Writing longer fiction with Laura Wilkinson

Creative writing and publishing

Ref: SWE11364

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About this course

Explore the techniques required to turn your idea into a compelling piece of longer fiction. Investigate what makes a sound structure, fascinating characters and a plot that hooks readers from start to finish.

Course Description

In this course, you will discover how to develop ideas and how to approach creating a longer narrative. You will learn why structure is crucial, whether you’re a natural planner, or prefer to write organically.

You will also learn:

How to draw your reader into your fictional world, and keep them there.

How to create fully realised three-dimensional characters readers will believe in.

How plot flows from character and conflict.

You will also look at aspects of craft – like show don’t tell and pace – to understand how perfecting these skills will enrich and deepen your story.

This course is suitable for writers with some experience of short story writing, or narrative non-fiction, who wish to take their skills to the next level. Also, it will suit students considering an MA in creative writing, or those with ambitions to begin a novel.

Over the weekend, you will be led through the building blocks, the craft, of fiction. The tutor will describe each in detail and provide examples for discussion and exercises for experimentation. Alongside this, you will explore how to respond to, and work with, editorial feedback – an essential skill for anyone hoping to go onto further study and/or work in the profession. You will be encouraged to share work created or developed on the course, although this is entirely optional.

On the first evening, there will be an introductory session setting out the course; and to identify the type of fiction each student is writing. On the second evening, students will have the chance to discuss issues with their work with the group.

By the end of the course, you will have learned how to approach building a longer short story, novella, or even a novel, with confidence, the techniques required, as well as tips on a variety of aspects of craft that will improve all of your writing, long and short. You will have started understanding and acquiring skills that will enable you to develop strong pieces of fiction.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply printed handouts and worksheets.

What students need to bring

  • Notebook and pens or pencils

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pens, notebooks
Tutor will provide printed handouts and worksheets. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Laura Wilkinson

Associate Tutor

Laura has published six novels for adults (two under a pseudonym) and numerous short stories. Her contemporary fiction is published by Headline Accent. These novels are Crossing the Line, Skin Deep, Redemption Song and The Family LineCrossing the Line was a Welsh Books Council book of the month and her latest, Skin Deep, has been widely praised, including a longlisting for Not the Booker Prize. Over the past nine years, she has also worked as an editor and mentor, coaching writers to competition shortlistings and publication. Laura loves to help writers find their voice and create compelling fiction.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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