About Us

The Unthank School of Writing was founded in 2011 to provide affordable and accessible creative writing courses in Norwich and beyond. Drawing on our tutors’ well-honed professional experience, we started with a general introductory course in fiction writing and the now highly successful and unique Advanced Fiction Workshops run by Ashley Stokes. Soon after, we added a twenty-five week Writing the Novel course taught by both Ashley Stokes and Sarah Bower. Here, both the workshop and the critical element, in which the group reads a novel paragraph by paragraph with the tutor, proved very popular with students. We were later joined by Dr Stephen Carver, who added a range of online creative writing courses to our programme. In 2013, we held our first Unthank School of Writing Project U event, where our students read excerpts from their work to a large and appreciative audience at the Old Library in Norwich. In 2017 we organised our first residential writing break at Dunston Hall, Norfolk.

Our Tutors

Our tutors have all written successful books, short fiction and essays. Skilled at passing on their knowledge, our tutors are approachable, available and have tested and practical creative writing techniques to share with you. All have tremendous experience as practising writers, editors and university lecturers. We believe that writing and talking about writing should be exciting and energising, not an ordeal We provide a lively, unpretentious place to learn, socialise and meet other writers of all stripes. As a team, we are by far the most experienced group of tutors teaching creative writing in Norwich today.

We Will Help You Find Your Voice

In a similar way to Unthank Books, the Unthank School aims to bring new voices to the fore. Our approach is student-centred and eclectic. We work out what you want to achieve with your writing and work with you to attain it, whatever its genre. The most important thing to us is the writing itself and the process by which you shape it. We do not burden our students with the unnecessary self-appraisals common in institutionalised creative writing courses. Neither do we grade work-in-progress as we feel this is adds extra pressure to new writers. All we aim to do is help you find your voice and finish your projects.

The Friendly Alternative

Our creative writing classes and online creative writing courses offer a friendly, sociable and intimate alternative to what often can be a lonely and dispiriting solo journey. Both our classroom and online creative writing courses have a reputation for being relaxed and fun as well as rigorous and focused. Many of our writers have started to see their work in print and we have a lot of contacts and ideas about who to approach with your work when it’s ready. We believe that talking about reading and writing is exciting and stimulating, the best way to spend an evening.

Unthank Books

We are related to Unthank Books, one of Britain’s most exciting independent publishers. This connects the Unthank School to a nationwide, freethinking literary community. Several of our students have placed their fiction in Unthank’s Unthology series of short fiction compilations and did so on merit. All Unthank School students will be eligible to submit their work to UnVeiled, a forthcoming series that will showcase the writing developed by the Unthank School. We also hold a quarterly reading event in Norwich, Project U, one of which a year is dedicated to students of the Unthank School.

Our simple aim to help you improve your writing one step at a time. We achieve this by providing the quality of a university creative writing course at a fraction of the cost.