Check out some books by your tutor Fiona Veitch Smith … (click on the book covers to find out more)

fiona-veitch-smith-the-jazz-files fiona-veitch-smith-the-peace-garden fiona-veitch-smith-david-and-the-hairy-beast fiona-veitch-smith-david-and-the-giant

free creative writing courseAre you a beginner writer? Do you know you want to put pen to paper but not know where to start? This eight-session online creative writing course will give you an introduction to the basic elements of creative writing, from prose fiction to poetry. The course is entirely free and you can work through it at your own pace. The exercises are designed to help you start writing and self-analyse your work. Feedback from a tutor will not be provided. However, you may ask questions along the way if there is something you don’t understand about how the course is put together. Post them in the comments box.  If you have any questions about how the course operates before contacting me please check out the FAQ list on the menu above which covers pretty much everything – and that includes how to get started and whether or not it’s really free!

Please note: This is a free course but that does not mean you will receive free critiques of your writing. The critiquing service mentioned in the FAQ is separate to this course. I do not give feedback on the exercises. If you would like me to give my professional opinion on your creative writing beyond this course please contact me for a quote. There is a link to these rates on the FAQ page.

And now, back to the fun (and free!) stuff. The creative writing course will cover:

  1. Releasing your Creativity
    Explore how to tap into your creativity, and whether you are naturally more inclined towards writing poetry or prose.
  2. How to write a short story
    A look at how writing a short story differs from writing a novel, and some tips on short story structure.
  3. Writing from a point of view (POV)
    How your choice of first, second or third person POV can have a dramatic effect on how readers engage with your story.
  4. Bringing your writing to life
    How to activate your writing and transform it into a sensual experience.
  5. Writing characters
    Writing complex, believable characters to inhabit your literary world.
  6. Writing dialogue
    Your voice as an author, writing dialogue between characters, use of dialect, and some tips on the mechanics of laying out your text.
  7. Poetry: how to write poems
    The basics of writing poetry – lyric versus narrative, structured versus free verse, rhythm and meter.
  8. Markets, competitions and opportunities
    How to further develop your writing by joining a writer’s group and entering competitions, and some tips on getting published.

the-creative-writing-coursebookI’ll mention helpful books and other useful resources as we go, which you can buy or borrow from your library – how you get hold of them is up to you, but try to get a look at them. If you click on the book cover it will take you to the book on Amazon. A very useful book on creative writing in general is The Creative Writing Coursebook. Please note however, this is not a ‘text book’ for this course – it’s just a book I have personally found useful. You do not need to get this book, or for that matter any book to do the course. But of course, it will help deepen your learning if you do.

Any questions? Then check out the Frequently Asked Questions page. Otherwise…

>> Click here to get started.

Happy writing!

306 comments on “Contents

  1. kristin on said:

    I want to write a book about some things I’ve been through and want to get back into writing and doing poetry.

  2. I want to write a book about my life and how organ donation has changed my life for the best. I don’t know where to begin! You opinion will be greatly appreciated.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Dodie. Firstly, very glad to hear about your good news re organ donation. Regards writing about it, my course on non-fiction writing, and particularly the session on writing an autobiography, might help you get started. Happy writing.

  3. Tracy KEELER on said:

    I enjoy writing. I have terrible grammar and problems with run on sentences. I am not as creative as I once was, but I want to write something. I have been sending comments or short stories about pictures posted by Writers.Org. Maybe I just like voicing my opinion. I am curious about the writing exercises. It seems I can comment on things, but have trouble with creating my own ideas.I look forward to the critiques if it will make me a better writer.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hello Tracy. Unfortunately you will not receive critiques from me on the exercises. It is a free course and if I had to give critiques I would have to charge. However, there is an option after you have completed the course to send a longer piece of writing to me for feedback. This is a paid service but entirely optional. The course is designed to encourage you to ‘self-critique’ your work as you go along. Hope you enjoy it.

