The Learning Institute
Diploma in Creative Writing
The Diploma in Creative Writing course is a complete program in creative writing, and it covers all the topics you need to know. You'll discover everything from novel writing to short stories, and from sharpening your writing to finding an agent.
You'll have the help of your own personal tutor - who will be a published writer. And you'll be able to discuss common issues with other students.
So if you've always wanted to get published, now is the time to realize that goal. This is especially true since we offer the program as an online writing course, which makes life convenient for you.
Just look at the subjects we cover: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, autobiography (and biography). Plus you can study screenplays/screenwriting, and the genres of your choice, such as crime, horror or science fiction.
The course contents
Before you start
Getting the most out of your course
How to do the assignments
Sending assignments by email
2. Getting started
A voice all of your own
Developing a practice
The main character
Come to your senses
What’s it all about?
The writer’s way
3. Writing a short story - Part 1
Why writers should be readers
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”
What makes a story ‘short’
Finding inspiration for a story
Getting ready to write
4. Writing a short story - Part 2
Curing Writer’s Block
Finding a market
5. Your first steps to getting published– Part 1
What is freelancing?
Do you have what it takes to freelance?
Ways freelance writers make money
Where to find writing projects
How to bid on projects
Finding the right agent
6. Writing your novel – Part 1
What is a 'Novel'?
Discovering your story
Plot structure: Developing your story
Narrative choices: Exploring the art of description
7. Writing your novel - Part 2
Point of view
The art of dialogue
Finding, expressing, and resolving conflict within the novel structure
Editorial discernment: Tricks of the trade
Drafting and revising your novel
8. Improving your style
Finding your writing voice
Creative writing ideas and inspirations
Develop your creativity
The WOW factor in writing
9. Writing for children
Finding your voice
Fiction and non-fiction
Is rhyming for you?
Dealing with controversial and tricky themes
5 tips for writing children’s books
The agent process
10. Finding a publisher
The major publishers
University/small press publishers
Self publishing pros and cons
Increase your chances of finding a publisher by being visible
How to write a query letter
11. Write memoirs – your own or someone else’s
What is the purpose of writing an autobiography or family memoir?
Gathering facts and research needed to begin writing
How to make the facts interesting to the reader
10 ways to add impact to the life story
Problems in writing an autobiography or family memoir – scandals, rumours, objections of other family members
Weaving past and present together to relate the past events to present circumstances
Fill holes while maintaining the true spirit of the story
Editing and polishing the story
Publishing options for the life story
12. Publishing your own work
Is self-publishing right for you?
Print-on-Demand vs. Print Orders
Marketing your self-published book
Self-published non-fiction – Position yourself as an expert
Self-published fiction – Build a fan base
Getting your book in the store
Getting articles and reviews
Secrets of the best self-published authors
13. Your first steps to getting published – Part 2
Projecting a professional image
Creating a home office
14. Write a successful screenplay
What’s the story
From concept to script
Building your characters
Three act dramatic structures
Character arc and premise
Plot points, climax, and resolution
Build it visually
A scene outline
15. Writing articles for newspapers and magazines
The news story
Web vs. Print (media styles)
Editing your article
Finding a market
Knowing your rights
16. Become a non-fiction author
What is non-fiction?
Refining your subject
Developing your subject
The fact filter: What to include
Finding a form
Getting at truth
Anonymity vs. Authenticity
Editing your work
Revising your work of non-fiction
17. How to write better poetry
Elements of Poetry
Minding the details: You can’t see it, unless you see it.
Paring Down, burning away
Revise, Revise, Revise
Grounding a poem in the senses
Poems as monologues
Poetry of address
Creating poems in sequence
18. Doing research for your writing
Knowing your subject
Research on the net
Research in libraries
Research by interview
Research – your own books and resources
Fee-based sources of research
19. Your first steps to getting published – Part 3
The going rate
Your personalized hourly rate
There are 35 written exercises and 12 tutor-marked assignments. You decide which 12 of the available 18 assignments to choose. That way, you get to select which type of creative writing you want to pursue.
For example, you may want to study writing for children, or non-fiction. Or you may prefer poetry and novel writing. But your pack contains all the modules, all the exercises and all the assignments - so you don't miss out whichever 12 assignments you choose to do.
And don't worry if you're unsure what to do - it will all become clear when you get your pack. And you don't have to make your choices until you start doing the assignments. Plus you'll find your tutor is completely flexible.
Here's what you'll find in your course pack:
Quick Start guide, to get you started on the course.
A sturdily bound set of course modules that lies flat for ease of study. They contain detailed, practical information that guides you skillfully towards becoming a published writer.
The course modules (right) have hundreds of pages of clear and concise advice.
12 writing assignments. Your assignments will be carefully marked with personal advice by an experienced tutor.
A stylish case that keeps all your course material.
A confidential personal profile for you to complete. It helps you assess your goals, your strengths and weaknesses, and your progress.
A Handbook (right) containing invaluable hints and tips on how to improve your writing, and get published,
A study guide and planner that helps you organize your study.
Self-assessment exercises. They occur throughout the course to help you get organized for writing. They also check that you can tackle each type of creative writing.
Creative Writing textbook. This accompanies the course and provides useful background information.
Seven creative writing software programs on a CD-Rom (right). They include a database that helps you keep track of your submissions, a novel writing program, a plot manager that helps you organize your story, and an e-book program that lets you publish and distribute your own ebooks.
Question and Answer sheets for you to have your queries answered.
'The Five-minute Writer'. An insider's guide to the lucrative world of fillers, competitions, jokes for magazines and television, getting a regular column, and much more.
You'll be able to win prizes in our quarterly literary awards.
And you'll be able to have work published online on our writers' showcase website.