Student reviews of their learning experience
We are constantly reviewing and tweaking our courses in light of student feedback to ensure everyone get the most out of their learning. Here is a small selection of student comments:
The online learning experience
It was wonderful to be able to learn in such a supportive and friendly environment!
Anna, Writing a Novel (online)
This class has been wonderfully thought out and offers a great deal. I was delighted to see that we can stay in touch with the other writers in the group afterwards.
MaryAnne, Getting Started Writing Fiction (online)
I learnt a lot from listening to all the podcasts and seeing what common pitfalls we were all falling into. The tutor feedback backed up my own thoughts on what areas needed development and also surfaced a couple of things I have been wrecklessly ignoring but now have to work on.
Kristen, Writing a Novel (online)
The group have all been fantastic and supportive. I’ve learnt not only from their reviews of my writing; reading other people’s comments on each others’ work has been instructive, too.
Patrick, Writing a Novel (online)
I went to the Help page and it is brilliant – your online classroom is really well designed. Until now, I have never used a ‘Help’ section that actually helped!
Nancy, Writing a Novel (online)
Finally I have delivered the treatment I wasn’t sure I could write.
I absolutely loved the scene analysis exercises this week. Doing this course is really showing me how much I adore writing and all the nuts and bolts of it. I honestly feel like writing is a language and that scenes are the grammar and now I’m actually learning the ‘rules’ of writing, which compliment my own instincts.
A fantastic course! The exercise of breaking down films has been extremely helpful. It has also directly helped me with understanding and improving the plotting for the play I’m working on at the moment.
The course is phenomenally good! It has been enormous fun and I’ve learnt a huge amount from both tutors and participants alike.
The feedback from John Yorke and David Roden on my treatment was fantastically helpful – I’m already at my desk, working on the next version. David’s positive and focused criticism throughout the course – combined with the insights from John’s book – means I really feel a lot more qualified to write a script now.
The Storytelling for Screen course is spectacularly good and I’d love to stay with PWA and take another class.
David Roden’s suggestions are so insightful on the Storytelling for Screen course. I wish I could steal his brain and put it on my desk next to my computer for instant feedback whenever I sit down to write!
John Yorke’s course has been an amazing experience. I stand here at the end a changed woman. The thing I found most difficult was coming up with an idea. But, wow, once you’ve got the story you are away – and to my amazement it kind of wrote itself. I had a blast.
I am amazed at how well you structured (pun intended) the screenwriting course. I loved every minute of it, even when I banged my head bloody trying to do the assignments! I suffered from creative block for a long time, and this course got me out if it.
Thanks to David Roden for all the kind and insightful words in the notes – and special thanks to John Yorke for his feedback on my treatment and for requesting to read the script. As an aspiring screenwriter, it means a massive amount to hear this stuff from people of such experience. Plus, being outside the ‘industry’, it’s hugely exciting! The Storytelling for Screen course has been an education in story structure, and in hindsight, I honestly don’t know how I got by without this knowledge.
I have loved every minute of the last few weeks on the Storytelling for Screen course, facing the increasingly challenging tasks set and absorbing more information than I thought possible. Thanks to everyone involved, this has been a fabulous learning experience.
Watching Thelma and Louise with the prompt sheet forced me to really dig deep, I had no choice but to completely re-evaluate the way I’d been watching that film for years!
I guess one of the downsides of courses like this one is a loss of innocence. Like going on a magic course or something. You can never really watch a magician in the same way again because you sort of know how he’s doing it.
Brilliant course. It’s been a blast. I’ve learned a lot from all my fellow writers. All David’s help and feedback during the course has been fantastic, and as a result of the course, I feel much more confident about tackling difficult story lines than I ever have done before.
The Factual TV course with John Yorke and Peter Dale has been a wonderful experience on all fronts, and I feel so lucky to have shared it with such a talented and motivated group of people – they inspired me with each and every post.
I’m a journalist and documentary-maker so I have quite a lot of experience with pitching. However, I had never never thought about my pitches in terms of story elements, story structure – I’ve always just done them on instinct and judging them on whether they read well. So I’m finding John and Peter’s Factual TV course hugely illuminating and it’s already causing me to think differently about my own work.
The Factual TV course with John Yorke and Peter Dale has been truly transformative to the way that I frame and structure my stories. I have been really touched by the genuinely supportive and encouraging atmosphere on the forums from fellow learners and tutors.
