Welcome to the Advanced Creative Writing Course at SA Writers' College.
Do you want to know more about the technique of writing fiction? When you have learned and practiced the craft of writing, you have the skills you need to make the story you write on paper resemble the story you have developed in your head.
Our Advanced Course in Creative Writing is designed to take the tools you acquired in the Basics Course and teach you how to use them in more sophisticated ways to achieve mature, polished writing.
The course consists of three modules, and takes between three and six months to complete. Detailed notes are accompanied by a set of exercises to be completed in Module 1 and 2. Module 3 consists of exercises and a final scene, which will be rewritten according to the tutor’s recommendations.
**Please note that this course is only open to graduates of our Basics of Creative Writing Course who attained a minimum pass mark of 75%.
- Modules: 3 Modules
- Duration: Course can be completed at own pace: between three and six months
- Start date: At any time; applications all year round via our website
Student must complete:
- 20 writing exercises and a final scene of 1500 - 2000 words
- Student must be a graduate of our Basics of Creative Writing Course
- Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required
Tutor for this course : Helen Brain
Module 1 - Dialogue
- Practicing the three layers of dialogue. Writing internal dialogue.
- Writing good dialogue: Using dialogue to show characterisation, mood and backstory.
- How dialogue is used in fiction: moving the plot forward, building suspense.
Module 2 - Characterisation
- Building up strong characters using dialogue, action and description.
- Ways to introduce a character.
- Using metaphor to show character.
- Your character’s interactions.
- Back stories
- Exploring your emotions as a way of developing strong characters.
Module 3 - Atmosphere and Mood
- How to use description to build mood and atmosphere.
- Writing a 1500-2000 word scene using the skills of dialogue, characterisation and atmosphere that you have learned so far.
How does the course work?
The course consists of three modules. Detailed class notes covering the content of each module are e-mailed to students.
At the end of each section, students will be required to complete writing exercises. In total, the course includes 20 short writing assignments, all of which count towards the final result of the student.
Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete. The next module will then be e-mailed to the student.
Conditions of Certification:
Students will receive an SA Writers' College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:
- Students must have completed all writing assignments
- The course must have been completed within six months of registration.
- Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course
Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:
This is hard to predict, as some people are simply faster writers than others. However, the course should take 3 months to complete with allowable extensions up to 6 months.
Feedback on this course from past students
“The assignments were fun, and set out with clear instructions and perfect examples. I’ve learnt a lot! I had no hesitation starting the Advanced Creative Writing Course after I had finished the Basics Course, and I’m so glad I did. Helen is an incredible teacher! She always gives constructive, intelligent feedback in a very encouraging way, and I could tell she put a lot of time and effort into marking my work. Helen’s expert guidance in this course is invaluable for anybody wanting to further their writing abilities. I have much more confidence in my own writing, editing and storytelling, all thanks to this course. I would recommend this course along with the Basics of Creative Writing Course to anyone wanting to start a writing career or just polish their skills. It was immensely fun and very rewarding.” Jared Aisher, Advanced Creative Writing
“I would describe the course as honest and accessible, with clear answers. Helen always had professional and prompt replies to queries and her expectations were always made clear. Thank you Helen. The Creative Writing Courses I have done with the Writers’ College were very useful and have helped me improve my writing skills.” Ann Wickens, Advanced Creative Writing Course
“I’ve learned a number of useful tricks and tips for writing. Thus I’ve achieved my goal. Helen’s a lunatic; you need someone of her calibre when it comes to creative writing. She’s someone who thinks outside the box and gets the job done. Like sands in the hourglass, I am now a digital watch.” John Crofts, Advanced Creative Writing Course
“I enjoyed my experience on the course thoroughly and learned a great deal. Helen was amazing. I wish all tutors were as straight-forward! Her feedback was easy to follow and I find myself wondering how I could have not seen the mistakes she pointed out before. I feel capable (albeit intimidated by the industry) and inspired to tackle new objectives. Overall I would describe the course as inspiring and invigorating! It's just the weapon I need to tackle my ambitions instead of longing and dreaming. It showed me that I am capable when armed with the right tools and knowledge.” Gratia-Mari Joubert, Advanced Creative Writing
“My experience with the course was excellent. My writing confidence has increased and more importantly, my writing skills have improved. Helen was fantastic. She gave constructive criticism and clear direction which improved whichever piece I was writing. Completing both the Basics and the Advanced Creative Writing course has been life-changing for me. My experience with The Writers’ College has been 100% positive.” Deborah Forbes, Advanced Creative Creating
“I walked away from the course with a deeper respect for all writers out there, as well as some self-confidence in my own abilities. I've learnt just how much work goes into producing a scene that people will enjoy reading. Helen is not only a gifted writer but an exceptional teacher. She has the ability to help you create writing pieces with heart and soul. She'll tell you if she thinks you're heading off in the wrong direction and encourage you to produce something more authentic that readers can connect with. If you've ever been curious about what goes into making a great story I strongly recommend taking up a course with The Writers’ College - you won't be disappointed.” Suze Kolaczynski, Advanced Creative Writing