The Basics of Creative Writing Course

Price: $ 795.00

The Basics of Creative Writing Course

This course is a fast, effective way to gain the skills required to write any form of fiction – from novels to short stories

A rigorous training for both beginners and seasoned writers

The Basics of Creative Writing Course provides breakthrough writing techniques required for fiction. Practise your skills in 40 writing assignments, with feedback on each from an award-winning writer.

Whether you want to sell the stories that you produce, enter writing competitions, or simply write for the pleasure of it, this course is a powerful way to achieve your writing goals.

This Course Gives You...

Expert, Individual Feedback

Get prompt, honest, detailed feedback on every assignment from an award-winning writer. We focus on your unique writing strengths.

No Peer Reviews!

You will only be assessed by your tutor, a leader in their field. No more guessing and wondering how to write; you'll be guided line by line.

No Automated Marking

We use traditional methods of assessing work, as editors at publishing houses would. No generic feedback!

A Flexible Schedule

Work wherever and whenever you want. You can easily fit our courses around work and other commitments.

Relevant, Usable Content

Easy-to-digest course notes that capture a lifetime of writing experience, ready for you to apply to your own writing.

Ongoing Assessment

Your writing is assessed continuously as your course progresses.

Master the Basics of Creative Writing

Jump-start your fiction writing project

Developed and refined over many years, this course offers a unique opportunity to benefit from years of writing experience in just four months.

You will work with an award-winning author for the duration of the five-module course. It is this one-to-one, professional feedback and mentoring that brings about the most noticeable improvements to your writing.

Work through your 200-page course manual and complete 40 writing assignments, with feedback on each writing exercise.

Don’t waste time making the same mistakes and doubting your writing ability. Let your expert tutor guide you through the potential pitfalls of fiction writing and show you how to bring your writing to life.

'I could not have found a better college. The course was wonderful in every respect.'

Gill Palliser, Basics of Creative Writing Course

Course Overview

Start your course at any time – applications open all year round.


Price includes GST



The assignments vary in length.



These modules include around 200 pages of course notes.



Work at your own pace – up to a maximum of four months.


Working with an individual tutor means you can start the course at any time.


Basic writing skills are essential. Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required. No previous tertiary qualification required.

Our Graduate Students' Successes

We are proud of our graduates who have achieved success. Here are a few among dozens of our creative writing success stories.

Tutor for this course

Helen Brain

I’ve been writing for 25 years, and teaching creative writing for 11. I’ve seen over a thousand students graduate from my courses, and have an exceptionally high completion rate.

I’m very interested in the craft of writing and believe that this is something that can be learned and practised so that the story that appears on the page correlates more closely with the story in your head.    

I love teaching one-on-one, and supporting my students as they stretch themselves creatively and technically.


  • Over 60 books published for children, young adults, 1997 – 2019
  • Here be Lions, a memoir, published 2006
  • Fiery Spiral trilogy acquired by US publisher Catalyst Press 2018
  • Ibby South Africa Honours list multiple years
  • ATKV Award for her teen novel Tamara
  • Three of her books have been selected for the SACBF (South African Children’s Book Forum) Honours List

Course Curriculum

Module 1

The Components of Fiction

  • 20 practical lessons on the basics of creative writing
  • Learn the components of fiction – description, action and dialogue
  • Task: Complete and submit 20 short exercises on these components



Module 2

Learn How to Write Scenes

  • Learn how to write balanced scenes using description, action and dialogue
  • Learn from the experts, analysing scenes from the world’s best fiction writers
  • Discover how to build up a scene step by step
  • Task: Analyse scenes from established writers, focusing on description, action, dialogue, mood and pace



Module 3

Write Your Own Scenes

  • How to begin writing
  • How to edit and rewrite
  • Task: Write a 1000-word scene from a prompt; submit a synopsis, backstory, setting and scene plan



Module 4

The Writing Life

  • Where to next with your writing?
  • A few necessities for writing well
  • Commit to writing
  • How to improve your drafts
  • Task: Edit and rewrite your scene; submit the second draft of your scene


Module 5

Opportunities for Writers

  • Over 80 pages of local and international writing opportunities
  • Task: Submit the third and final draft of your scene


