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. Shannon on said:

    this free course you have here… will it help me to become a professional writer in the future? I’m from a small town and I don’t have transportation to get me where I want to become a professional writer so I’m looking online for creative writing at the moment. Finish online and hopefully this ‘online’ creative writing could get me somewhere… so if you could just help me out on this online course and learning more, that would be great.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hello Shannon. No one can make you a professional writer except you. This course will teach you the basics of good creative writing and suggest ways you can take your writing further but the rest is up to you. Creative writing very rarely earns you money – or if it does, not much. If you want to make money from writing I suggest you try your hand at writing for non-fiction magazines. The sister course to this one can help you get started. It also shows you how to approach editors.

  2. Jcqueline Tasik on said:

    I am looking forward doing this course

  3. Oluwaseun David Coker on said:

    I want to deeply and sincerely appreciate this privilege given to understand the concept and technicalities of writing.
    It gives me a sense of belonging.
    Thank you so much.

  4. Yughur kpamor Dennis on said:

    I love writing, and I have been looking for a way to expand my scope of knoledge and my horizon in writing

  5. Marleen Akop on said:

    Hi Fiona,
    My name is Marleen Akop and I am from Papua New Guinea. I have written my first book which i launched last year. I have a passion for writing but i need to sharpen my passion with professional and creative writing techniques. Hence, i would like to take up your writing courses. Please register me as your student.

    Thank you,

    Marleen Akop

  6. John Phoenix on said:

    I am enjoying the course so far. But I am however stuck on exercise 3 in lesson 1,I can’t seem to process a prose idea. I am having a brain cart,and I did try what you suggested .like read a magazine or think of something funny happen to me or some one close. Is there any other techniques I can try?

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi John, inspiration can come from anywhere. Try visiting a museum or an art gallery. Sometimes just ‘people watching’ at your local park or coffee shop can spark an idea. (but don’t get arrested for stalking!) I sometimes find someone who looks interesting for whatever reason: they may look harassed, or particularly peaceful, or distracted. I then ask myself questions: who are they? what did they do today before arriving here? Why are they so peaceful / irritated / distracted etc? What are their hopes? What did they dream about last night? Any of these can spark an idea. Good luck!

  7. samaila Irimiya on said:

    Thank you for this opportunity.

  8. Clairissa Walker on said:

    I wanna learn how to write poetry. I have been doing it for years but I need help.

  9. Thank you for this great free course. I previously felt like a bird who wanted to jump out the nest of writing and soar through the story but as soon as i got toward the edge of the nest i lost an motivation to keep going and fly.

    I am 17 and have been literally writing for years and never realized it. I have wanted to get better at writing and just never could. Now with the help of this free course (the best kind of all!) in addition to other writing help i acquired, i have finally jumped out of the writing nest and flying is even better than i imagined it would be.

  10. I have gone through your course and it is great. I would like to help make it better if i can. I think that it would be beneficial to include a section that that considers different people way of writing. I do not mean the POV but the literal way that writers make their stories. For example I have personally tried a number of ways such as planning the whole story plot first or many times I catch myself grammatically fixing after two or three paragraphs.

    Now though i have found that having a rough idea of the beginning of a story and then delving into it and making it as i go works very well for me.

    In the end it is up to you to add this idea or not but i just wanted to get my suggestion out there to try and help others that are benefiting from his course.

    Thank you!

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Matt, thanks for the suggestion. I’m sure that would make the course better, but I am not developing it any further at the moment. I work full time and just put this up as a favour to new writers. It is the syllabus for a course I used to teach at a centre for lifelong learning (which has now closed down).

  11. Debalina Roy on said:


    I am interested in your Free Online Creative Writing course from Kolkata, West Bengal, India.If the entire course material can be taken for free then,please do likewise.Kindly enroll me for it.

    I repeat, I am an unemployed graduate and belong to the larger society of Indian middle class.Since I am not in a position to go for a paid course I’ve,contacted you.

    I hope its permissible.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hello Debalina. Please read the information on this page again. The course is free and you don’t have to enrol or sign up. Just get started and enjoy it!

  12. Birgitta Lindsey on said:

    Hi Professor Smith,

    I’m writing to inform you know that you have a typo in your “Please note:” section- second paragraph- 6th line down after the words “works in progress”. There’s no space between the period/full stop and the following word “If”, which begins the next sentence. I emailed you with this information four or more weeks ago but received no reply.

    I’ve considered enrolling in your course but have been unsuccessful in receiving a reply. I do hope to hear back from you after the holidays.


    Birgitta Lindsey

  13. RAMSON ACHEME on said:

    Dear Sir,
    You have a wonderful web page, i hope you do well with your course
    thank you.

  14. donna mason on said:

    thank you for help.

  15. cherlene q on said:

    I am wonderful at writing I just struggle with ideas, details,asd other things.
    Cherlene Qyurt

  16. Helen Rodgers on said:

    Thank you

  17. Donald Williams on said:

    when can I get started

  18. Shreehari Lele on said:

    Hi Fiona. I had always enjoyed reading short stories and was curious as to how one is written. I really enjoyed your article on how to write short stories. I’m going to attempt writing short stories, and also be able to appreciate other authors’ short stories better, thanks to you.

    PS : Your article led me to write a great speech at my toastmasters club already :)

  19. emma beech on said:

    i always got A’s in school for reading and writing i was told i should become some sort of writer but i left school and life got in the way my friends always tell me i have my nose in a book i should try writing my own but i’m a sufferer of schizophrenia and agoraphobia, this is the first computer ive owned so now i intend to use it to its fullest extent by studying your free creative writing course so i say thnk you in advance for giving my life purpose

  20. jennifer fulcher on said:

    I would like to start this course please as soon as possible Cheers Jennifer

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