A ten-week creative writing workshop
Conceived as a focused but playful space for writers to develop their work in a supportive and friendly environment, these creative writing groups are something of an Unthank School of Writing institution.
In small, tutor-led groups, students bring an excerpt from work-in-progress to share with fellow writers. There’s a schedule, so everyone knows when their slots will be at the start of the session, though this isn’t so inflexible that students can’t swap times if something comes up. Each ten-week session ends with a plenary session where students can read their favourite passage of prose they’ve completed during the course and discuss what they’ve learned and their ways forward.
Is this creative writing workshop for me?
The Advanced Fiction Workshop is suitable for any writers with a little experience.Â Students can work on novels at whatever stage, short fiction, life writing or anything that could be considered in some way creative writing in prose. Group and tutor feedback is given on the larger elements of form, plot, style, voice and tone as well as attention given to details and nuances, niceties of language, effectiveness of phrase.
Advice is also given on managing a writer’s routine and schedule and how to draft and edit fictions of whatever length. Further discussion of the work can continue throughout the week via email. The tutor is always available to offer advice or listen to specific questions. We also have a lot of contacts and ideas that we can share when writers reach a stage where a submission to a publisher or journal is the next natural step.
We are eclectic and inclusive. There is no restriction on genre. If you’re writing a crime or a fantasy novel, we can help. If you’re writing a short story collection or an experimental literary novel, we can guide you through that as well. This creative writing workshop is a great way to learn not only about genres you might be unfamiliar with but also how to learn lessons from these genres that may be applied to your own work however different it may be. As with all Unthank School creative writing groups, the emphasis is on what the writer wants to achieve. We tailor our criticism to what stage you are at. If you’re at the first draft stage, we’ll concentrate on the story’s flow and structure, the material and the depiction of characters. We feel here that overemphasising close editing can stultify a project before it’s fully begun. However, in later draft work we do put every sentence under the microscope to see if it creates the right effect and has the desired impact.
These advanced creative writing groups are a good option for writers who have completed an introductory course but who now want to experiment further and work on their own stories or projects. They are also extremely useful for more experienced writers whose work is at a later stage, who need advice on honing and final draft polishing. It’s also a great place to discuss your favourite books and authors and any adventures in writing you’ve had since the last session.
What’s the atmosphere like?
The atmosphere of these fiction writing courses is extremely relaxed and enjoyable. They have an esprit de corps we’ve never experienced before. There’s a strong social element and a sense of everyone providing honest, helpful feedback and learns as much from each other’s experience as from their own. The ten-week structure of the Advanced Workshop allows writers to take a break when he or she feels the need to work alone but then rejoin when the support of a creative writing group is required.
All Advanced Fiction Workshop students have the opportunity to read at Unthank’s Project U School event once a year and to submit to work to UnVeiled, the forthcoming Unthank School journal.
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. The group welcomes a diversity of styles and genres, avoiding preconceptions about the ‘correct’, but rather helping each writer polish their technique according to the needs and conventions of the material they are working on. In my experience the workshops are supportive, honest and stimulating.
– Tim Sykes
It’s easy to book your place
It only takes a minute to sign up for an Unthank School writing workshop. To book your place on the Advanced Fiction Workshop, click ‘Book Your Place’ at the top of this page and enter your details on the following screen. Payments are processed securely via PayPal.
Once you have created an account, your tutor will reach out (usually within 24 hours) to confirm your place on the course and welcome you to the Unthank School of Writing.