Creative Writing Essentials

From finding your story idea to revising your first draft, this practical course shows you everything you need to know to write your novel from start to finish. We’ll look at story ideas, genres and the different types of markets. We will then examine characters and plots, discussing how to create and develop these key elements. We will touch on the all-important issues of setting and dialogue, and consider how to make them work with your story, rather than against it. We’ll discuss how to write your first draft – and then how to improve it! We will even look at how to best approach publishers to help improve your chance of getting published. This course is suitable for beginners, as well as for more experienced writers who’d like some guidance from someone who has been there and done that! It’s run by Stella Tarakson, an experienced tutor and award-winning published author. You can find out more about her publishing background at

Course Outline:

Week 1 Finding your story – story ideas; genres; markets
Week 2 Characters – creating believable characters that readers care about; types and roles of characters; the point of view character
Week 3 Plots – creating a gripping plot; story structure analysis
Week 4 Settings and dialogue – selecting your setting and blending it into your story; creating dialogue that reads well, reflects your characters and advances the plot
Week 5 Editing and revision – how to improve your first draft; structural editing and copy editing
Week 6 Submitting to publishers – how to approach publishers; the author’s role in the publishing process; understanding contracts

Learning Outcomes:

  • An understanding of the complete creative writing process
  • The ability to use this knowledge to write a novel or short story
  • An understanding of how to best approach publishers
  • An appreciation of the author’s role in the publishing process

What to bring:

  • Pen and paper or laptop / tablet
  • You’re welcome to bring in something you’ve written if you’d like to share it with the class (optional)

About the Tutor:

'Stella Tarakson is an experienced writing tutor and an award-winning published author. She’s written both fiction and non-fiction, for children as well as adults. Her children’s fiction has been published overseas and in several languages. You can find out more about her at'

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.