See you soon: Summer Drinks are on Saturday 20 July
Starting Points: try out multiple forms of creative writing

 

October – November 2023

Open up new avenues of creative writing and recharge your creativity across an 8-week evening course.

Bookings have now closed. Starting Points will next run in Spring 2026. Email megan@thewritersgreenhouse.co.uk if you'd like a reminder closer to the time.

Want to start writing? Try out a wide range of types of writing and develop your core writing skills.
Already writing? Explore new sides to your writing self and expand your repertoire of possibilities.
Want to recharge your creativity? Discover creative practices that feed your creativity and make your life more interesting, relaxing, and fun.

Join the Starting Points course

  • Eight weeks, one evening a week
  • In person in Oxford OR on Zoom with posted materials
  • Feedback on your writing included
  • £275 total, payable in instalments
  • All levels welcome: all my courses and workshops cater for a range of experience, from beginners to published writers
  • Next running in Spring 2026

What you'll get on the course

  • New possibilities: try out the many different shapes writing can take.
  • A creative boost through practices that enhance your imagination and make your life richer. (Read more about that here.)
  • Stronger writing skills: techniques and craft that make writing better and more fun.
  • Feedback on your writing that encourages you and helps you write better.
  • New creative friends: a friendly supportive community to keep you going and share the joy.

‘reassuring, motivating and fun, a welcoming environment in which all levels are genuinely welcome’ – Anna

‘This course finally got me properly writing instead of just making random notes in a book.’ – Louise

‘a wonderful opportunity to experiment with styles and forms you’d normally avoid or hadn't considered’ - Rhiannon

Weekly topics

1 Playing with the alphabet & the art of play

2 Short stories & the ingredients of a plot

3 Scenes & memoir & writing description

4 Free-verse poetry & tangible language

5 Genres & how to redraft

6 Flash fiction & haiku & giving the reader space

7 Free-writing & letting ideas brew

8 Poetry forms & the music of language

Each week also introduces...

  • A Starting Point: new pools of ideas you can return to again and again.
  • A Writing Maxim: develop a bedrock of writing wisdom
  • A Creative Activity voucher: an activity to nurture your imagination

Reviews of Starting Points

These reviews come from the Daily Info, where you can also read reviews of the other courses and workshops.

I attended the Starting Points course in March 2020, and it exceeded all my (already high) expectations. Megan is a brilliant teacher - reassuring, motivating and fun, and she creates a welcoming environment in which it's clear that all levels are genuinely welcome. It's also pretty remarkable that the course was able to seamlessly shift into online delivery (thank you, pandemic), without leaving me feeling that I'd missed out in any way. I hesitated for a long time before booking onto Megan's course, and I now have no idea why. If you're at all apprehensive or nervous (as I was) I suggest you just go for it - you definitely won't regret it!

Anna 23 Apr 2020

This is an excellent course that is well worth the money. I have quite complex disabilities but could not fault Megan in the effort she made to accommodate me. This course has a good balance of actual writing skills and methods of enhancing your creativity and has finally got me properly writing instead of just making random notes in book. I would definitely recommend it and will be returning for further courses in the future. Even though its an 8 week course Megan also helps you to continue writing after that with all the free prompts on her website and she helps you to connect with other writers.

jpluy 14 Apr 2020

Megan is one of the best tutors I have come across. She makes the classes interactive, fun and they offer great learning thus stimulating your own creative juices.

Since the lockdown and classes continuing electronically Megan has continued to provide materials for us to keep focused if we choose.

Thank you Megan for the chance to understand a little more about the world of writing. Look forward to another course sometime soon.

SuzanB 14 Apr 2020

...

Megan is a wise, knowledgeable and inspiring teacher. Her venue is lovely, the atmosphere is lively, and it’s great meeting a diverse group other writers.

I’m a big fan of Megan’s courses and have done others already. They were so good that I figured this probably would be too - and it was.

The course was exactly the way it was described on Megan’s website. It’s an assortment of exercises and tasters of a wide range of types and methods of writing, tied loosely together by the theme of creativity. It’s less systematic and sequential than the other courses and some things were more relevant to my own writing than others, but that was expected given the diversity of topics.

The classes are fast-paced and interactive. Lots of fairly short activities. Lots of discussion. Lots of stimulating ideas. Lots of different exercises to suit different learning styles.

We moved online for the last couple of sessions because of the coronavirus and Megan did a brilliant job of adapting the course for this, organising classes on Zoom (and a tutorial on how to use it) and mailing out worksheets etc.

Benjamin 14 Apr 2020

This was such a fantastic course from a passionate and inspirational teacher. I was a little apprehensive at first as writing can be so personal but Megan put everyone at ease right from the start. There's so much excellent content but still a lot of time to practice what you learn, and tasks to complete at home between lessons. This was one of the best courses I've ever taken and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it anyone thinking about taking their first steps into creative writing.

Ben 14 Apr 2020

I cannot rate this course/workshop highly enough or Megan as a teacher. It started as a face to face group of 12 at Megan's house and due to current COVID19 restrictions transitioned smoothly to online with very little fuss but no less enjoyment.

As someone new to creative writing and therefore very nervous, I found Megan to be, kind, encouraging, incredibly knowledgeable, and most importantly fun. She put us at our ease and no question was too stupid to ask.

You did not need to know technical terms, have read all the classics or ever written creatively before. I'd say just inquisitiveness and a love of words required. Although really appreciating notebooks helps. The course is set up in such a way that you are prompted to be creative almost without noticing. Tasks are set for outside of class, which was no hardship, and helped me see my place in the world very differently.

