Creative Courses

Professional Development & Short Courses

Manchester Writing School: Creative Writing Summer School

Manchester Writing School- Creative Writing Summer School

About the course

This two-day intensive course is designed to give participants a taste of life in the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met, introduce you to tutors and current students, and offer opportunities to develop your own writing – and reading – in a lively and supportive environment.

The programme will include a carousel of masterclass workshops, seminars and talks, delivered by practising writers and critics, with input from special guests.

Attendees can choose from a range of specialist sessions. These may include fiction, poetry, writing for children & young adults, place writing, scriptwriting, creative non-fiction, how to present your work for publication, and performance skills. The full programme will be circulated in advance of the Summer School, and you will be asked to choose four 90-minute sessions per day, which are all subject to availability. Please also let us know when confirming your session choices if you have any learning, accessibility, mobility or dietary needs.

The programme of sessions for our 2020 Summer School is to be confirmed. To find out more about the kinds of activities our Summer Schools involve, you can read this coverage of a previous event on the aAh! magazine blog or view the 2019 Summer School programme.

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run over two days at Manchester Met on 18th and 19th June 2020.

The cost of attending is £250 (this course is unaccredited only).

Please book via our online shop.

For further details, contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.

What students say about our Summer School

  • "A real great insight into the course, the school methodology, and the learning environment. One particularly impressive feat was blending the existing Masters students and one-off attendees like myself so you never felt like an outsider. Highly recommend."
  • "The Writing School came across as a vibrant community. It felt like a great place to study."
  • "The mix of people was great. I felt warmly welcomed."
  • "I am already writing with the workshop ideas in mind."
  • "I took a lot away from the session with the agent. It helped me to understand how I weigh up who might be a good match for my work."

Crime Fiction

Reading & Writing Crime Fiction

About the course

Play detective by putting selected crime stories under the metaphorical microscope and identify the specific aspects of style, craft, tone, plotting and characterisation that make them intriguing to read. This course offers students an opportunity to look closely at crime fiction, to study its core elements, and to develop your own practice in the genre. It combines critical study of crime fiction with creative work in the genre. Through practical exercises, reading and discussion, you will discover how storytelling techniques that are essential elements of the crime genre – suspense, misdirection, conflict and interrogation – can be usefully applied in all forms and modes of fiction writing. You will have the opportunity to practise techniques of pacing, plotting, dialogue, structure and control of information, to the benefit of your own prose writing, under the guidance of experienced critics, writers and crime experts. Those submitting assessed work for accreditation will complete a 2,000-word crime story and a 1,000-word critical commentary. The course will be led by crime novelist Oliver Harris, author of the Nick Belsey series.

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run at Manchester Met over three days in the summer term of 2019/2020: 12th, 13th and 14th May 2020.

The cost is £350 for those who wish to attend the sessions, or £1,417 for Home/EU students and £2,584 for overseas students who want to submit assessed coursework to gain 30 Masters-level credits (which can count towards our Masters programmes in Creative Writing or English Studies). You can apply to bring credits gained from our CPD short courses into our full Masters programmes via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning process. Please note that bringing prior learning credits into a full Masters programme may affect your eligibility for a Postgraduate Loan.

To apply for accredited study, download our application form. For unaccredited study, please book via our online shop.

For further details, contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.

What students said about this course


From Historical Fact to Contemporary Fiction

From Historical Fact to Contemporary Fiction

About the course

Combining historical expertise with creative practice, this course offers students an opportunity to look closely at historical fiction, to study its core elements and to share your own writing with fellow enthusiasts. Discussions and workshops are aimed at developing your skills as a writer and enriching your experience of reading historical novels. As well as writing workshops, there will be talks on aspects of historical research given by experts in the field. This course is intended to be enjoyable and challenging in equal measure. It celebrates the wide range of historical novels published today, and explores the ways in which retelling history reflects upon our own contemporary society. Through practical exercises, close reading and small-group discussion, you will discover how fact and fiction can be integrated in new and compelling ways. Led by award-winning historical novelist Livi Michael. Those submitting assessed work for accreditation will complete a 3,000-word essay.

