The Art of Writing Short Fiction – Autumn Term 2012


Using the paintings in the Dame Laura Knight exhibition; artefacts from the Archaeology Museum and the Lakeside environment as inspiration for a variety of creative writing exercises, participants will explore the art of writing short fiction alongside local writer of contemporary fiction and WEA tutor, Nikki England. Workshop activities on elements of flash fiction and short-story writing will feed into participants’ discussions about their own and others’ creative writing.

Tutor: Nicola England

Venue: Lakeside Arts Centre (Visual Arts Studio) University Park,Nottingham,NG7 2RD

Dates: Friday 28th September – 5th, 12th October 2012

Time:10am -3pm Duration:3 sessions

Fee: £52.50 (£47.25Concessions) Fee Waived for those on income related benefits or low-income

Course aims

To encourage participants to explore the art of short fiction writing, building creative writing confidence and skills

• to introduce participants to a range of creative writing ideas, techniques, styles and exercises

• to discover inspiration in the art, artifacts and setting of the Lakeside location

• to practice writing short fiction

• to encourage critical and self-analysis


Topics to be covered

• Finding Inspiration

• Character Development

• Location/Setting

• Plot – action and resolution

• Writing effective dialogue

• Style, themes and point of view


Learning outcomes


As a result of this course it may be possible for you to:

• Create characters, locations and plots within a piece of short fiction

• Have a greater understanding of style, tense, grammar and dialogue

• Be able to read your own and others’ work critically and analytically and have confidence in your ability to do this

• Recognise basic elements of successful short fiction

• Write a piece of flash fiction or a short story including these basic elements


Teaching/learning methods

• Exercises in specific writing tasks

• Tutor input

• Learner input

• Discussion and comment

• Read through

• Writing tasks set as ‘homework’ as negotiated and agreed with individual learners

• One-to-one or email tutorials as required


Assessment methods

• Written work produced during writing exercises

• Observation and discussion during/after exercises

• Comments concerning own work

• Comments concerning others’ work

• Written work produced by end of course


Previous learning required

No previous experience necessary


Recommended books, materials or equipment

None, although a hard-backed notebook for writing exercises on-the-go may be useful There may be some background reading tasks set as ‘homework’, as agreed with learners

Learners may also find it helpful to have a wallet folder to store handouts and own notes, as well as to store writing materials.



The tutor can provide you with information about what you can do next with the WEA and other local providers. A Giving Information and Advice County Leaflet is available with useful local information. What Next? leaflets are available from your tutor or Programme Organiser to help you with your choices. If you would like to discuss what options are available or how to obtain guidance, please contact your Programme Organiser.


Financial help

If you need help with paying for registration fees or childcare, you may be entitled to financial support. Ask your tutor for more information. We will treat all requests confidentially and with respect in accordance with our Learner Support Policy. (See Services for Learners leaflet.)


Help with learning

If you have a disability or learning difficulty, let us know as early as possible so that we can make arrangements to provide you with support. We will treat requests for help confidentially and with respect. Ask your tutor for more information. If you prefer, contact your Regional Office and ask to speak to someone about learning support. (See Services for Learners leaflet.)


Help with English, Maths or Study Skills

You are also entitled to extra help and support with English, Maths or Study Skills. Ask you tutor for more information. If you prefer, contact your Regional Office and ask to speak to someone about help with English, Maths or Study Skills.


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