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Fiction Writing: Fundamentals

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Start: 6th September 2021 - 6:00pm

Finish: 27th September 2021 - 8:30pm



Are you serious about developing your book idea?

Fiction Writing: Fundamentals is an introduction to the essential elements of the writing process, and a perfect opportunity to learn about the nuts and bolts of writing fiction, apply this to your own work, develop your confidence as a writer, and receive invaluable critical feedback on both your prose and story structure. Led by critically acclaimed author William Ryan, this four-week course is for writers of any genre, and precedes Fiction Writing: Advanced, a six-week course (beginning June 2021) designed to take your work-in-progress to the next level.


Course benefits

Students on this course should expect:

- 10 hours of practical writing advice and tuition over just 4 weeks

- Feedback from William Ryan on up to 4,000 words of your own writing (4x 1000-word submissions)

- Peer-to-peer review: amass a wealth of objective feedback from fellow students

- Deadlines on writing exercises and written work to make the most of what's on offer

- Copies of presentations and audio recordings from all sessions

- Exclusive discounts on W&A titles and other products 

Each week sessions will combine tutorials with practical exercises, discussion and feedback. 


William will read and mark up all work submitted during the course – highlighting areas which may need work and pointing out areas of strength. In addition you will be expected to read and give constructive feedback on the submitted work of the other students, as will the other students be expected to constructively feedback on your work.  The format of each week will be a one hour talk by William, using submitted work as examples, followed by workshops on four of the submitted 1000 word submissions

Week One

18.00-19.00: The Basics of Writing Fiction – William will give a talk on the basic stylistic elements of a novel, including discussing POV, tense, style and things to avoid.

19.05-20.30: Workshop on 1000 word extract which reflects the general tone of your novel, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story.

Week Two

18.00-19.00: Writing Place – Writing Setting, Research, Atmosphere and Dramatic World. William will discuss how to write the setting in which your novel takes place, the importance of research and how to use it, how to create an atmosphere that works for your novel and the importance of identifying the dramatic world that will contain your story.

19.05-20.30: Workshop on an extract in which you use research, establish atmosphere and/or establish the setting, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story.

Week Three

18.00-19.00: Writing Dialogue – good dialogue is likely to be key to the success of your novel. William will discuss how to carry it, how to deliver it and ways to enhance its dramatic impact.

19.05-20.30: Workshop on a submission in which a key conversation takes place, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story and what the characters motivations are. 

Week Four

18.00-19.00: Writing Scenes – the scene is the building block of your novel. William will discuss how to start a scene, how to end it and ways in which to enhance its dramatic complexity and appeal.

19.05-20.30: Workshop on a submission of a dramatic scene which changes the course of your novel, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story and what the characters motivations are.

Speaker profiles

William Ryan author

William Ryan has written four historical novels which have been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, the HWA Gold Crown for Historical Fiction, the Crime Writers Association’s Steel, Historical and New Blood Daggers and the Irish Crime Novel of the Year (three times). William teaches creative writing at City University in London and has previously taught at the University of East Anglia. His latest novel, A House of Ghosts, was published in 2019 by Bonnier Zaffre.

Event Details

This is an online course which will be presented using video conferencing software. Joining instructions and full guidance will be provided before the course start-date.

Booking & Payment

The course fee of £275 (inc. VAT) is payable in full online. 

Please do contact us if you wish to discuss an instalment payment plan by calling 0207 631 5985 or by sending an email to

If this event is Sold Out, please look out for other writing courses by visiting our Events homepage.