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online creative writing course. in photo: writing at the geffrye museum as part of write around town creative writing course
online creative writing course. in photo: writing at the geffrye museum as part of write around town creative writing and psychogeography course

Write Around Town: An Online Writing Course (26 June - 31 July)

£90.00

urban writing explorations

26 June - 31 July 2017

Inspiration is everywhere. This 6-week course will prompt you to venture out and discover it in your regular haunts as well as in unexpected places.

Write Around Town is a practical and thought-provoking online writing course to deepen your understanding of a sense of place in both fiction and creative non-fiction, and introduce you to new ways of turning the urban landscape into stories. Devised to stimulate your creativity and keep you writing, the course will include practical exercises, critique, craft tips, and a close look at relevant literary texts. Participants will also receive three city Writing Maps to inspire you beyond the duration of the course.

"...fiction depends for its life on place." Eudora Welty 

Write Around Town is an opportunity to look closely, through your own writing, at how central place is in the creation of characters. Whether it's for you or your characters, you'll be encouraged to walk, paddle, eat and write in any city you're in. You'll use the city itself - its cafés, art galleries, waterways and sidestreets - as a rich resource for personal and fictional stories. No matter where you live or what time of day or night you like to write, Write Around Time will be a writing adventure to inspire and surprise you.

For the six weeks of the course, weekly writing prompts and exercises will be sent to your Inbox. The exercises will teach you how to map a character's (or your own) journey through the city; look closely at the ways in which an environment impacts on psychology; and explore the symbolism in various aspects of the urban landscape. Whether you're working on fiction, non-fiction or memoir the writing exercises are devised to suit all genres and cities

“Sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception...” Rebecca Solnit 

You'll be able to share your work with other participants, and will receive regular feedback from the course tutor, Shaun Levin. Each participant will be offered detailed feedback on one short story written during the course to suggest ways of expanding and refining the story. The course can be done in real time, or you can save the exercises for when you're ready to write. Follow the exercises and prompts in the city you live in, or take them with you on holiday or while you travel. All course content will be relevant to any urban environment. 

Writers in remote or rural places are very welcome to join.

Together with generating a significant amount of writing, we will also look at extracts from the works of writers who have used the city as setting and inspiration, and, in turn, explore ways of using those texts to roam the city in the name of adventure, discovery, and a deeper connection to the places we know (or think we know) well.

A dedicated and password-protected blog will be set up for the course and all participants will be invited to share their work. The course is aimed at writers of all levels who are looking for feedback on their work, as well as for new ways of writing about the city, or who have a particular interest in a sense of place in fiction and non-fiction, or who just need that extra nudge to write more. 

All participants will:

  • get weekly exercises and prompts
  • be able to contribute to the course's dedicated blog
  • receive detailed feedback on a story written during the course
  • be encouraged to interact with other writers online, and received regular feedback from the tutor
  • receive 3 city Writing Maps (The City of Inspiration, Writing People, and Writing the Love)

limited to 16 participants 

Course tutor: Shaun Levin is the creator of Writing Maps and is the author of Seven Sweet Things, A Year of Two Summers, and Snapshots of the Boy, amongst other works. His short stories have been anthologised alongside writers such as Ali Smith, Nadine Gordimer, and Edmund White. He has taught writing for twenty years in colleges and other settings, and run workshops in cafés, art galleries, bookshops, parks, a cemetery, and a zoo.

Shaun is passionate about exploring the landscape, the sea, the urban environment, as well as other art forms to enrich our stories and take writing to new and unexpected places. He has lived in London for the past twenty years and has made the city an integral and important part of his work.

Dates: 26 June - 31 July, 2017

Venue: Online and wherever you are 

Fee: £120 (£90 early-bird booking before 15 May) 

Previous participants said:

  • "I like the exercises, they have ample content but are not too rigid, a nice balance."
  • "I love that it's online as I can fit it into my daily life." 
  • "The feedback to one another is very helpful and an interesting variety of people/writers contributing." 

How beautiful it is to get up and go out and do something. (Kurt Vonnegut)