Creative Writing and Publishing
The West Dean College Certificate Award in Fiction Writing is awarded in recognition of the successful completion of all three weekend course units spread across each academic term, self-directed study and a final submission of 5000 words fiction.
The course seeks to bring together the key elements of writing fiction into one continuing programme and to support the development of skills in characterisation, voice, plot and structure, and points of craft.
Each weekend unit will be based in the inspirational environment of West Dean College’s historic rooms. It is aimed at writers who wish to commit to an extended programme of study without having to make a significant time commitment and who will benefit from a cohesive course that offers focus on the key elements of successful writing over the course.
It also offers a potential pathway to those interested in applying for the College’s Higher Education programmes in Writing and Publishing.
This Certificate is designed for writers who want an extended and cohesive course on fiction writing, delivered by successful authors and teachers. The course delivery mirrors that of the MA programme in Creative Writing and Publishing offered at the College. It offers a deeper and broader raft of teaching, designed to enable the student to take on a piece of longer fiction. At the end of the third unit, students will be asked to submit the first 5000 words of a Work in Progress for marking and feedback from the tutors.
On successful completion, students may be offered an interview for the MA in Creative Writing and Publishing, should they want to continue their studies and project. The MA is set up to facilitate the production of a completed novel.
To introduce you to the key skills and knowledge that underpins fiction writing and the development of the novel. These will include the organisational skills required for plotting, character development and narrative technique. It will also introduce you to constructive and focused critical reflection of your work and support the development of rewriting/drafting skills.
The course will offer a stimulating and varied learning environment to enable writers to develop their skills around style, point of view, pacing and prose. Writing exercises will be used, along with discussion and textual analysis.
It will facilitate constructive critical thinking/reflection and cover redrafting, narrative drive and the development of voice.
Contextual and Critical Studies
The course will offer insight into the traditions, theory and responsibilities of the writer and enable you to make clear authorial and editorial choices about your developing work.
Unit 1 will include:
Unit 2 will include:
Unit 3 will include:
On successful completion students will receive a Certificate of Completion and be offered an interview for the MA in Creative Writing and Publishing, should they want to continue their studies and project. The MA is set up to facilitate the production of a completed novel.
Please bring your usual writing equipment, notebook and pen and/or laptop.
Explore and expand your work in a uniquely immersive environment with its own connections to art history. Our School of Arts students enjoy specialist studio spaces dedicated to painting and drawing, sculpture and tapestry and textile-based work as well as exceptional exhibition space.
The course fees are payable in advance of study.
Course fee: £990 (non-residential, payable in one instalment covering all three units – payable by 12 January 2024).
Accommodation for a weekend course, including dinner and breakfast, is currently available from £213 per weekend (single occupancy). Please see accommodation costs specific to the timing of each unit.
For standard Terms and Conditions, please refer to our Short Course T&Cs. Specific Terms and Conditions include a commitment to attend all three weekend course dates listed as no alternative course dates can be offered for any that you are unable to attend. Therefore no refund can be made for the course fee for any weekend you are unable to attend.
Second year MA Creative Writing and Publishing student Eve Kenworthy talks about her experiences on the course during the last term, the guidance and support provided by the course tutors and dreams of her future as a writer.
By Pam Hamilton, MA Creative Writing & Publishing student
On the first day of my MA in Creative Writing and Publishing at West Dean College I was terrified. It was two decades since I’d been in formal education, I was worried the tutors had over-estimated my potential, and I was scared of the other students. I had spent my career in the corporate world and felt like a fraud....
A blog post by Mark Radcliffe, Subject Lead MA Creative Writing & Publishing.
I have a new novel out on March 2nd called Three Gifts. It is about a boy given the opportunity to trade in years from his own – as yet unlived – life, in exchange for his mother being cured of cancer. It is I think, a happy book. I may be wrong, it is hard to tell at this point. Find out more
For National Writing Day, MA Creative Writing and Publishing alumnae Jenny Browning and Emma Ward share what they are currently working on, reflections on their time at West Dean College and how they continue to pursue the dream of becoming published writers.
By Eve Kenworthy, MA Creative Writing and Publishing student Imagine the perfect place to study creative writing. It might be a grand house filled with creative people. You could be in an oak paneled library with large windows facing manicured gardens, towards the rolling Sussex countryside. From your desk you can see sheep safely grazing under a blue cloudless sky. Eight other students c...
By Sara Bryce-Gordon, MA Creative Writing & Publishing student, Second Year
Laura has published six novels for adults, including Crossing the Line, Skin Deep, Redemption Song and The Family Line; as well as numerous short stories. As an editor and mentor, Laura coaches writers to competition shortlistings and publication.
Tutor - Certificate in Fiction Writing
Bethan Roberts has published five novels and writes stories and drama for BBC Radio 4. Her books include: The Good Plain Cook (Serpent’s Tail, 2008), which was a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime; My Policeman (Chatto & Windus, 2012), the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife and his male lover (a major Amazon Original movie starring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin) and Mother Island (Chatto, 2014), which received a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. Her latest novel, Graceland, tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother, Gladys.