Study Creative Writing with our Oxford Summer School 2018 | Students aged 13-15

Also available for students aged 16-18.

Class Summary

All you need for this course are creativity, enthusiasm, and imagination – although a blank notebook and lots of spare pens will come in handy too! Our Creative Writing course has been designed for students with an interest in challenging themselves by taking their writing to the next level. The class aims to extend and challenge writing techniques learned in schools and encourages students to find their own ‘voice’ through which to express themselves. The first week will be spent acquiring a tool kit of creative writing from which students will choose in week two in order to plan, draft and edit their own short story. Along the way, students will be introduced to a variety of different literary techniques and be given a chance to experiment with them in their own work.

During the course students will find themselves generating a host of new ideas, and engage critically over which to discard and which to keep. By the end of the course each student will have produced a lot of their own writing, the highlight being a complete, edited short story showcasing their newly-honed creative talent! The focus of this course will not only be on inspiration and on producing a good first draft, but on the planning and editing processes that lead to a finished, polished and professional piece of work.

Students cover many of the key components of creative writing, including avoiding clichés, creating and introducing compelling characters, the role of the narrator, writing point of view, dialogue, metaphors and defamiliarisation, expressing emotion, plotting, and building suspense. They will also cover more practical considerations in the writer’s craft, such as the process of editing and re-drafting and even strategies for overcoming writer’s block. The course also looks extensively at the work of well-known (and some less well-known) writers, to see which techniques they use effectively and what can be learned from their decisions.

The course is necessarily interactive: students regularly share their writing with the group and are expected to give constructive feedback on the work of others. A varied classroom environment combines teacher-led experimental activities with interactive group work and workshopping, as well as giving time for individuals to work on their own writing and consider the work of their classmates in a critical light. It can be difficult to critique the work of others and harder still to take criticism in return, but both are valuable skills both as budding writers and in aspects of life extending far beyond the scope of this course.

The most successful authors love what they do and we encourage the students on this course do the same.

Expectations/Prerequisites

This class’s only requirements are creativity, enthusiasm and imagination. There is no need for any other prior knowledge. A great deal of writing will be required, both inside and outside the classroom, and students should be prepared to discuss their own writing and that of others in the group in a critical and constructive manner. Students will preferably come to the class with a clear idea of their favourite fiction writers or poets and be able to explain what about the techniques and subject matters of these writers inspires them.