Writing is a way of life and a state of mind. We are here to help you negotiate your way through and find your voice and your vision.
‘Now into my third term of evening classes with USW the experience remains the highlight of my week. I am pleased and gratified by the dedication to the course, the increasing quality of the writing and the level of constructive criticism drawn from the group under Ashley’s empowering coordination.’
‘Stephen has given me invaluable and in depth advice and suggestions on the exercises, and I am amazed that indeed, I do have the will and tools to do this. I would highly recommend this course to anyone, Stephen’s knowledge of the writing industry is incredible and his encouragement has really helped me to focus on bringing my ideas to life.’
‘The great thing about working with someone who has the depth of industry experience that Lilie does is that, almost as soon as she spots a problem with your script, she sees a solution too. Her feedback is always clear, I’ve had everything from ‘boring’ to ‘cracking’ as a note so I’m left in no doubt as to what is (and isn’t) working! ‘
‘The whole course was stimulating, exciting and highly rewarding. I feel I have learnt a lot about developing character and dialogue, and that I have got better at the craft of writing. This is all down to the excellent direction and guidance provided by Lilie Ferrari.’
‘The course â€˜How to Write a Novelâ€™ by Stephen Carver is a gem you rarely come across. Stimulating exercises and a systematic approach to the elements of prose writing are complemented by the tutorâ€™s commitment and encouragement – for everyone. Iâ€™ve written more within five weeks than I would ever have thought possible. I can see my novel taking shape. Thank you.’
‘Tuesday nights are the main reason I write. Ashley’s advice is always spot on and the support of the group is invaluable.’
‘I have been attending Unthank workshops non-stop for around a year and a half. The group’s regular critical engagement with my work has played an important role in my development as a writer, as has the opportunity to read and discuss the writing of other participants.’
‘Under Ashleyâ€™s guidance and with the help and support of a vibrant and entertaining group of fellow writers, I have learned so much. Through a process of peer review, the issues tackled have included plot development, characterisation and use of language â€“ all within lively sessions that are always welcoming, constructive and hugely enjoyable.’
‘Iâ€™ve attended a number of Unthank School courses and look forward hugely to each session. I always come away having learned something and the workshops definitely give focus and structure to my writing.’
‘Incisive, witty, thought-provoking, straight-talking, and so much more. Ashley and Sarah ticked all the boxes for me. Worth every penny, with a sharp critique of the Great American Novel to boot. Highly recommended for all budding novelists. And the best biscuits in town.’