Creative Writing Programme 2017–2019

Towner is delighted to be partnering with New Writing South to host their Creative Writing programme 2017 -19. The Creative Writing Programme has been carefully designed to develop your understanding of the craft of writing, to provide you with the support and structure you need to push your skills to another level and to complete a planned writing project. Whether it is a novel, a novella or collection of short stories, your course tutors will teach you the writing techniques you need to complete your work, offer you focused written feedback and help you set realistic deadlines.

In your first year you will reflect on the sources and themes of your own writing: develop a greater understanding of your own creativity and the creative process; learn how to create dynamic fictional characters; discover ways of enhancing the dramatic impact of your fiction and explore the different ways in which stories can be told. In the second year the focus will shift from short scenes to longer narratives: you will develop your understanding of plot, story structure and the ‘world of the story’; explore the complex relationship between characters, narrators and readers; discover the importance of theme, conflict and dramatic tension and gain further insights into language, technique and style.

Throughout the course you will continue to explore all aspects of characterisation, deepening your understanding of the function and role of character as you move from short character sketches to multi-character scenes to the complex interaction and character development of longer narratives. You will be shown ways to enhance your own creativity, hone your critical and editing skills and develop your eye for a good story. In the writing workshops, you will share, discuss and evaluate your work with the other writers in your writing group.

By the end the programme you will have significantly increased your understanding of how to write good fiction, have developed a substantial body of work and have either finished your writing project or be in a position to bring it to completion.

The programme is delivered through weekly seminars in which you will develop your writing technique through practical exercises, readings, discussion of published work and group discussions led by your tutor on different aspects of the writing process. All our courses are supported by interactive learning sites where you can access seminar notes and exercises as well as a Writer’s Forum in which you can contact other writers in your group, share work and information about events and contact your tutor.

Over the course of the two-year programme you will work closely with two of our tutors. On each course you will be offered one-to-one tutorials and a Weekend School and at the end of the programme you will be given the opportunity to discuss your work with a publishing professional.

What this programme will do for you

This programme will develop your confidence and ability as a writer. Through discussion and experimentation, in practical work guided by your tutor, you will learn how to improve the quality of your writing; develop your creative and critical skills; organise and manage your work and develop a strong individual style.

It is an ideal programme for writers who want to write a novel, a collection of short stories or an experimental piece of imaginative prose and are looking for structure, encouragement and feedback to help them achieve this.

All you need to bring to the programme is your imagination, a love of reading, a passion to write and the determination to succeed.

Jess’s perspective

‘I’d been secretly writing short stories for years but lacked the confidence to show anyone else my work. The creative writing programme is ideal for developing confidence – it’s a combination of giving and receiving feedback from peers, great tutors with fantastic writing exercises, knowledge of theory, technique, and the publishing industry. My tutor, encouraged me to send off stories in the first term, and as a result I ended up with seven short stories in print in different publications. By the end of the programme I had almost completed my first novel Snake Ropes. Through the Agents and Publishers Day on the programme I met an agent who liked my work. I have now published two books with Sceptre, ‘Snake Ropes’ and ‘Cooking With Bones’.

If I’d been asked a couple of months before starting the course if I’d ever feel able to write a novel, I’d have said no. Doing the Creative Writing Programme really helped me to realise my potential.

Jess Richards – novelist

Full details of programme, seminar structure and what is required of participants can be found here:

Key facts

Programme length: Two years.

Fee: £995 per annum (Fees can be paid in full at the beginning of each year or in instalments over the two years)

 Times: Thursday mornings 10.00am – 1.00pm

Term Dates: Autumn: 2nd October to 15th December 2017. Spring: 19th February to 23rd March 2018. Summer: 16th April to 22nd June 2018. (Dates for 2018-2019 will be given in the summer term of 2018)

Venue: Towner Art Gallery, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne

Entry requirements: No formal qualifications required.

Programme tutors: Dr Mark Slater (programme director), Catherine Smith, Susannah Waters, Rosie Chard, Dr Beth Miller, Hannah Vincent, Lizzie Enfield, Christine Harmar-Brown, Umi Sinha

There are limited places available on the second year of the Creative Writing Programme in 2017-18 in Hastings and Brighton. If you have experience of working in writing groups, have done short courses at university level or are working on a novel or collection of short stories and would like to apply, please contact the Programme Director, Dr Mark Slater at:

For enrolment details and information on paying fees, please contact:

New Writing South
9 Jew Street

01273 735353

If you have any further enquiries about the programme, please contact