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run at Manchester Met over three days in the summer term of 2019/20: 2nd, 3rd and 4th June 2020.

The cost is £350 for those who wish to attend the sessions, or £1,417 for Home/EU students and £2,417 for overseas students who want to submit assessed coursework to gain 30 Masters-level credits (which can count towards our Masters programmes in Creative Writing or English Studies). You can apply to bring credits gained from our CPD short courses into our full Masters programmes via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning process. Please note that bringing prior learning credits into a full Masters programme may affect your eligibility for a Postgraduate Loan.

To apply for accredited study, download our application form. For unaccredited study, please book via our online shop.

For further details, contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.

What students said about this course

  • “Input from the team and external speakers was hugely inspirational, as was the choice of venues.”
  • “Advice on how to use sources and incorporate research into my writing was invaluable.”
  • “It was especially good to meet other people who are writing historical fiction.”

How to Build a Children's Story

Writing Skills for Researchers

About the course

Taking in material from The Hungry Caterpillar to Hunger Games, this course offers an introduction to writing for children. Attention will be paid to dialogue, characterisation, setting, narrative strategy and target audience. A critical introduction to the history of Children’s Literature will underpin the creative aspects of the course, and help students explore ideas of ‘the child’ and the implied reader. Those submitting assessed work for accreditation will complete a 2,000-word children's story and a 1,000-word critical commentary. 

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run at Manchester Met over three days in the summer term of 2019/2020: 9th, 10th and 11th June 2020.

The cost is £350 for those who wish to attend the sessions, or £1,417 for Home/EU students and £2,584 for overseas students who want to submit assessed coursework to gain 30 Masters-level credits (which can count towards our Masters programmes in Creative Writing or English Studies). You can apply to bring credits gained from our CPD short courses into our full Masters programmes via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning process. Please note that bringing prior learning credits into a full Masters programme may affect your eligibility for a Postgraduate Loan.

To apply for accredited study, download our application form. For unaccredited study, please book via our online shop.

For further details, contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.


Playwriting and Virtual Reality‌

About the course

This two-day course focuses on mastering essentials of dramatic technique, such as scene construction, and creation of characters and dialogue. Beginning with an analysis of Hamlet as an exemplary play of dramatic cause and effect, you will examine how it is put together. David Ball’s manual Backward and Forward will allow you to break down its scenes, and to analyse its flawless structure. You will complement this reading with Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a deservedly famous, brilliant and metaphysical deconstruction of Hamlet. You will write the last two or three scenes of a play. The virtual reality experience is called Backslide. It is sophisticated but easy to use. The dense texture within a rotunda that you slowly pan, using an Oculus Rift headset, will provide stimuli to help you get going on your play. It's fun and easy. Led by guest tutor Professor Johnny Payne from Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles.

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run over two days at Manchester Met on 29th and 30th October 2019.

The cost of attending is £250 (this course is unaccredited only).

Please book via our online shop.

For further details, contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.


Scriptwriting Masterclass

About the course

This three-day course will offer an active interrogation of the fundamental principles of dramatic writing. Through a combination of script analysis and exercises that Simon Stephens and Anjum Malik employ in their own work as well as a broader philosophical consideration of the mechanics of playwriting the three days will consider, among other questions, the fundamental nature of dramatic action, dramatic dialogue, narrative and structure as well as creative process. Led by Anjum Malik and Simon Stephens with input from special guests from the industry.

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run at Manchester Met over three days in the summer term of 2019/2020: 28th, 29th and 30th April 2020.

The cost of attending is £350 (this course is unaccredited only).

Please book via our online shop.

For further details please contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk 

or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.

What students said about this course

"Masterful teaching, great energy... I've taken great steps in my writing over these three days."

"Thoroughly fired up. All very inspiring and empowering ... practical and useful."

"I've gained a better understanding of the radio, TV and stage scripting process and a better appreciation of these industries and the people who work in them."

"Anjum and Simon are just fantastic!"


