Here is a bit about my experience with the NTU Creative Writing Short Course

Days on the course always began with a twenty-minute free write. During the time allocated, we would write with a given prompt, which was always varied and thought provoking. I enjoyed this part of the sessions, as the activity allowed our imaginations to be let loose. There were no rules, no confinements, and no end goal, but simply to write. The practice was immensely freeing, the writing produced raw and unedited. It was a chance to get something down on paper, a starting point. Whether you turned that starting point into something amazing or threw it on the floor and never picked it up again, it did not matter. I found this alleviates the pressure of perfection, and, moving forward from the course, it is something I would like to practice more routinely, especially as a means of overcoming writer’s block.

Many of the activities were carried out in randomised groups, which was a great way of getting to know the other writers on the course as well as merging different writing styles and strengths.

One activity in particular focused on creating plots for fiction. Our tutor, Sean, would give us a brief, and we would have little time to create a plot, protagonist, and side characters based on the given prompt. The time constraints added to the challenge of the exercise, the results were messy, and contained many plot holes and problems. This demonstrated further that the first draft is always going to be worse than the final product, and what matters is writing the idea down. Building upon ideas is crucial and is the only way to create a successful and impactful piece of writing. You need that foundation to build on. Members on the course would share their opinions on each piece, and so the activity taught me how to respond to feedback and critique, another skill required in creative writing.

Having a tutor with an understanding of the creative writing industry meant that the course also served to educate us on the realities of working in this business. Questions were encouraged, and Sean was always willing to talk before and after the sessions, answering questions, and giving advice. The experience was eye-opening, and I gained an understanding of what is to be expected in the big wide world of work. Having a fundamental understanding of the sector of work in which you are interested in or aspire to be involved with is crucial. The course provided a realistic look into work as a writer and this was invaluable.

Find out more about Nottingham Trent University’s available short courses for young people and adults on their website

Photo Credit: Kat Stokes via Unsplash.