      • You COULD match up the students in pairs, so that they could critique each others’ work.

      • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

        Feel free to reply to someone or ask if someone wants to team up with you. The course is what it is Rod. A FREE resource and gift. I don’t get paid for it. I’m sure it could be better, and if I earned money from it I could justify spending more time on it to improve it. But I don’t. If you read comments from other users you’ll see that lots of people have still found it beneficial just as it is.

  4. Paula Wilmer on said:

    Hello. I want to learn to learn to write letters and emails to prospective clients and always seem to get stuck when I try to write something unique that will capture my prospects interest and help me stand out from other salespeople.

    Are there elements of this course you would recommend over others?

    I look forward to your response.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hello Paula, this is not a business writing course so I’m afraid it won’t help you at all. It is for creative writing: short stories, poetry, novels. Hope you can find something better suited to your needs.

    • Every little bit helps. You might be surprised at the crossover — how an idea or technique from fiction writing comes in handy with your business writing. For example, every story begins with a “hook” whose job is to catch the reader’s attention, and every piece of advertising or other business writing should also have a hook. Some commercials have all the “plot points” found in full-length movies and novels. And the basics such as grammar and punctuation, of course, are the same for all types of writing.

  5. Marina B. Godfrey on said:

    I have dabbled in writing poetry, News articles and short stories since interested in fine tuning my skills. Have read a bit and sounds what I`m looking for. looking forward to the material in the course MBG

  6. Hello,

    I have a blog and I will like to make my writings more engaging. I will love to be able to teach relationship concepts in story form.
    This is the course I need?

  7. Pernicka steafnie on said:

    I just started this online courses and have had no problems. I do wonder though is anyone else just writing out answers in a note book? I can’t seem to find where there is a way to write these answers on line. If anyone has another idea please share or if I have missed anything.

    Kindest regards , S.pernicka

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hello Steafnie. You’re right, there is nowhere to write your work online. It’s not that type of course. Nothing gets marked. It’s just for your own benefit. So write wherever you like – notebook, computer etc. It’s up to you.

  8. Hello,
    first I would like to say that finding this website has proven to be a blessing to me. So thank you for all the amazing work you put into it. Secondly, i’m not an author but I do enjoy writting very much, it’s my secret hobbie, my passion. I’m always daydreaming about the life of my fictional characters and sometimes get lost in them, it’s addictive. My only problem is that everytime I start something, a draft, I tend to quit after a short while. I think i’m my worst critic! I can’t seem to enjoy what I write, and sometimes i’m unable to continue the story because my characters’ problems are similar to my own, that I have yet to overcome. It sound silly, I know!! I’m just about to start the online course, hope it helps me. Do you have any advice you can give me?
    Best regards

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Kathy, that is a fairly common problem. I would suggest you start by writing short, achievable pieces and force yourself to get from beginning to end. Tell yourself these are ‘throwaway’ pieces, like an artist doing initial sketches, to take the pressure off. This course should help you to do that as it gives short exercises. Good luck.

  9. Enakshi Roy on said:

    Hello..I was just wondering how this course actually works,through online or something else..
    Thank you.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Yes the course is online. Just read through the information on screen. It’s all there. Go to the home page to start.

  10. Laura Walker on said:

    I have always been a big fan of writers like Terry McMillan. I love the images she of all of her characters. I have images of my characters in my head but I can’t seem to get them to come together right on paper. I am hoping that this course will help me in this area.

  11. Wendy Pardon on said:

    Hello Fiona,

    My love of writing started in early childhood (trauma/abuse) It was my only safe place for ‘self-expression’. By high school, many people used to say I should be a writer, some even tried to persuade me to write a book based on my own personal life experience and philosophical mind. Unfortunately, a tragic event took place in my life between 2,000 and 2005. At age 41, I lost a big part of myself along with my true love for writing, something I never thought I would lose.

