Creative Writing Course

The Elements of Storytelling

A Limited Special Offer: Get the first module free until 30 June 2020.
No obligation to continue with the full course.

Explore the elements of storytelling at your own pace and build your creative writing confidence.

Get Module One of the Elements of Storytelling Course FREE!
Places limited until 30 June 2020


Would you love to write fiction, but don’t know how to get started? Is that half-finished short story, novel or memoir languishing on your laptop?

This course is aimed at you: someone who has always known they have stories inside them, just waiting to be written.

Our Elements of Storytelling Course – tutored by Alex Smith and Andrew Salomon – is a beginner programme aimed at freeing you up to express yourself and breathes new life into your creative writing.

The course is a nurturing, safe space to explore different aspects of creative writing. You’ll receive useful feedback from an award-winning writer on how to make your writing polished and engaging.


"Hand on heart, there is no way I would have been published without Alex's guidance."

Award-winning author and graduate, Gareth Ward

In this free first module:

Discover …

  • Four essential tools all creative writers need to know
  • New writing skills in 8  tasks with feedback on each one

How it works …

  • Sign up for your free module by completing the application form below.
  • You will receive your module via email, and your tutor will write and welcome you.
  • Once you have worked through the module, write and submit your 8 tasks.
  • Your tutor will get back to you with feedback within a week.
  • There is no obligation to continue with the full course. This is a once-off special offer.

Ready to sign up for the free module?

Complete the application form below. Successful applicants will receive the first module and a welcome letter from their tutor within 24 working hours.

Tutors for this course

Alex Smith

Alex Smith is the author of five novels, 'Algeria's Way', 'Drinking from the Dragon's Well', 'Four Drunk Beauties' and 'Devilskein & Dearlove', all published by Random House (Umuzi) and 'Agency Blue' published by Tafelberg. 'Drinking from the Dragon's Well' was long-listed for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. 'Agency Blue' won a Sanlam Youth Literature Award. 'Four Drunk Beauties', which has been translated into Turkish, won the Nielsen Booksellers' choice award and 'Devilskein & Dearlove' was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal in the UK. Alex also tutors the Write a Novel Course.

Andrew Salomon

Andrew Salomon received the PEN Literary Award for African Fiction and the Short.Sharp.Stories Award. His debut novel 'Tokoloshe Song' was shortlisted for the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award and his short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He is the author of the Young Adult thrillers 'The Chrysalis' and 'Wonderbear' and his latest novel is the dark fantasy thriller 'The Equilibrist'. He completed an MA at the Institute for Archaeology at University College London and some of his most memorable experiences have been at rock painting and engraving sites in rock shelters and subterranean caves across the world. These often find their way into his fiction.

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

Gill Palliser, graduate student

Ready to sign up for your FREE module?
Complete the enrolment form below.

As places are limited, we will be selecting applicants on a first come first served basis. If your application is approved, we will e-mail the first module within 24 working hours, and you will receive a welcome letter from your tutor.

Want to develop your writing to a high standard? Interested in the full course details?

Scroll down to discover how you can
turbo-charge your writing for all creative forms.​

In the 6-module course you will:

Course details:

  • Modules: six modules over 150 pages
  • Duration: Course can be completed at own pace within three to six months
  • Start date: At any time; applications all year round

Students must complete:

  • 22 writing exercises with individual feedback
  • up to 24 reading tasks

Admission requirements:

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

Full Course Fee:

The full course curriculum:

Module 1

4 Essential Tools for Creative Writers

Module 2

9 Writing Skills Every Creative Writer Must Develop

Module 3

Creating Your Characters

Module 4

Creating a Setting

Module 5

Inventing Plot

Module 6

7 Steps to Building a Story

Our creative writing students have won, or been shortlisted, in the following writing competitions

Writing competitions our students have won

How does the full course work?

The course consists of six modules. Detailed class notes covering the content of each module are e-mailed to students. At the end of each section, students will be required to complete writing exercises. In total, the course includes 22 writing assignments, all of which count towards the final result of the student. Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete. The next module will then be e-mailed to the student.