I highly recommend. If you have ever had an inkling or a sliver of a thought that you might, perhaps one day, maybe write something, then this is the place for you.

Manoo 14 Apr 2020

Just finished the Starting Points course with Megan Kerr. Her course came recommended to me and I now recommend it wholeheartedly to you. Lively and perceptive, Megan delivers a friendly and lively course, and, unphased by the current social distancing protocols, she moved seamlessly to on-line sessions, which were just as successful. Thinking of starting to write - start here!

Older not wiser 3 Apr 2020

I took Megan's Starting Points course in Oct-Nov and Meddling with Poetry in Feb-Mar 2019 and both were wonderful. Each class is well thought out, well resourced, fun, practical, engaging and social in a creative, cosy environment. All led by Megan, knowledgeable and ever-encouraging. In all courses there are opportunities to give and receive feedback on your writing which is incredibly valuable.

Each lesson is designed to spark inspiration and creativity in various ways, and they succeed. I miss being there each week and I suppose others do too as so many people attend course after course.

Starting Points was perfect for me, a person with will but no direction - an introduction into various writing forms and creative activities to keep you writing forever.

Meddling with Poetry was running for the first time ever when I joined. I hadn't really written any poetry since school but I never felt discouraged. The message was just to keep on writing, playing, observing and enjoying language.

I would recommend any of Megan's courses to anyone at any level of writing ability.

JK 30 Apr 2019

I took the Starting Points course. It was such a treat to spend an evening a week creatively exploring one or two aspects of writing. I signed up to dislodge some of the crust on my writing practice, to open up a few new perspectives, and have fun trying some new things. Megan's course delivered on all counts: light-hearted yet serious, well-paced as well as relaxed, depth of content plus plenty of frivolity, fairy lights, and laughter. There was room to get to know other participants a little bit, share some work, and also focus on an unfolding personal creative process.

The course is really packed with material and activities yet the evening does fly by all too quickly. Megan is great at creating, holding, and motivating the space for people at multiple levels simultaneously-- she is right that this course works equally well for beginning writers and those with more experience. She structures 'homework' activities so as to help you bring creative practices into your life as habits in a persisting way. I wholeheartedly recommend The Writer's Greenhouse & hope to take another course in the future.

fw 14 Dec 2017

I attended the 8 week creative writing course Starting Points this autumn. It was fantastic! I haven't done any regular creative writing in over 10 years and wasn't sure what to expect. Maybe I imagined the process to be serious, hard work and instructive, which would be helpful and interesting, but I hadn't anticipated how much fun it would be, or how vibrant the people on the course I would meet were. Megan is a dynamic teacher with plenty of ways to help you improve your writing but her real skill is making the whole process inviting, fulfilling and fun which allows all the information, hard work and learning to happen painlessly.

Each week focused on a different starting point and includes things like genres, flash fiction, poetry, ingredients for a plot and so forth. This meant that we were exposed to a wide variety of types of creative writing and I learnt about forms I didn't know were recognised. It was a wonderful opportunity to experiment with styles and forms of writing that you would normally avoid or hadn't previously considered. I enjoyed the chance to practice free writing and explore poetry-things that I had not paid attention to before. This course really was a great starting point that has got me writing again.

I attended the course after a prolonged period of ill health, advised Megan that I was still recovering and was not sure how good my stamina would be. I found her to be extremely thoughtful and considerate of my needs. Therefore, don't let health concerns deter you from finding out if the course is suitable for you!

RD 14 Dec 2017

I’ve just completed the Creative Writing Starting Points course which I found very helpful and enjoyable. I was very nervous about going, whether I wrote well enough to participate and the possibility of getting confidence-crushing criticism. I actually sat in the car before the first lesson wondering if I was brave enough to go in. (Heart of a lion, this one…) I had been put off other courses demanding to know if I was SERIOUS about my writing and ready to work HARD? Quite honestly, no, because I have a full-time job and a young family. I am SO glad I went that first week, and every week since. Megan is a fantastic teacher, the atmosphere is friendly, uncompetitive and fun. Feedback is constructive. Week after week I’d leave the class with others, all of us commenting on how quickly the time had gone. I’ve learned a lot, and am determined to keep writing regularly. This course really has opened a door!

Sal 5 Dec 2017

Starting Points

In-person course

When: Tuesdays 7pm–9:30pm
10 Oct – 28 Nov 2023

Where: Upper Wolvercote (North Oxford). There's free parking, a great bus route (#6), and beautiful canal-side walking routes.

Online course

When: Wednesdays 7pm–9:30pm
11 Oct – 29 Nov 2023

Where: Online with posted materials, open to bookings from anywhere in the UK.

Cost

£275 total for 8 weeks, payable in instalments, including a deposit of £75

 

Colourful class materials including felt-tips, scissors, and grapes

Behind the Course

When I started planning the Starting Points course, I wanted it to take people on a Grand Tour of all the kinds of writing they could do, which all belong to them, for people who want to write but don't know what. Essentially, I thought it would be for writing the kind of art course I'd want to go on: a taster of everything! I was initially designing the course for beginners, and built in lots of activities about developing creativity that beginners might not know yet. As I went, I quickly realised that most people are beginners at some aspect of writing, and that even my most experienced students were eager for that creativity booster-shot, so it evolved to become for everyone – just like creative writing. It's now become one of my absolute favourite to teach, because alongside my students, I get that reminder of my writing freedom and that wonderful creative recharge.

 

 

 

 

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