Creative Writing Courses

Below is a list of our creative writing courses. If you are looking for kickstarters, one-to-one lessons, or mentoring, please go to our one-to-one page.

On Mondays...


This 6-week online course will help you to sustain your creativity, build your capacity to handle stressful challenges (deadlines, feelings of inadequacy, procrastination) and experience greater satisfaction in your creative life. You will be learning mindfulness and self-compassion skills by engaging in experiential exercises and guided meditation.

Mindful Self-Compassion is an evidence-based personal development programme designed to improve one's wellbeing and emotional resilience. For more information on this practice, go here.

Topics for each session are: 
Session 1 : What is self-compassion
Session 2: Practicing self-compassion (physiology of self-compassion, supportive touch and self-compassion break)
Session 3: Discovering your compassionate voice (working with the inner critic and motivating ourselves with compassion)
Session 4: Self-compassion and resilience (strategies for working with difficult emotions)
Session 5: Self-compassion and burnout (addressing care-giving fatigue, equanimity)
Session 6: Making it count- values and intentions

You will learn to:
Motivate yourself with encouragement rather than self-criticism
Deal with difficult emotions
Transform patterns of self-criticism and learn to be kinder to yourself
Clarify your own core values and learn how to use them to guide decision-making
Be on your own side to avoid burnout

DAY AND TIME: Mondays, 7-8:30pm.

DURATION: 6 week

DATES: Free taster session on Thursday 11 February 5-5.45 pm

            THEN: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 March and 12 April.


COSTS: Early bird before 15 February £120. Thereafter £130

             If you have been impacted by the pandemic or are unemployed, some concessions are                     available, please contact Sebastiana for more info.

TUTOR: Sebastiana Black and a guest (tbc)

HOW TO BOOK: To book contact Sebastiana 

Places are limited, small group, please book early.

“Taking part in Sebastiana's sessions warmed my heart. It helped me to give myself permission to let go. I enjoyed Sebastiana's amazing facilitation skills and ability to tune into individuals and the group, catering for everybody's needs.”

On Tuesdays...


Have you always wanted to write but don't know where to start?

Are you a secret writer and haven't dared show anyone your work? We can save you from the inner critic! This small, friendly class will give you the skills and confidence to tackle the blank page.

We will be looking at techniques such as 'show not tell', plot, theme, dialogue, setting and character. You will be encouraged to share your work and will gain insights into what makes your writing unique and how to improve.

DAYS AND TIME: Tuesdays, 7pm - 9pm

DATES: 13th April to 22nd June (with a break 18th May)
LOCATION: Online (Zoom)
COSTS: £250 (can be paid in installments)

TUTOR: Petra McQueen

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Petra here.

'I really enjoyed my writing course. Petra is an excellent teacher and I loved being part of the group.'

On Wednesdays...


Do you feel as though you can never justify spending your time on writing? Does it get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list? Or are you the reigning monarch of procrastination? This retreat will give you the motivation and mental space to write all day without interruption. Starting at nine each Wednesday morning, we will set goals for the day, check in on each other at lunch, and reconvene at five to discuss our progress. 

TIME: WEDNESDAYS 9am - 5.15pm

DURATION: Recurring every Wednesday. Come to one or come to all, it's up to you!
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
Pay per session £20. Paid in advance on a session-by-session basis.

TUTOR: Petra McQueen (Find out more about Petra here).

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Petra via

"Petra guides us in the right direction and lets us find our own flow."


Do you fancy writing the shortest of short fiction? Do you want to improve clarity and brevity in your writing? This four-week intensive course, in a very small and supportive group, will help you hone your writing, engage your wordplay skills and encourage you to take creative risks - and give you a range of started pieces to take away and continue. Ideal for confident writers who wish to improve their technique.


DURATION: Four weeks

DATES: from 7th April

LOCATION: online via Zoom

Costs: £40

TUTOR: Helen Chambers (you can find out more about Helen here)

HOW TO BOOK: contact Helen on

"Helen's responses were considerate, thoughtful and instructive."


responses were considerate, thoughtful and instructive. 

These workshop-format sessions aim to deepen your understanding of how fiction works through the traditional method of close reading– a.k.a. learning from the best.

They also provide regular feedback on your own work, as well as the encouragement, support and stimulation of a varied group of writers from around the world. You are encouraged to share your work, its influences, and aims, develop your skills and confidence and push your writing to its limits.


EXPLORING FICTION is suitable for anyone who is already motivated to write, but keen to stretch their writing muscles. The close-reading element will be accessible to writers at all levels of ability as well as those with English as a second language.

