Find Your Writing Voice: Exploring Genre

Experiment with style and stress-test your genre choice – to find the real writing ‘you’ and expand your palette of fiction techniques.

This ten-week online course will help you expand your range as a writer and find your voice by exploring historical, romantic and comic fiction, crime, thrillers, young adult (YA) and science fiction. Along the way you’ll discover what makes each genre tick and ways to connect with your reader.

It particularly suits writers who are stuck mid-novel by kickstarting creative solutions to plot and character problems, and novelists who aren’t sure which genre they are writing in.

NEXT COURSE

Start date: 19 November 2018
Duration: 10 weeks
Skill level: Intermediate
Session length: Weekly
Sessions: 9
Price: £495 (inc. VAT where applicable)



BOOK MY PLACE
Tom
Bromley
Course Director

This is a ‘next steps’ course, designed to help you discover new genres and writing styles. It’s for writers who have done some writing or a beginner’s course and aren’t quite sure where to go next: you’ve learned a bit about how to write, but now comes the tricky part of what to write about.

The course is suitable if you:

  • Want to discover new genres and writers you might not have encountered before
  • Are keen to expand your range, both as a writer and a reader
  • Are looking to experiment with different writing styles and genres
  • Want to learn the secrets that make each of the genres tick
  • Are writing a novel, or thinking about starting one, and want to increase your knowledge and skills
  • Enjoy working with a friendly and supportive group of learners
  • Can dedicate 5-7 hours per week for the duration of the course

During the Find Your Writing Voice course, you’ll expand your range as a writer, and explore and experiment with different genres — some of which you may not have considered before.

Each week, tutor Tom Bromley will introduce you to a different genre and the authors who write it. You’ll read and discuss key writers in each style, and be given writing assignments to help you experiment.

As you work through the sessions, you’ll develop your own writing voice while working within a supportive community of fellow writers keen to share their experiences with you.

Session 1: Introduction
A good writer is a good reader. The first session is about getting to know each other as readers and writers and introducing you to the reading skills that will help you during the course.
Session 2: Historical fiction
We’ll explore writing set in the past — whether hundreds of years ago or just a decade. You’ll think about research, authenticity and setting, and how to take these essential elements through to novel writing in any genre.
Session 3: Romance
We’ll look at what makes romantic fiction tick, including ways of getting relationships right and writing from experience — useful skills whichever genre you choose to write in.
Session 4: Comic fiction
We’ll explore the ways that comedy is used in writing and how you can apply this to your own work, including building empathy with your reader.
Session 5: Crime
We’ll look at some of the key techniques of crime fiction, including the importance of setting, research and tension.
Session 6: Thrillers
What’s the hallmark of a good thriller novel? We’ll introduce you to the key aspects of this genre and how you can explore them in your own writing.
Session 7: Young adult (YA)
What goes on in a teenager’s brain? We’ll consider this, look at how to inject thrills into your writing and how to tackle big themes like fear, love and death.
Session 8: Science fiction
We’ll keep flying saucers to a minimum and focus on what makes this genre of writing really tick: what-if ideas, warped settings, and allowing your readers to do some of the work for you.
Session 9: Try your new writing voice
The final session lasts two weeks to give you time to write a final 2,000-word piece in one of the styles you’ve explored. This could be either a short story or the opening chapter of a novel. You’ll have the chance to read and give feedback on your fellow writers’ stories and receive feedback in return.

We teach this course in our online classroom, which is open 24/7 so you can balance your learning around your work, family and friends. You’ll work in a small group of fellow learners so you can discuss ideas, ask questions and share your writing as you progress through the sessions.

You’ll learn from:

  • Videos, podcasts and reading suggestions from tutor, Tom Bromley
  • Examples from masters of each genre covered in the course
  • Practical writing exercises to help you experiment with different genres and practise your writing voice
  • Guided discussions with your group
  • The opportunity to share your work and give and receive feedback from fellow writers

You’ll need:

  • 5-7 hours per week to work through the course
  • A notebook and pen or pencil, if you like to make notes by hand
  • A laptop or computer* with:
    • A reliable broadband internet connection
    • Speakers or headphones
    • The latest version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari
    • Microsoft Word. If you don’t have this you can download Open Office free
    • Adobe Reader, latest version. Download free
    • QuickTime Player, latest version. Download free

*You can access the course from a tablet or smartphone, but we recommend using a laptop or computer, as this makes it easier to share your work files with your writing group.

Join our alumni

After your course, you can join our online alumni where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. The alumni is a friendly group of writers who support each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing.

Within our online alumni area you can:

  • Rejoin your classmates on a private forum and access an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other courses and groups and share your work for feedback on our alumni critiquing forum
  • Join in on discussions about reading, writing, editing and ideas on our general discussion forum. This is also where we share news and useful info
  • Retain access to our resources area, which has interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people online using the alumni area live chatroom. We also host live chats with guests here


Commission a report on your work

If you’d like to receive a personalised, detailed report on your final piece of writing from your course tutor, this is available at an extra cost. You’ll receive detailed written feedback assessing your ideas and writing, plus advice on what steps to take next.


Taking things further

If you'd like to continue on to another Professional Writing Academy course, we'll give you a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

Try a free course session

If you’re curious about how our online writing courses work, you can try our free taster session.

It shows you what our online classroom looks like, how our courses are set up, and gives you the chance to read, watch and listen to a sample of learning materials.

To try your taster session, please get in touch and we’ll send you a link.

When you do this we’ll also sign you up to our newsletter. We never share your details with other people and we’ll only get in touch once in a while to tell you about nice things – such as news, events, competitions and offers. (You can unsubscribe if you decide it’s not for you.)

What our students say...

Great course, really planned well to cover elements we can use in all our writing. I am most grateful for Tom’s insight, encouragement and helpful suggestions for making my writing stronger.

Gary

What our students say...

Tom has an incredibly wide-ranging knowledge of fiction and genre writing and we are lucky to have had such a great tutor — I’ve found his help invaluable.

Kirsten

What our students say...

Without doing this course, I wouldn’t have the idea for a crime novel, so this is interesting territory for me (as was the sci-fi, which may also continue in stages over a longer time). I’m going to continue this crime novel now while finishing the first draft of my historical novel, which was the original reason I did the course — and I now have many more skills to do this.

Tanya

What our students say...

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.

Jon

What our students say...

I plan to stay in touch with everyone after the course finishes. It has been a really valuable experience — everyone writes so well and has been so perceptive with their critiques.

Alexa

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