I have mentioned FutureLearn on this blog before. It’s a UK-based platform for short online courses from British and international universities. All FutureLearn courses are free and open to anyone in the world.
Anyway, I thought you might like to know that a course titled Start Writing Fiction begins on Monday 25 September 2017. It comes from The Open University, a well-respected UK distance learning institution. It will run for eight weeks and you can enrol now if you wish. It is also usually possible to register for a few days after a course has started.
This particular course runs regularly via FutureLearn and I have mentioned it on this blog before. If you can’t fit it in this time, you can put your name down on the website to be notified the next time it is scheduled.
Start Writing Fiction is intended for anyone with an interest in starting to write fiction or improving their fiction writing. There is a particular focus on creating interesting, believable characters. The course does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.
On the website, it says:
Start Writing Fiction focuses on a skill which is central to the writing of all stories and novels – creating characters.
You will listen to established writers, such as Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey, talk about how they started writing. You’ll consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal.
You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.
You’ll also have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of fellow writers, and receive peer feedback on your own story, learning the importance of reading as a writer and how to receive and respond to feedback.
The course is run by short-story writer and novelist Dr Derek Neale. It requires a commitment of around three hours a week.
The course itself is free, but optionally you can pay £39 to upgrade. Upgrading entitles you to receive a Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course. In addition, you get unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, and quizzes). With the free version, your access ends 14 days after the end of the course. You can, of course, sign up for free and upgrade later if you choose.
For more information (including a video trailer) and to register, visit the Start Writing Fiction information page of the Futurelearn website.
FutureLearn have lots of other interesting free courses, incidentally. I recently took one called Secrets of Successful Ageing from Trinity College, Dublin, which was informative and thought-provoking. As well as the teaching itself, another big attraction of FutureLearn courses is the opportunity they provide to interact with fellow students all over the world. You can see all upcoming courses on this web page.
If you have any comments or questions about FutureLearn, as ever, please do post them below.