An introduction to creative writing with Mick Jackson

Ref: SWE31675

Location: West Dean
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About this course

Over two days, you will be introduced to ways of gathering ideas and developing them through to complete short fictions. A time for early-stage writers to investigate prose as it is written and begin to explore your own potential.

Course Description

This is a course for writers in the early stages of their development – individuals who have ideas but perhaps lack the knowledge of how to carry them through into a cohesive whole.

By studying extracts from published texts, and with the help of prompts and exercises – along with much informal discussion – you will be exposed to the variety of form and tone available to you. You will also begin to identify the different elements at work in a piece of fiction (for instance, character, plotting, dialogue, etc.) and to appreciate how these facets might be utilised in your own stories.

Of equal importance, a primary aim of the course is to create a safe environment in which new writers can flex their creative muscles – to explore their own potential and possibly begin establishing their own individual voice.

This is an opportunity to put aside some time to focus on one’s writing and, if appropriate, to create and share new work with peers in a workshop environment. For some, this might be the chance to work towards a first short story. For others, it might mean simply producing their first fragments, vignettes or prose-poems – something to take away and to continue developing beyond West Dean.

No two writers share the same creative process, but this short course is intended to offer some understanding of the possible paths available – a confidence-booster that will hopefully open doors to further writing and self-confidence.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Pens and paper/a notebook

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Mick Jackson

Mick Jackson's first novel, The Underground Man, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and won the Royal Society of Authors' First Novel Award. His novels, collections of stories and an e-book are published by Faber and Faber. Mick was an RLF Writing Fellow at the University of Sussex and has been writer in-residence at the Science Museum, London and the Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton. He has an MA in creative writing.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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