The Writers' Greenhouse
Starting Points: an introduction to multiple forms of creative writing


I firmly believe that everyone is allowed to do creative writing - this is something humans do and it should be open to everyone. Likewise, I believe all types of writing belong to everyone: stories, poems, very short 'flash' fiction, bits of memoir, experimental writing - it's all your playground and it all belongs to you. This eight-week course offers multiple starting points into creative writing and the many shapes it can take, writing technique to make it better and more fun, and lots of lovely creative practice.

The other two courses are focused much more on prose narratives: Story Elements is about storytelling, focused primarily on novels, and Imaginary Worlds covers world-building for fantasy and science fiction, from short stories to series. This course, Creative Writing Starting Points, takes a much wider overview of all forms of creative writing - prose, poetry, and everything in between. Imagine your life is a building, and there's a whole WING of the building that you don't know exists, or which you only visit one room of, and then you open the door to that wing and there are corridors everywhere, gleaming floors, shafts of sunlight through unexpected windows, and so many doors, so many rooms to explore... That's the aim of this course: to fling open all the doors.

What the course covers

  • a variety of forms: the different shapes writing can take - try your hand at stories, flash fiction, memoir, experimental fiction, free verse, and 'formal' poetry like haikus or sonnets
  • developing writing skills: techniques and craft that make writing better and more fun, from the ingredients for a scene to using more tangible imagery and stronger words to the musicality of language
  • exploring creativity: exploring what increases your creativity or shuts it down, many different places to find ideas, how to let ideas germinate and how to grow them, and creative practices that improve your creativity while making your life a more fun place to be. This is the path of joy.

Who's it for?

The course is designed with beginners in mind, and equally open to writers who'd like to explore fresh avenues and forms.

  • people who want to try creative writing but don't know where to start
  • people who used to enjoy creative writing but were told they couldn't, or shouldn't, or have let it lie fallow a long time
  • people who're already writing but want to play with other forms and explore their writing creativity more widely

This course is currently running. Email megan @ to register your interest for the next run.

Frequently asked questions

Is the course suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! if you've done lots of writing before, great, and if you haven't, that's perfect. The course and the materials are multi-level and use process-teaching: in practice, this means you try out different techniques and experiment with them in class, to explore each topic.

Can I pay in instalments?

Yes. You pay a £40 deposit and can then pay the rest in instalments. Usually, that's two instalments, at weeks 1 and 5. If you prefer to pay weekly or need to shift the payment dates to match your salary date, that's fine.

Do you give feedback on our writing?

Yes. The course includes feedback on 2 pieces of writing. Getting feedback can be a scary prospect for some, but don't worry - I promise it's not. I'm not marking your work; I tell you what's good and make suggestions for how to improve it or develop it further.

What if I have to miss a class?

At the end of each class, I give out a booklet summarising what we've covered in that class. If you miss a class, I usually suggest you come five or ten minutes early to the next class, so I can talk you through what we did. I also email you play-it-yourself versions of the activities we did, which include all the instructions, handouts, and suggested answers you need, and can be used on your own or with a friend or two.

Does it matter if I'm dyslexic?

No. Dyslexia will not prevent you from doing the course and it certainly doesn't stop you from writing well. Hans Christian Andersen, Agatha Christie, WB Yeats, Lewis Carroll, Ernest Hemingway, Roald Dahl, and Mark Twain were all dyslexic. You do the writing; let someone else worry about spelling and punctuation. (A proofreader or a friend can fix your spelling and punctuation, if you need them to.)

If dyslexia affects your reading: I can email you the extracts that we'll read in class, in advance, so you can read them at your own pace and use the class-time to refresh your memory. I colour-code all the materials, so everything is printed on coloured paper, which some people with dyslexia find easier to read. I also use a clear, sans-serif font on everything.

Are the courses accessible for people with disabilities?

I run the courses from home and there are a few steps to get into the house (4 steps from the driveway, 1 to get into the house, 1 into the conservatory, and 1 in the bathroom). I can arrange a ramp for the outside steps, but there isn't enough room to put a ramp at the front door or in the bathroom. If you use a wheelchair, this may be a problem. If you know how I can get useable ramps into more confined spaces, I'd be grateful for the advice and happy to arrange that.

Email megan @ if you have any other questions.

Email megan @ to register your interest.


Currently running: Wednesday evenings, 7pm—9:30pm,
11 October 2017 to 29 November 2017
* One place left on Wednesdays *
Thursday evenings, 7pm—9:30pm,
12 October 2017 to 30 November 2017

Next running: The next Starting Points course will most likely be October–November 2018, but I can make it sooner. Email me if you're keen, let me know when best suits you, and I can keep you posted.


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


£240 total for 8 weeks, payable in instalments with a £40 deposit






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