Start To Write

Starting out | Fiction

No-excuses, let’s-get-going, beginners' creative writing courses to kickstart your creative life.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the measures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, this course will now NOT be taking place in London and will be conducted via Zoom.

On the fourth floor of one of the world’s most famous publishing houses, you’ll get the hands-on teaching you need to start writing, from our acclaimed tutors and novelists and from fourteen fellow writers. You’ll be writing there and then, getting instant responses, experimenting with structure and techniques, plus tips on what to do next to start your writing life.

What are the crucial ingredients of a great story?

What makes a great opening?

How do you know what to leave in and what to take out?

Join top Faber Academy tutors Richard Skinner or Sarah May to find out.

PLUS! As well as a great day's intensive teaching, you'll also be entitled to our alumni discount, offering you up to 25% off* future course fees – so if you're considering one of Faber Academy creative writing courses, why not try us out first?

*up to a value of £250

26th September 2020

Availability: Out of stock

0 Places

There are thirty places available on this course, to be split across two classes of fifteen, one taught for the duration by Sarah May and the other by Richard Skinner. Class lists will be created at random in the week before the course.


The morning session will focus on the starting point of all fiction: ideas. Where do ideas for stories come from? Which novels have moved you the most profoundly? How can you use imitation and improvisation to create stories? There will be writing exercises to develop good practice, which will in turn help facilitate good ideas.

1–2pm: Lunch (not provided)


The afternoon session will concentrate on how to tell a great story. Starting with the basic elements and building up the action layer by layer. You will use writing exercises to explore different narrative effects and leave with your own piece of flash fiction.

There will be tea/coffee breaks in the morning at 11.30am and in the afternoon at 3pm.


Please note that this course, like all Faber Academy courses, is open only to writers aged 18 or over.

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Sarah May is the highly-acclaimed author of 7 novels, including The Nudist Colony, which was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Awar...


Richard Skinner is a novelist, poet and critic. His most recent book, The Mirror, was described as ‘beautifully written . . . immersive . ....

For a day's blast it was an amazing injection of umphf! Many thanks for orchestrating an inspiring, challenging, well organised and very worthwhile day [...] Absolutely fantastic!
  • Start to Write Student

"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