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Creative Writing

Course CodeBWR103
Fee CodeSpecialS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study Creative Learning by Distance Learning. Learn all aspects of creative writing, from establishing a theme to producing the completed work with this course.

Start Studying Again with ACS

Special Offer - Reduced Course Price Plus 3 Free eBooks When You Enrol

  • Become a more confident, skilful, creative writer.
  • Improve your writing skills and help stimulate ideas.
  • Learn to write for books, novels, short stories, plays, etc.
  • Learn to place yourself in an unexpected situation.
  • Be guided by our international team of published, professional authors.

Student Feedback

"I commenced the Creative Writing Course with the ACS having had no prior experience in this field whatsoever. Having always been in accounting or payroll jobs, I decided to give the course a go. The course demonstrated to me what I enjoyed writing about, the types of writing I was good at, and not so good at. It broadened my horizon to show me what was out there to write about. It gave me knowledge and confidence. I have continued to write, and in the future want to commence with the next course, but in the meantime, I have submitted various articles of mine to some magazines and have had nothing but positive feedback from all the editors and some of my work is to be published!! Which I personally feel is fantastic as I have only been doing this for a year or so. Thank you for opening up a whole new world of creativity to me which I can only enhance upon!!"

Jo - Creative Writing Course

"I feel that the course has given me the tools and confidence necessary to make this possible."

 Dan Read, a student in our Diploma in Journalism

What are the different types of Creative Writing (Genres)?

Here are just some examples:

  • poetry of all kinds;
  • short stories;
  • novels, including westerns, romances, science fiction, detective stories, mysteries, fantasy, etc.;
  • stage play scripts;
  • film and television screenplays;
  • music lyrics;
  • magazine articles;
  • newspaper feature stories;
  • essays;
  • biographies;
  • advertisements;
  • card greetings;
  • books or articles on science, history etc.;
  • letters and emails.

Learn all aspects of creative writing, from establishing a theme to producing the completed work.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • What is creative writing, What’s different about creative writing, Information and creativity, Creative genres, Forms of Writing, Form, Structure, Purpose, Creative Writing resources, What is needed for success, The business of writing, Getting published, Self publishing, Vanity publishing, Terminology.
  2. Basic Creative Writing Skills
    • Words and their proper use, Types of language, Informative language, Persuasive, Imaginative, Literal, Figurative, Formal, Colloquial language, Parts of language (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, plurals, possessive nouns & pronouns, gender, adjectives, articles); Common grammatical errors (fragmented sentences, run on sentences, comma splices, dangling modifiers. Run on sentences, irregular verbs, Whom or who, Pronouns and Antecedents, Punctuation, Creating and critiquing, Generating ideas, Developing ideas, Narrative theory, Storyline, Narrative structure, Settings or scenes, Mood or atmosphere, Time, Voice, Point of view, Creative reading.
  3. Concise and Clarity
    • Making things clear, Slice of life fiction, Conciseness and Succinctness, Understanding ambiguity, Causes of ambiguity, Doubt and ambiguity, Hinge points and ambiguity, Defamiliarisation.
  4. Planning What You Write
    • Writing routine, Establishing a theme, Organising ideas, Paragraphing, Writing a synopsis, Titles, Developing objectives.
  5. Writing Fiction
    • Elements, Clues, Signs, Common errors, Scope or Range, Theme problems, Authenticity problems, Tone problems.
  6. Writing Non-fiction
    • Creative non fiction, scope, Developing ideas, Narration, Story line, Deduction, Induction, Classical Development, Chronological development, Analogy, Cause and effect, Classification, Comparison and contrast, Definition, Analysis, Developing a profile, Interviews.
  7. Newspaper Writing
    • What to write, Scope, News values, Writing guidelines, Regular columns, Fillers.
  8. Writing for Magazines
    • Scope of magazine writing, What publishers want, Magazine articles, Travel writing, Writing for public relations, Selling your work.
  9. Writing Books
    • Themes, Consistency, Believability, Variety, Getting started, Getting a contract, Book publishing, Non fiction books, Fact finding.
  10. Special Project
    • Organising a portfolio to sell yourself.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Describe elements and forms of creative writing.
  • Develop skills that will help you generate, evaluate and communicate ideas. Discuss the functions of clear writing, and the art of revealing and concealing in writing.
  • Establish theme and structure as planning tools.
  • Identify and discuss various forms of fiction writing and publishing opportunities.
  • Analyse different non-fiction genres to determine key elements and strategies.
  • Analyse different forms of creative writing commonly found in newspapers.
  • Analyse magazine articles to determine what makes a good feature article.
  • Discuss the main elements of book writing, including theme, organisation, and weaving different narrative threads into a unified whole.
  • Prepare a portfolio of creative writing ready for submission and of future ideas.

What are the different Possibilities?

Here are just some examples of different "genres" that you may apply creative writing to:

  • poetry of all kinds;
  • short stories;
  • novels, including westerns, romances, science fiction, detective stories, mysteries, fantasy, etc.;
  • stage play scripts;
  • film and television screenplays;
  • music lyrics;
  • magazine articles;
  • newspaper feature stories;
  • essays;
  • biographies;
  • advertisements;
  • card greetings;
  • books or articles on science, history etc.;
  • letters and emails.
  • blogs
  • marketing materials

Every piece of writing, no matter whether it is a novel or a business letter, should have a dominant theme or underlying idea. In a business letter and in technical writing, the theme should be immediately obvious and clear and should be stated. In a piece of creating writing it might be gradually revealed through the development of the work and may only be fully apprehended by the reader at the very end. Nevertheless, the theme should be present from the beginning, and should exist as a unifying thread through every chapter or paragraph. Every piece of the writing should, in some way, relate to that theme. It is what unifies a piece of writing and lets it stand alone as a meaningful expression.

We can develop themes any means, and often through a variety of means, such as:

  • thoughts and speech of characters;
  • actions of characters;
  • contrasting societies or generations within a society;
  • identifying shared values and experiences between groups or generations;
  • ways to dealing with and coping with the environment;
  • symbolic use of landscape and nature;
  • repetition of ideas in different forms;
  • repeated symbols or cultural items;
  • contrast of values.

Getting Started

One of the hardest things for any new writer is to get their first work published. Publishers (print & electronic media) are always looking for stand out writers; but they are also busy people, often swamped by submissions with insufficient time in the day to read everything that comes their way. The challenge is to just get read!

When a publisher has limited time to read submissions, the are likely to do a few things:

  1. Perhaps only look at submissions from people who have been published previously. Anyone published before may be seen as more likely to be worth consideration.
  2. Maybe only look at the first paragraph or two of each work then only read the "stand out" manuscripts further.
  3. Get an assistant to sort through the submitted works; and only read those that are separated out as worth while.

Start your writing today!

Enrol now. Why delay?

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us today by -

Phone (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or (UK) 01384 442752, or


Meet some of our academics

John Mason John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Tracey JonesWidely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).