UEA-Guardian Masterclasses UEA-Guardian Masterclasses


The UEA Creative Writing programme has joined forces with Guardian Masterclasses to offer a series of endorsed writing courses in London.

The courses are open to everyone, although those attending should be committed writers who would like to create a more formal space in their lives for writing.  The ideal candidate is an aspiring writer who does not have the time for an MA level course, but possesses a serious creative intent to see their work develop and, ultimately, achieve publication.

Each year there are two rounds of six- and nine-month courses, with start dates in September and February.  The six-month courses are taught in groups of twelve students, the nine-month course in groups of six.  All the courses are led by award-winning writers who are also experienced tutors of Creative Writing at UEA.

There are two core courses in the writing of fiction:

LEVEL 1 – How to Tell a Story
Led by author Ross Raisin, this 24-week masterclass will help you find your voice and unlock your potential as a writer. Through a programme of workshops, discussions and one-to-one tuition, you’ll get to grips with all the major components of telling a story - and what you have to do before the writing even begins. Over 24 weeks, you’ll learn the expert techniques necessary to draft a compelling plot, create believable characters, write memorable, realistic dialogue and structure your stories to give them tension and pace.

LEVEL 2 – How to Complete the First Draft of a Novel
Led by award-winning writer Monique Roffey, during this 24-week course expert tutelage and feedback will assist you with every aspect of the writing process, from technical workshops to motivational tricks to keep you going when things get tough. As the course progresses, you’ll learn critical reading techniques which will transform the way you look at writing forever. Through one-to-one tutoring, constructive assessment and rigorous feedback sessions, you’ll learn what makes your personal style distinctive, and develop your voice in ways you may never have expected.

These two courses are supported by a range of other six-month and three-month courses, including:

How to Write Historical Fiction
Led by Justin Hill, award-winning novelist of Passing Under Heaven, this inspirational and practical 12-week course will help you focus your ideas, populate and build your historical setting, and to guide you over the hump of starting a historical novel. By the end of this course you will have a core set of skills; the foundations of a novel (with characters, setting, story plan, and first chapter) as well as the techniques, inspiration and ideas you need to keep you writing about the past.

How to Write a Psychological Thriller
Over 12 weeks, writer and lecturer Claire McGowan will take you through the essential building blocks of a compelling novel, covering everything from the initial idea and the essential criteria of a psychological thriller, to the submissions and pitching stage. The course will look at characterisation, suspense, structure, voice and viewpoint, plotting and pacing, dialogue and style, all the way through to self-editing and polishing. By the end of the course students will have gained a thorough grounding in all aspects of the psychological thriller, have written at least 12,000 words of their novel, and have a clear plan for progressing.

How to Write Children's Fiction
Led by award-winning children's author, Laura Dockrill, this playful and inventive 12-week course will encourage your seed of an idea for a children’s book to grow, flourish and thrive. The aim of the course is to create a comfortable, supportive and fun environment to play and stretch out new ideas and get feedback too. The once-a-week meetings will intend to keep pace and momentum, inviting writers of all stages of the process to be brave and tell the story that they’ve always wanted to.

This year there is also a special 9-month course starting in April:

How to Become a Better Writer and Finish your Novel
The final draft is the most demanding part of the writing process, both technically and emotionally, and it can also be the most rewarding. Under the tutelage of Charlotte Mendelson, you’ll learn to revise, rewrite and edit like a professional. Over nine months, you’ll learn to make brave and bold decisions, take literary risks, and improve your novel on every level. Working in a close-knit class of just six people, you’ll receive in-depth feedback about every element of your novel.

Read some feedback from previous students