Numbers are capped at ten, to ensure all writers’ work receives regular attention. Every other week, you submit 700-1,000 words over the weekend before a session. Kate and the non-submitting writers then give their feedback on your work in the first part of the session.


The second part focuses on an aspect of writing technique such as point of view, voice, character etc. Kate guides you in the analysis of a relevant text which will be provided in advance. You are encouraged to explore this in your own work, whether or not you are submitting it to the group (although you can opt to receive written feedback from Kate). The aim is to show you what is possible, and to motivate and inspire you to do your best work.


These workshops will run in an initial sequence of six, with the option to continue after Easter.

TIME: Wednesdays, 6pm – 8pm 

DURATION: Six weeks

DATES: 24th February to 31st March 2021
LOCATION: Online (Zoom)
COST: £150 discounted rate if full course fee paid in advance, or £30 per session.

PLUS opt in at any point for written feedback from Kate (approx.150-200 words) on your response to a task (up to 700 words) for an additional £15.

Keyworker 10% discount. One discounted place for disadvantaged writers. 10% of any profit to be split between Carers UK and Refuge.

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Kate on

‘Just want to say a big thank you for the excellent writing sessions. Today was a definite breakthrough for me and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support and encouragement, both through this course and the previous one.’

On Fridays...


NB. This course is now fully booked. Please contact Petra to join a waiting list.

This workshop is only for students who have attended at least two of The Writers' Company's courses and are able to be self-motivated. Ideally students should have a project they are working on, whether that be a novel, anthology, chapbook or play etc. 


Students send up to 2,000 words to be read and critiqued by Petra and the other members of the class before the lesson. The workshop consists of a group discussing your work and includes positive feedback, suggestions for the future, and goal setting by the class for each member. The aim is to motivate and inspire you to do your best possible work. Current members of this group include prize winners and those with an agent.

TIME: Fridays 10 am - 12 am

DURATION: Recurring throughout the year
Pay in full in blocks of ten £250 or pay per each session you attend £30. These prices include written feedback on work.

TUTOR: Petra McQueen (find out more about Petra here).

HOW TO BOOK: please contact Petra on

Petra's courses have taught me many techniques of writing, encouraged me to practice different styles and genres, enabled me to read my work critically, and crucially to feel that writing is an extremely enjoyable and worthwhile enterprise.


This course is already fully booked. To join the waiting list, please contact Helen

For students who’ve already completed the ‘Coffee-Break’ micro-fiction course. Another four-week intensive course to further develop wordplay skills, brevity and clarity in short pieces. New prompts and activities to start pieces to work on alone. Feedback on completed pieces included.

TIME: FRIDAY 11.30-12

DURATION: Four weeks beginning 5th March 2021

LOCATION: online via ZOOM etc

COSTS: £40

TUTOR: Helen Chambers. Find out more about Helen here

HOW TO BOOK: Contact Helen via

"the comments that came back from Helen were invaluable."

On Saturday...


Together we wrote our way through our first Covid winter, and it was a great success, sparking new relationships, new work, and new ways of looking at the world. Now you can join us to write our way through to the spring solstice on March 20. We provide a reading to inspire you, a prompt to direct you, or you can share your own writing goal. Then we will write together, with some social time at the end to debrief, and, if we wish, share our work. Suitable for writers at all levels, from all backgrounds, anywhere in the world.


TIME: Saturdays 11am - 12.30pm.
DURATION: Ten weeks
DATES: 9 January to 20 March 2021 (no session on 13 February).
LOCATION: Online via ZOOM 
COSTS: DROP IN: £15 when you pay per session you attend (session payments cannot be                carried over) or 

            COMMIT: Sign up for all 10 sessions and you access a further discount on the full                fee: £120
One free place per course for disadvantaged writers, please email
Kate if this might be you.
TUTOR: Kate Worsley (Find out more about Kate here).
HOW TO BOOK: for more details and to sign up, please contact Kate
directly on

‘Kate is an excellent teacher and has facilitated some fascinating discussions. She is clearly very knowledgeable but also allows the students to discuss their own understanding, interpretations and opinions. This has made for some really enjoyable classes.’

Future Courses

We can offer Life Writing; Writing for Health and Well-being; Novel Writing; Historical Fiction; Short Stories; Poetry; Oulipo, Surrealism, and Nature Writing (to name but a few). Don't be afraid to ask for a course which suits you. To sign up to our newsletter, please leave your email below. Thank you!

The Writers' Company, Wivenhoe, Colchester, 

By writers, for writers