Why Bother with a Creative Writing Class?

Good question. Why bother with a creative writing class? After all, can someone actually teach you to write? Different people will probably give you different answers depending on the experience and the type of creative writing teacher they had.

credit: Izhar Cohen

credit: Izhar Cohen

Creative writing classes can help you in many ways … and a major part of it depends on the instructor and what he/she imparts to the student. Some creative writing classes function almost as a form of therapy where writers sit in a large group and nitpick at the submissions of the week. Or they air their troubles of the week and the entire group listens and commiserates. As far as I’m concerned this is a waste of time – if you are interested in mastering your craft and publishing your manuscript.

What should a good creative writing class consist of?

A good creative writing class should have enough students at a similar level so that they are able to contribute meaningfully to the discussion. 8-10 is an ideal number – enough to maintain a dialogue, but small enough so no one gets lost since there are always people who enjoy contributing more than others.free-online-creative-writing-course

  1. The instructor or leader must be able to maintain control of the group at all times so that the discussion does not veer away from the topic at hand.
  2. Time is of the essence. Everyone needs an opportunity to voice their critique and it is only fair that they are given the time to do so.
  3. Critiquing other writer’s works are as important as having your own work critiqued. That is because there is a huge amount that can be learned by looking at another writer’s work. Sometimes you learn what to do and how to do it. Other times you learn what not to do. Critiquing can instill you with a fine eye for detail and can help you to become a better writer.
  4. All participants should be encouraged to add to the discussion … but meaningfully. Some writing groups spend an inordinate amount of time telling the writer how wonderful the writing is, but offering no constructive criticism. This kind of ‘critique’ is meaningless. It might be great for your ego, but no good for your manuscript.
  5. All work and no play does indeed make Jack a dull boy. If the writing instructor takes a bit of time to get to personally know his/her students it will be to the benefit of all because everyone will be more at ease.

What kind of creative writing classes do you enjoy?


2016 Spring Writing Classes for Beginners and Advanced

Creative Writing 101 – Tues. afternoons April 12 – June 28 in Oakville

Crafting Your Novel – Wed. afternoons April 13 – June 29 in Oakville

Crafting Your Novel – Thurs. afternoons April 14 – June 30 in Oakville

For more details click on the links or email beverleyburgessbell@gmail.com


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