First Draft, First Cut; The Art of Writing Short Fiction ~ Spring Term 2013

Using the artwork in the First Cut exhibition and the Lakeside location as inspiration for a variety of creative writing exercises, the course will look at the art of writing short fiction. Workshop activities on elements of flash fiction and short-story writing will feed into participants’ discussions about their own and others’ fictional writing. Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of cutting and editing your writing; leaving gaps for the reader to fill and working towards a finished piece.

Tutor: Nicki England
Venue: Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD
Date: Friday 26th April 2013
: 10am -3pm                        
Duration: 4 Sessions
: £70.00 (£63.00 Concessions) Fee Waived for those on income related benefits or low income

Course aims
• to encourage participants to explore the art of short fiction writing, building creative writing confidence and skills
• to introduce participants to a range of creative writing ideas, techniques, styles and exercises
• to discover inspiration from the Lakeside location and the First Cut exhibition
• to practice writing short fiction
• to encourage critical and self-analysis
• to encourage editing and re-writing whilst working towards a finished piece

Topics to be covered
• Finding Inspiration
• Character Development
• Location/Setting
• Plot – action and resolution
• Writing effective dialogue
• Cutting and editing

Learning outcomes
As a result of this course it may be possible for you to:
• Create characters, locations and plots within a piece of short fiction
• Write a short piece inspired by the local area and/or the The First Cut exhibition
• Be able to read your own and others’ work critically and analytically and have confidence in your ability to do this
• Recognise the importance of cutting and editing your own writing
• Develop editing/critiquing skills and techniques
• Recognise basic elements of successful short fiction
• Write a piece of flash fiction or a short story including these basic elements

Teaching/learning methods
• Exercises in specific writing tasks
• Tutor input
• Learner input
• Discussion and comment
• Read through
• Writing tasks set as ‘homework’ as negotiated and agreed with individual learners
• One-to-one or email tutorials as required

Assessment methods
• Written work produced during writing exercises
• Observation and discussion during/after exercises
• Comments concerning own work
• Comments concerning others’ work
• Written work produced by end of course

Previous learning required
No previous experience necessary

Recommended books, materials or equipment
None, although a hard-backed notebook for writing exercises on-the-go may be useful.

There may be some background reading tasks set as ‘homework’, as agreed with learners

Learners may also find it helpful to have a wallet folder to store handouts and own notes, as well as to store writing materials.

The tutor can provide you with information about what you can do next with the WEA and other local providers. A Giving Information and Advice County Leaflet is available with useful local information. What Next? leaflets are available from your tutor or Programme Organiser to help you with your choices. If you would like to discuss what options are available or how to obtain guidance, please contact your Programme Organiser.

Financial help
If you need help with paying for registration fees or childcare, you may be entitled to financial support. Ask your tutor for more information. We will treat all requests confidentially and with respect in accordance with our Learner Support Policy. (See Services for Learners leaflet.)

Help with learning
If you have a disability or learning difficulty, let us know as early as possible so that we can make arrangements to provide you with support. We will treat requests for help confidentially and with respect. Ask your tutor for more information. If you prefer, contact your Regional Office and ask to speak to someone about learning support. (See Services for Learners leaflet.)

Help with English, Maths or Study Skills
You are also entitled to extra help and support with English, Maths or Study Skills. Ask you tutor for more information. If you prefer, contact your Regional Office and ask to speak to someone about help with English, Maths or Study Skills.

Sound interesting?
Please contact Caroline on 0115 985 8203 or email

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