What Our Students Say

Camilla MilfordBasics of Creative Writing
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Helen is a magnificent tutor who masterfully responds with the right critique that automatically inspires you to improve, despite any shortcomings you might have. It is a well-rounded course that touches on all the necessary aspects of writing for beginners, without being too overwhelming. It was a wonderful journey of discovery that changed me. I can’t go back to who I was before – the writing world beckons. Thanks to The Writers College I can now move forward with certainty to achieve my goals with practice, sound knowledge and the right guidance from the courses provided here.
David JansenBasics of Creative Writing
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My tutor was wonderful and I learnt a great deal from the feedback she gave me. In my opinion, this was the true value of the course because the feedback I received was insightful and I was able to apply it to successive stages of the course. My experience was wonderful, thanks to my tutor, and well worth the cost of the course.
James MortleyBasics of Creative Writing
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Overall, the course more than met my expectations. It offered a great overview of creative writing, with a diverse range of challenging exercises and good exposure to different writers. This combination was both engaging and fun. Working on the final scene was particularly rewarding in terms of receiving good developmental input to ensure that the final draft was of good quality. Working with Helen was brilliant. She is great at giving encouragement and a good critique so that good opportunity is provided for development. It was a fun, rewarding and challenging experience.
Carol HookBasics of Creative Writing
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The Basics of Creative Writing Course offers everything. It’s been an incredible journey for me. I love writing, and learning to understand specific skills has been truly wonderful. Helen is exceptional. She answered my questions when I struggled with certain areas of the course and gave me confidence and the will to keep writing. She is a very motivational tutor. My experience at The Writers’ College has taught me a side of writing to remember for the future. Thank you for everything.
Alex LovellBasics of Creative Writing
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The course was wonderful. I feel my core creative writing skills have been properly reinforced and my confidence in my writing is better than ever. Working under Helen’s tutelage was excellent. Without her help, I feel my writing would not have been as fine-tuned as it is now. Highly recommend the course to anyone looking to improve their writing skills.

Get These Additional Benefits

Lifetime Course Access

Benefit from free lifetime access to future course updates and access to our writing resources.

Join a Community of Writers

You will have access to our friendly Facebook community, daily writing tips and writing inspiration.

500+ Bonus Articles on Our Blog

A superb, constantly updated resource with articles on writing and interviews with writers.

Work at Your Own Pace

Our courses work around you. You can pace your course around your busy life.

Work Opportunities

Top students are invited to join our writers and editors for hire service.

Be the First to Know About Writing Competitions

We'll help you keep up to date with the latest competition announcements

Risk-Free 100% Money-Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you will love your course that if you’re not 100% satisfied with the quality of our training, simply ask for a refund within 30 days.

Complete the Application Form to Enrol on the Basics of Creative Writing Course

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you will be redirected to our secure payment portal.

*If the application form doesn’t submit, please contact admin and we’ll assist you.

Questions? We've Got Answers

The course consists of five modules. Detailed course notes covering the content of each module are emailed to you. At the end of each module, you will be required to complete writing exercises. In total, the course includes 40 short writing assignments, all of which count towards your final result. Once the writing assignment has been completed and emailed to your tutor, an assessment and feedback will be sent to you and the module will be considered complete. You will then download the next module from the Student Centre.

Absolutely. You have direct communication with your tutor for the duration of the course. The more questions you ask, the more you will get out of the course.

You will get lifetime access to the course, and you’ll benefit from all future updates and improvements to the course.

For the majority of our courses, only your tutor will see your work. Your work will remain completely private unless you get it published. In the journalism courses, your work might be published in the public domain, but you do have the final say as to whether or not it is published.

Students will receive a Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must complete all 40 writing assignments
  • The course must be completed within four months of registration
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course
  • Basic writing skills are essential.
  • Basic computer skills, as well as email and Internet access are required.
  • No previous tertiary qualification is required.

Because you will work with an individual tutor, you can apply for a course and start as soon as you want to. There are no specific start dates as would be the case with a traditional college.

An application is usually approved within one working day. Once we see proof of payment, your course will start.

You could be starting your course today!

There is no research required for this course, just planning and writing. The speed at which you work is entirely up to you. You have four months to complete the course (and an extra 21 days if your course runs over the Christmas and New Year break).

You are welcome to finish the course sooner if you want to, but we wouldn’t want you to rush the process too much!

Once your application has been approved, you will receive notice of approval and an invoice via email. As soon as we see proof of payment, you will receive the first module. We will also send you your tutor’s email address and your login details. Your tutor will also be in touch to welcome you.

Any work you create on our courses is owned by you. We will never make a claim to anything you produce. We follow the rule that copyright subsists with the creator (you).

'Completing the course was a fascinating and valuable experience, quite possibly, life-changing. It was exactly what I was looking for but didn’t really expect to find. It went way beyond what I expected.'

Martin Kristiansen, Basics of Creative Writing Course

Got More Questions?

We would love to help you choose the best course for you. Tell us what style of writing you want to develop and we'll give you some options.