    You have inspired me through your words and reignited that ‘writer’s flame’ within me. For that, I am very, very thankful. I have just ordered through your recommendation, “The Creative Writing Course Book” through Amazon and will receive it in a few days. Once I have it in hand, I will enroll in your free creative writing course.

    Thank you once again for bringing life back to my heart – for writing! This is an exciting journey for me, one I feel is about to take new flight.

  12. Rebecca on said:

    Your “The Creative Writing Course Book” link is broken. Just wanted to let you know-especially if you receive anything from Amazon for it!

    I’ve been looking at your courses, and I thank you for making your advice free!

  13. Michaela on said:

    Hi! English isn’t my first language, but I’ve been writing in English for almost 4 years now and I love it so much that I’d like to become a real author and publish a book. (I’ve been writing mostly fanfiction, but I’ve written two original books too.) I’m turning 19 next week though, and I’m worried that I might never make it – I guess I’m inexperienced, which is why I want to take your course (thank you so much for making it free by the way) and I also read books in English (and everything else, like news, articles, etc.). I’ve heard of authors who used their second language for their books though, so I’m hoping to become one of them. I’d love to write sci-fi/fantasy/YA/LGBT books :)

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Writing in a second language will be a challenge for you you Michaela, but like you say, lots of writers do it. Others though write in their mother tongue and then translate. The principles of this course will help you either way. Good luck!

  14. Annette Alexander on said:

    I began writing a novel from feelings of past experiences with some fiction and I was able to write page after page. As the feelings that inspired me to start the novel began to go away, I could barely continue to write.
    I wrote a poem, but that was just written with very little feelings.

  15. kelly-marie on said:

    hi I would like to write about my life I had a pacemaker aged 13 and developed a chronic pain condition because a nurse went wrong in my aftercare and I’m now disabled and in constant pain ect ect I’m also a lesbian and have mental health problems I would like to write about my life and show people even with 24.7 pain or any illnesses you can keep going in life and also as a gay woman (aswell as because I’m disabled) I have come across so much judgement and being told I wont do anything with my life. I want to prove everyone wrong I love creative writing and it would be amazing for your advice

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Kelly Marie. This course is aimed for at fiction. The Crafty non-fiction course might be better suited to your needs.

  16. Collette on said:

    I have a blog and many journals and I’d like to be to write less choppy, and more than just stuff like, “I went to the store” and “Today was pretty.” Will this class help in that area?

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hello Colette, this course is aimed at fiction writing. Mainly short stories and novels. But it will help you develop your general writing style. YOu’ve got nothing to lose – it’s free!

  17. S. Maanasa M on said:

    Hello Fiona,
    I don’t have a problem with grammar and vocabulary but I cant concentrate on a particular plot. I usually have a problem creating character as I can’t put their physicalities properly.
    Please help.

  18. Catherine Spinola on said:

    Hello, I have always had a passion for writing. I have a longtime goal of writing a Children’s book. I have attended a Children’s Institute School, but was not able to finish the program at the time. I have had a very adventurous life, and want to share my stories. I am very interested and excited to take this course because it is a life goal, and so many people have told me I express myself very well with words.

  19. Morgan on said:

    Hi. I’m thinking of starting a series of short stories for children but unfortunately I have been out of school for a number of years; so I have problems with punctuation, grammar, even how to write a simple essay. I’ve looked through some of the course material but I can’t decide if the course is right for me or not… Should I be starting with a more basic course? E.G. an essay course if one is available? Or does this course also go over the basics of writing? I’m just very unsure of which direction I should go to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Once more so sorry for the terrible punctuation, I know it is something I need to work on. Thank you!

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Morgan, no this doesn’t go over the basics of grammar and punctuation. Try this

  20. Patrick on said:

    Hi, I would like to write about my past dark life and I’m not good in grammar and vocabulary, will, would you help me on this?

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Patrick, no this course does not cover that. There are lots of free online courses that do. Just type in ‘free English language courses’.

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