Getting Started: Beginners' Fiction (Online)

Starting out | Fiction
Everything you need to call yourself a writer – discipline, craft skills and a great group of people to work with – in one online writing course experience

(Looking for something more advanced? Try Writing A Novel: The First 15,000)

You want to write. Start here.

- Eight weeks of learning and support to get you writing;
- Flexibility and rigour in a specially designed learning environment;
- Get the answer to the all-important question: 'Can I write?'

Take your work to the next level: in just a few weeks, go from a curious scribbler to a disciplined writer.

Getting Started: Beginners' Fiction is a self-paced online writing course, teaching you to:

- Read like a writer;
- Behave like a writer – develop good habits;
- Get inspired – then turn your ideas into stories;
- Engage readers, and learn from them, too;
- Improve and improve, with structured weekly peer feedback.

It is made up of seven weekly 'sessions' – a mix of exercises to complete, prompts, info sheets and stimulus texts, plus a unique forum for that session's discussion, where you can upload your work for feedback from your fellow students. This will be followed by a longer period to complete and submit one or more pieces of fiction totalling 3,000 words.

You have total freedom – you don't have to be anywhere at a particular time, nor complete any exercise to any deadline, except within the week-long duration of the session. When your session opens on the date below, that's when you can first gain access to the course materials – and feedback forums – that make up that week's activities. You will need to commit at least 10-12 hours a week to the course.

During sessions, you will be in constant contact with your fellow writers via private chatrooms and forums. After the course, you will have the chance to access these forums for smart, informed discussion about your work and the work of others.

By the end of the course you will:

- Gain an understanding of all the important elements and techniques of storytelling;
- Assess your abilities & interest in writing fiction in a friendly environment of peers;
- Receive constructive & rigorous feedback on your writing, so that you can measure your improvement.

This course is a useful foundation for those who wish to take the longer, more intensive Faber Academy Writing a Novel course.

At the end of the course, you will, for a fee, have the option to submit your work for detailed feedback and advice on how to improve further, which will be provided in the form of a written report.

For more information on what to expect from the course and your tutor, including details of our peer critique model, click here.

Please note: you must be over 18 to take this course.

28th June 2021 - 22nd August 2021

Availability: In stock

9 Places

Week 1 (opens Monday 28 June): Becoming a Writer

How writers work and how to develop creativity and discipline.

Week 2 (opens Monday 5 July): Point of View

Who's telling the story?

Week 3 (opens Monday 12 July): Character

The importance of characters in fiction, where they come from, and making them believable.

Week 4 (opens Monday 19 July): Setting

Where your story takes place and why it's important.

Week 5 (opens Monday 26 July): How Time Works in Fiction

Techniques to vary the pace of your story.

Week 6 (opens Monday 2 August): Structure

Fitting the elements of your story together.

Week 7 (open Monday 2 August – two weeks to allow for writing time): Independent Writing Time, with full access to chat rooms and forums to share work and feedback

[Optional] After The End Of Your Course – detailed written report on your work (additional fee applies)

Alumni area opens on course end date to continue to work on your writing in your group and with previous Faber Academy online students.

NB: Your tutor won't give detailed feedback on your work each week but will be available to answer your questions about the process and craft of writing. In Session 4, you'll have the option to submit one of the pieces you've worked on in the first four sessions for individual tutor feedback.

Click here for more information +


Helen has been teaching people to write for 30 years. She has devised and delivered writing...

"There's no point staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike - to get your creative muscles working you need to start writing, reviewing and sharing your work."

Helen Shipman