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!

301 comments on “Contents

  1. Sherry Holliday on said:

    Thank you for taking the time to offer such a comprehensive course for free. I appreciate the opportunity to learn whether or not I have “what it takes” to write for a public. Even if I don’t, I’m sure I will be better able to communicate with myself.

  2. Shazneem Tamana on said:

    I write Erotica stories. Writing erotica scenes im fine with. I have problems in writing plots like situations that characters will go through. And also my grammer as I write on a Tablet but also got taken out of school at 16. I hope this free course will help me. Any tips? Thanks

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      There are lots of tips in the course Shazneem, just work through it. I also suggest you do a free online grammar course. There are lots of them out there if you just plug ‘free English grammar course’ into your search engine.

  3. Scott on said:

    I’m sure you get plenty of fantasy writers. I plan to write a series and want help in dialog and mapping out the big picture. What kind of things does the course teach about these elements?

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Scott, the contents of the course are all here. You can check it out before you start. There is a session on dialogue. There is also a session on what you call the big picture under the short story session.

  4. Jesus Christ on said:

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any solutions to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      I find it difficult to respond to anyone who calls themselves Jesus Christ seriously. And I would not be surprised if nearly every site you leave comments on deletes you or spam filters you immediately. Why put yourself in that position? It’s stupid and childish. However, to my surprise your comment actually sounds legitimate and answering it might help other students on this course. People reguarly steal my material too. The internet is taking a long time to formulate a workable copyright infringement strategy. If you have enough money you can sue someone who has infringed your copyright. But you will need to sue them in the country in which their domain is registered. Sometimes though people use other people’s material without realising it is an infringement. This happened to me recently. When I sent a message to a blog owner who had ‘stolen’ one of my articles, she was very apologetic and said she hadn’t realised. I agreed that she could use a paragraph from my article then put a link to my site for the rest of the piece. Othertimes though people know exactly what they are doing and don’t care. So unless you have the money, resources and will to carry through a civil law suit there is not much you can do. For more on copyright see my free course on non-fiction writing

  5. You’re not completely without recourse on copyright infringement – ultimately you can appeal to the offender’s service provider. Depending on who that is and where they’re located, you may be able to force the content to be removed or the relevent hosting account suspended. You may also be able to get search engines to de-list the offending site.

    I believe there’s a process that needs to be followed, involving the issuing of ‘take down’ notices and such. Of course there’s no guarantee of success, so ultimately you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth the stress and hassle of following up, or simply get on with creating more content.

  6. Edith D. Duberry on said:

    Thanks for the guidance. I am about to start on my writing journey.

  7. ilo stories on said:

    Back a few years ago I read this one short story where a girl runs away from her family. After a while she returns but finds her family doesn’t recognize her because her family really never got to understand her or even get to know her. And also because other girls have come back pretending to be her.

    If anyone could tell me what story this is, that would be wonderful!

  8. D. Smith on said:

    I use my early morning writing time to write my short stories. When I finish a “short” should I also use my writing time to edit or continue to write other things such as my journal writing or the exercises in my writing books? I guess what I’m asking is how to split time between writing and editing.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      I prefer to do my editing the day after writing. I edit what I did the day before then move onto fresh material. But each writer is different so in the end it’s up to you.

  9. pooja alshi on said:


  10. Colin Hall on said:

    At times in your life you realise that someone has completed a piece of work better than anything that you could produce yourself. Synechdoche, New York [Life Meaning]; Annie Hall [Warm Comedy]; My Funny Valentine by Chet Baker [Misplaced Love] … etc etc etc …

    What do I have to give that’s worth a damn ?

  11. Freda Prince on said:

    Hi Fiona,
    I am delighted to have found this course; it will be a great help to me; I have had a poem published, and have written others, but i very much want to attempt writing a novel, and have many story lines in my head from the experience of where i am now living, but find it a bit daunting to make a start. I have been looking through my advanced dictionary for vocabulary connected to my experiences here.
    Thank you for taking the trouble to help the likes of myself and others who need some assistance.
    Freda Prince

  12. I love creative writing and I really want to get a good education I’m Mia and I’m ten years old creative writing is my dream take this for instance e.g mr pugh said to amilia ”what is 20×6” amilia looked puzzled. so I’d love to continue that story I might make it big someday big indeed.

  13. Andréa on said:

    I have started it today and so far I am very glad with the result. Thank you very much for offering us this opportunity.

  14. Billionron on said:

    Dear Sir,

    I am very interested in the freeonline writing courses that you offer. Can you please advise me on the proceedures. Looking for an early reply. Thank you.


  15. Sermantha on said:

    Hi Fiona,
    Thanks for the free writing course, which I recently completed. I am almost done with the Christian writing course as well. I have learnt quite a lot.

  16. Patrick on said:

    I used to write constantly. I have constant ideas but several years ago I started watching television a lot and now I’m impatient with the speed of writing and I seldom read. I’d like to get back to it, though, which is why I’m looking at this.

  17. Jackson Kabanda on said:

    Thanks. I feel I need it all. I need the skills, the knowledge and the motivation to get started. I sometimes feel challenged to share with the world my experience(s) of life. Since am able to listen speak, read I should be able to write. Surely, this can get me on board!

  18. Macanoly V.Q. on said:

    learning Creativity is such a trail to the wonder of life and your course the step to gather us together.

  19. Barbara on said:

    Please send the second session to my email as I got this through Blooming Late/Facebook.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Barbara, this is a free online course that I have simply put up as a favour to new writers. What there is online is all that there is and that is the only way to access it. Please visit and you will find it.

  20. Susan on said:

    Hi. I’m not so much interested in learning what to write about as I am in learning how to “stop” writing. I have a severe case of verbal diarrhea do everything I write is far too long. This can be aggravating especially to people on forums because the messages are two or three times as long as everyone else’s.

    Do you know of any course that focuses particularly on that problem? Mine is so serious that I can write 35 pages in a few hours so I desperately need to know how to put on the breaks!


    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      No sorry Susan I don’t. But if you go through this course and stick to the word counts given, that might help.

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