As a copywriter, I often draw on storytelling techniques, and I was interested in exploring how I could use stories in the business environment at more advanced level. I’d previously read John Yorke’s Into the Woods and I liked the way it was structured with lots of examples from well-known films that were easy to relate to. The course has been challenging, yet fun. Having feedback each week from tutor David Roden has been both enlightening and encouraging – and I look forward to putting my new skills to use.
Really benefited from peer feedback. David’s feedback was also detailed and useful. I loved John’s tips and advice peppered amongst the modules. Also liked how the advice in his book was also used in the modules in an engaging way. The movies we talked about were from a great selection and really demonstrated the theme of each module.
Recent participant, UK
This has honestly been a revelation – I’m so grateful to have found this course, and met such wonderful people. It has enriched the way I think about my work in every way. Thank you.
Recent participant, UK
I loved the idea of using films to learn a structure that I believe is universal.
Recent participant, UK
Being shown examples of marketing writing, and reasons why some are good and some are bad – this made the descriptions and tasks much more relevant. Having a systematic approach to really working out what I’m striving towards – learning how I can improve my writing skills and thinking more about the context of what I’m doing – and how I come across to others.
Recent participant, UK
This was a good course and so well organised. I understand now when I read something why it might feel a bit lackluster – crime, for instance, doesn’t breathe without setting. I never realized the importance of the senses for historical fiction and I never appreciated the thought behind Sci-Fi.
Nancy, USA and UAE
This course has helped me to find my voice again. It is really good to experiment with different genres and I have found it a challenge, albeit an exciting one.
Without doing the Exploring Genres course, I wouldn’t have had an idea for a crime novel, which I plan to continue while finishing the first draft of my historical novel. This was the reason I did the course, and I now have many more skills to make it possible.
The course is really well thought out and I found it incredibly stimulating to have to consider the different genres. I loved having to read things I would not have ever considered and feel it has really helped me to extend my writing. Thanks to Tom for so many constructive and encouraging comments. I am going to miss the discipline of having to write to deadlines.
Tom has been an excellent tutor: wise, astute and generous in his support and encouragement of us all. He also gave us the wonderful gift of a precise set of tools with which to proceed. The whole experience has been very instructive.
The Exploring Genres course has been amazing – a real eye opener as you read and write all sorts of things you might never have chosen otherwise. If you struggle to produce anything without a looming deadline, this course is really an excellent place to go after Getting Started. Very very highly recommended.
I’m thoroughly enjoying every aspect of the Introduction to Writing Crime Fiction course, and the added bonus of feedback from a tutor/crime writer is a real highlight.
The course has been great and I really appreciate the format. I’ve done tons of different writing courses but this is the first time I’ve experienced a course that used podcasts rather than just standard lecture notes. It really works for me.
Thanks to Tom for such precise and insightful feedback throughout. I’ve picked up useful tips (particularly re tone and maintaining the POV) that will help me in the rest of my writing. The new character I’ve discovered on the course brings an extra dimension that was lacking in my novel. I can’t wait to push on with it now! I’ve really enjoyed the course and found it very productive.
I found it thrilling to communicate with like-minded people from all around the globe: Vancouver, Singapore, Japan, Norway – and not forgetting England.
I got so much out of the Introduction to Therapeutic and Reflective Writing course and it did many things for me, on different levels – it confirmed that I want to be working in this area, inspired me and enabled me to become clearer about my intentions and goals in this area – beforehand it was all in my head, but actually doing the exercises and feeling first-hand the depth of what they can achieve was invigorating and enlightening.
The first online course I’ve ever done turns out to be the best writing course I’ve ever done (and I’ve done lots of brilliant ones). Searching assignments and top tuition from Anne Taylor and Victoria Janet Field. Highly recommended!
I am truly grateful for being part of this course which has met all my expectations and beyond. I have been impressed and inspired by the way some of the writing exercises we’ve shared mimic various aspects of psychotherapy. Personally, I have found that writing down these self-enquiries have often felt more powerful than face to face talking therapy. Importantly, this course has given me new ways of working with my clients and added to my own ongoing self-enquiry. I have felt really held and inspired by the tutors and our online community, this was a concern at the beginning, but very quickly I felt safe and embraced.
