Writing Romance - online course. Woman sitting in deckchair writing.

Creative Writing: Fiction

For beginner writers working on prose fiction (short stories and novels) and more experienced writers as a back-to-basics refresher.

This course allows you to:

  • Explore a range of creative, practical and critical skills in writing prose fiction.
  • Develop an understanding of the professional skills a fiction writer requires (e.g. discipline, attention to detail, ability to work to deadlines, editing and proofreading).
  • Start to identify your potential as a writer.
  • Practise independence, autonomy and critical judgment as you write a piece of creative writing of up to 2,000 words at the end of the course.

At the end of the course you will be eligible for a Certificate of Completion.

Find out more here: CREATIVE WRITING – FICTION – about the course



Course Director

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

Week 1: You as a writer
What kind of writer are you and how do you develop a daily writing practice? How to tap into creative inspiration and take ideas from your head and onto the page. You’ll experiment with automatic writing and story-prompt exercises, then post a longer creative piece to the forum for fellow participants to critique.
Week 2: Point of view
Who is telling a story, and why it matters. You’ll explore first-person (‘I’), second-person (‘you’) and third-person (‘he/she’) narrators and experiment to find out which you feel comfortable writing. After some writing warm-ups, you’ll try out different voices to see the effects and generate story ideas. You’ll polish one longer piece to workshop with the group.
Week 3: Compelling characters
Memorable characters are at the heart of all fiction. This session is about how to begin to write characters and use techniques that engage and interest readers. You’ll create character sketches based on images, memory and observation, interrogate your fictional protagonists until they come to life, then post one character piece to a forum for peer discussion.
Week 4: Setting and mood
How to create settings that lend atmosphere to your fiction and transport your reader through time and space. You’ll experiment with using your senses, precise observation and visual prompts to create different emotional responses, and write the opening of a story to share with the group.
Week 5: Story structure
Thinking about beginnings, middles and ends, the different shapes a story can take, and simple ways to develop plot and pace your writing. You’ll try some flash fiction then develop a longer piece to share with your fellow writers in the forum.
Week 6: Pull it all together
Now you’ll apply the techniques you have learned through the course to write a final longer piece of up to 2,000 words. You might rework a favourite piece you produced in an earlier session or develop something new based on what you’ve learned. There are writing warm-ups to get the creative juices flowing, practical ways to beat writer’s block, and editing tips to help you meet your final deadline.


You’ll learn in the Professional Writing Academy’s 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:

  • Short audio and video files from your course tutors, writers or other industry experts
  • Tutor guidance
  • Online lecture notes and practical writing prompts and exercises
  • Directed reading and viewing lists
  • Online peer critiquing from other participants in the group
  • The assistance of a group moderator
  • The support of an online community and virtual classroom
  • A dedicated writing resources area, which is continually updated

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
    • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher

*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, together with access to an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other courses and groups and share your writing for feedback
  • Join discussions about reading, writing and ideas
  • Retain access to our online resources area, which we constantly update with interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people in our online alumni chatroom. We also host live chats with guest tutors here

Writing is something I’ve always done – though prior to this course I had only ever written scribbles for friends and family to read. Doing this course has given me the confidence to start a novel based on an idea I’d had for years and never gotten past chapter one.

PWA course participant, 2019

What our students say...

This online course has allowed me to start writing in a structured way without having to physically attend a venue – which has always been my barrier to date.

What our students say...

The instructor was very encouraging and supportive. It gave me the confidence to express my thoughts more freely.

What our students say...

The best thing was the feedback which helped me to improve.

What our students say...

I enjoyed the writing prompts the most. They were all so interesting and thought-provoking.

What our students say...

The feedback and support of the tutor and moderator really helped me keep going.