Conditions of certification:

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

•Students must have completed all 22 writing assignments
•The course must have been completed within six months of registration.
•Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course

Minimum estimated time commitment:

After studying the modules, the exercises should take between two and four hours to complete. You will also be required to do around 2 to 4 hours of reading per module.

Published books written by our creative writing students

Books published by writing course students at The Writers College after completing their writing courses

What students say about working with Andrew Salomon...

‘I really had to think on my feet, so to speak, and fight through numerous bouts of writer’s block. Andrew was just as helpful, if not more so than the last course we did together. His help was truly invaluable to me. So far, every course I’ve gone through has been an absolute breeze. The tutors are always there to help and the coursework is the clearest I’ve seen since I was in high school.’ Gregory Seebregts, Advanced Novel Writing Course

‘My experience was enriching as I not only gained greater expertise in various areas of creative writing but also gained belief in my own ability. Andrew was always prompt with his responses. His feedback was helpful and well-informed. I grew so much as a writer through his tutelage. His input and encouragement were invaluable. It was a pivotal experience. It took me from a place of self-doubt to self-belief all the while equipping me with the tools to become an effective writer.’ Zachary Zwart, Write a Novel Course

‘I found this course both challenging and exciting, causing me to excel in ways I never would have dreamed. I found Andrew easy to communicate with and very friendly. I was impressed to see my marked assignments returned to me quickly – often the very next day after I had sent them. My experience with the College was wonderful. One thing that particularly impressed me was the way they just took me as I was, considering that I am blind.’ Petra Coleman, Mastering Punctuation Course

‘The course provided me with answers to questions I have had for a very long time. It opened my eyes to the reality of being a writer and, if anything, has made me fall in love with stories even more. I was highly satisfied with Andrew’s guidance, compassion, and understanding that a writer is an individual. He in no way forced me to write in any way that was not genuine to me and my style, which I appreciated. The Writers College helped me to grow in what I love to do rather than change it into something less enjoyable.’ Sarah Verna, Write a Novel Course

‘I thoroughly enjoyed this course; the exercises were challenging and informative and it really gave me the impetus I needed to start my novel. Andrew was a joy to work with – he gave me great feedback and responded to any query I had with intelligence and compassion. An absolutely wonderful experience.’ Lindsay Klein, Write a Novel Course

What our students say about working with Alex Smith...

This course was more than just a learning curve; it was a great add-on to my passion. It was truly the best choice I’ve made. I would honestly recommend this course for all new fiction writers. With Alex Smith as my tutor it feels like I can take over the world with a few words. And not once did her hope in me fail. I am honoured to know her as a writer. Completely worth every cent spent.’ Leanrie Nel, Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course

‘The course was very specific and easy to understand. These back-to-basics skills are very important for a new writer. Alex Smith was very consistent in giving me feedback. Her feedback was always very detailed and I was very happy with her top-class comments. I can’t wait to enrol for my next course!’ Masashiro Chih, Grammar Skills Course

‘This was an experience of a lifetime. I’ve learned so much and became confident in writing my own stories. Alex is amazing. She showed me what to do and pushed me beyond my limits! I’ve learned so much from her and became a better designer of my own story. She is one of the best tutors I’ve ever had. I’ve become a confident writer and editor.’ Anne, Write a Novel Course

‘The course was positive, encouraging and motivating. Alex was very encouraging and her feedback was always constructive. I was encouraged to start writing a novel and I completed a draft manuscript. Wow!’ Andrea Frieslaar, Write a Novel Course 

‘I cannot fault this course. Before this, I completed the Basics of Creative Writing Course, which was a great foundation for the novel course. My tutor Alex Smith was extremely encouraging and motivating and a pleasure to work with. Not only did the course teach me extensively about the craft of writing and the publishing world, it immediately got me into a daily writing routine which I’ve never wavered from, and which enabled me to complete my entire manuscript of 90,000 words well before the year was up. I couldn’t have achieved it without this course. I highly recommend it.’ Beth Wellington, Write a Novel Course

Need more advice about the best writing course for you?

We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our writing courses. 

If you need some advice about the best course or writing field for you, drop us a line at We can tell you about going rates in the field, chances of publishing success and general writing career options internationally.