The course more than fully met my expectations. For an introductory course it is extremely rich and there is so much potential. It’s only the beginning – but it’s a huge stepping stone into my new life. The community was what really buoyed me up – more than I could have imagined. I’m also much more convinced about the therapeutic effect of reflective writing. I’ve moved on issues and I’ve been moved through sharing with the group. I found that heart-warming and life-affirming.
Hopes and expectations were definitely exceeded, particularly the shape the online forum took and the way everyone supported and encouraged each other.
Faber Academy Writing a Novel (online) course
Kris Kenway’s candid feedback via podcast was clear, refreshing and helpful. His depth of understanding of my novel was amazing and his advice taken with thanks. I look forward to working with him again.
Tom Bromley has been a wonderfully astute tutor and I will happily sing his praises to anyone in need of kind but true writing advice. I am so grateful.
Bridget, South Africa
The Writing a Novel course has been deeply engaging and satisfying. The tutor, Kris, has been great: very focused, right on the point, fair, quick, positive wherever possible – just right. The rhythm and the course design are absolutely right for productive, exciting work.
The Writing a Novel course has been invaluable to me as a fledgling writer, and I’d like to thank everyone – it’s been great fun and completely enlightening!
Huge thanks to Tom Bromley for his guidance and support. The Writing a Novel course has been amazing, and I can’t believe it’s passed by so quickly!
The online Writing a Novel course gets 10 stars for flexibility and user-friendliness, but even more for thoughtful structuring and teaching. I can’t quite believe how far I’ve advanced.
My writing has come on in leaps and bounds, from simple grammar, punctuation and formatting to showing not telling. I already had the idea but wasn’t sure how to execute it, and this is exactly what the course did for me.
If it wasn’t for the Writing a Novel course, I wouldn’t have thought enough about how reflecting on other writers’s work can really push forward my own writing. I very much appreciate the confidence boost; it spurs me on!
Faber Academy Getting Started Writing Fiction (online) course
The Faber Academy Getting Started Writing Fiction course definitely gave me the tools to tackle my short story, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this week.
I’m enjoying the course and finding it challenging. I like the format of focusing on a different aspect of writing in each session and I am finding that what we work on and develop in one session is starting to be helpful for the next session. The discipline of writing regularly and becoming a more critical reader have really helped me in and hopefully that’s something I’ll be able to continue.
Camilla, Kingston upon Thames
I like the rhythm of the course and the deadlines, with a week and a half to write (which feels quite generous) and then critiquing, and being critiqued every other weekend. It’s quite exciting and I’m genuinely interested in what others have written and how they perceive mine. Critiquing others is hard, but I can see it’s very necessary.
I found the Getting Started course totally enlightening and inspiring.
One of the things I find so great about the Getting Started Writing (Intensive) course is having fellow students look at my work with fresh eyes and an objective viewpoint. It enables them to zoom in on areas I have not been happy with and give suggestions/provide alternatives that immediately work.
I feel truly privileged to be part of such a talented group of writers (Faber Academy Getting Started Writing Intensive). The standard of the student critiques has also been remarkable and I have learnt something from each one of them.
I am loving the Getting Started course; the content and structure are excellent. I am learning as much from reading everybody’s else’s work and critiques as I am from writing – and from trying to form coherent critiques of my own.
It has been a real pleasure doing the Getting Started: Writing Fiction course with this group. I really wasn’t sure about the format when it began, but I have learned so much from reading everyone’s pieces and their feedback, not just to me but across all our work.
I’m really finding it very valuable reading other people’s pieces and critiquing them too – it’s just as valuable to analyse someone else’s piece as your own – and the different styles of writing on the Getting Started course are incredibly eye-opening to me. I love the diversity of the work produced so far.
I didn’t have a clear vision of my character before I started to work through the prompt sheet on the Getting Started course, but as I went along, he became more and more lifelike. He almost wrote the piece himself. I was amazed how much difference this exercise made to my writing.
Faber Academy Read Like a Writer course
The sessions are clear and full of information and the practical tasks are challenging. It was exactly what I was hoping for to take my writing to the next level and gain a greater understanding of how writers work.
I’m an IT Analyst and spend most of my time writing either in technical jargon or code! I’m finding the chance, this course is offering me, to write in a different way quite refreshing.
My spectacles have been cleaned by the Read Like a Writer course. Previously I was reading and absorbing unconsciously, missing the subtlety, the skill. THAT’S the difference, THAT’S the art.