Teaching Creative Writing

Teaching Creative Writing

About the course

Teaching Creative Writing is for teachers and practitioners wishing to enhance their creative writing classroom skills, and writers interested in sharing their experience in schools and colleges, or contributing to creative work in community settings or with arts and culture organisations. Writers gain valuable insight into working in classrooms and say that the workshops have helped develop their own writing. Teachers enjoy the creative aspects of the course but say that the ultimate gain is for pupils. The course comprises practitioner-led workshops exploring creative teaching ideas for areas such as prose, poetry, journalism, creative non-fiction and drama and demonstrates models that can be adapted to suit individual teaching situations and styles. Students participate in a series of sample workshops, collect a portfolio of ideas and materials, reflect on some of the theories of teaching practice, and begin to develop original lesson plans. Those submitting assessed work for accreditation will complete a 2,000-word lesson plan and a 1,000-word critical commentary.

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run at Manchester Met over three days in the summer term of 2019/2020: 5th, 6th and 7th May 2020.

The cost is £350 for those who wish to attend the sessions, or £1,417 for Home/EU students and £2,584 for overseas students who want to submit assessed coursework to gain 30 Masters-level credits (which can count towards our Masters programmes in Creative Writing or English Studies).

To apply for accredited study, download our application form. For unaccredited study, please book via our online shop.

For further details, contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.

What students have said about this course

  • “I have already started applying what I learned on this course in school.”
  • “Heightened my level of observation, which is crucial for a writer.”
  • “Had an immediate impact in the classroom.”

Utopias and Dystopias

Place Writing

About the course

This course offers students an opportunity to look closely at utopias and dystopias, to study their core elements, and develop practice in the genre through creative writing exercises and the completion of a short utopian or dystopian story. The unit combines critical study of utopias and dystopias with creative work within the genre. Through close reading and discussion, students will discover how the narrative techniques which are essential elements of utopias and dystopias can be applied in other modes of fiction writing. Students will have the opportunity to practice techniques learned through the study of published examples, to the benefit of their own imaginative writing. Those submitting assessed work for accreditation will complete a 2,000-word story and a 1,000-word critical commentary. 

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run at Manchester Met the summer term of 2019/2020, with weekly classes from 6-8pm on Tuesday evenings from 28th April to 16th June 2020.

The cost is £350 for those who wish to attend the sessions, or £1,417 for Home/EU students and £2,584 for overseas students who want to submit assessed coursework to gain 30 Masters-level credits (which can count towards our Masters programmes in Creative Writing or English Studies). You can apply to bring credits gained from our CPD short courses into our full Masters programmes via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning process. Please note that bringing prior learning credits into a full Masters programme may affect your eligibility for a Postgraduate Loan.

To apply for accredited study, download our application form. For unaccredited study, please book via our online shop.

For further details, contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.


Writing About Relationships

A Many Splendored Thing: Writing (Well) About Relationships

About the course

Human relationships are the beating heart of fiction. This course is designed to help writers gain confidence, avoid cliché, improve the quality of your prose style – and avoid being nominated for the Bad Sex Award! The varied programme of lectures and workshops will provide you with space for reflection, and opportunities to read, write and discuss. Taught by an eclectic team – including novelists Catherine Fox and Monique Roffey, marriage professionals, English lecturers and leading sociologists – the course will explore writing about love and partnership.  Participants will have the opportunity to develop their own writing in workshops and in field trips around Manchester, specially chosen with an eye to romance, traditional and  unconventional. This course would suit those who enjoy reading well-observed fiction and are hoping to write a novel of their own, with freshness, honesty and humour. Those submitting assessed work for accreditation will complete 2,000 words of creative writing and a 1,000 word critical commentary.

Further details and course contacts

The next course will run at Manchester Met over three days in the summer term of 2019/2020: 19th, 20th and 21st May 2020.

The cost is £350 for those who wish to attend the sessions, or £1,417 for Home/EU students and £2,584 for overseas students who want to submit assessed coursework to gain 30 Masters-level credits (which can count towards our Masters programmes in Creative Writing or English Studies).

To apply for accredited study, download our application form. For unaccredited study, please book via our online shop.

For further details, contact postgradenglish@mmu.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 247 6969.

What students said about this course

  • “Gave me new ways of looking at material for writing relationships."
  • “Observing different techniques has made me look at my work from new angles.”
  • “Gave me new ways of thinking to tackle tired clichés”

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