Certificate in Creative Writing

Explore your creativity. Creative writers are always in demand, to write fiction and non fiction; and anything from marketing material to books.

Course CodeVWR004
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

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Nurture your Creativity and Become a Successful Writer

For success as a creative writer, you need  not only writing skills; but also a technique and an ability to distill your ideas, focus on a project and follow that project trough to it's conclusion.
Studying creative writing is stimulating, but also challenging; and not always completely what a student expects it to be. Then again, if it was what you expect; you would already know what this course sets out to teach you, and there would be little point studying.
If you want to be a successful, creative writer; and have the commitment to follow that dream; this course could be the path you have been looking for.  Enroll now to start on your path.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Creative Writing.
 Creative Writing BWR103
 Dramatic Writing BWR110
 Editing I (Editing and Proofreading) BWR106
 Writing Fiction BWR105
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 4 modules.
 Children's Writing BWR104
 Poetry BWR109
 Biographical Writing BWR205
 Script Writing BWR204

Note that each module in the Certificate in Creative Writing is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Module  Creative Writing

The nine lessons are as outlined below:

  1. Introduction
  2. Basic Writing Skills
  3. Being Concise and Clear
  4. Planning what you write
  5. Fiction
  6. Non Fiction
  7. Newspaper Writing
  8. Magazine Writing
  9. Writing Books
  10. Special Project
Module  Writing Fiction

There are eight lessons in this module as follows:
  1. Scope & Nature of Fiction
  2. Components of a Story – beginning, middle and end
  3. Technique…The Creative Process – conception, developing a plot, Writing a Draft, Editing and rewriting; Method Writing
  4. Conception and Research
  5. Drama
  6. Fantasy
  7. The Short Story
  8. The Novel

Module  Children's Writing

There are ten lessons in this unit, as follows:
  1. Introduction: Understanding Children, their thoughts, needs, development.
  2. Overview of Children’s Writing: Categories (fiction & non fiction), understanding the market place; analyse & understand what is needed for the different categories, etc.
  3. Conceptualisation: Conceiving a concept…where & how to find inspiration/influence. Developing a concept … how to plan.
  4. Children’s Writing for Periodicals: Children’s pages in magazines, newspapers, etc.
  5. Short Stories
  6. Non-Fiction: Texts (writing to satisfy curriculum. Other (eg. nature, history, biography, hobbies).
  7. Fiction: settings, characterisation, fantasy, science fiction, adventure.
  8. Picture Books and Story Books
  9. Editing your work: Grammar, spelling & punctuation. Improving clarity. Cleaning out clutter; expansions.
  10. Project - write a short story, picture book or kids page for a (hypothetical) periodical.

Module  Editing I
  1. Introduction to Editing
  2. The Mechanics of Clear Writing
  3. Assessing Manuscripts
  4. Copy Editing I
  5. Copy Editing II
  6. Preparing Copy for Printing
  7. Proof Reading
  8. The Final Stages

Module  Dramatic Writing 
  1. Introduction.
  2. Characters –Developing the characters
  3. Theme & Genre
  4. Plot Development
  5. Weaving a Story
  6. Writing a Dramatic Short Story
  7. Developing Sub Plots
  8. Writing a Chapters for a Dramatic Novel

Module  Poetry

There are nine lessons in this module as follows:
  1. Brief description of the many different types of poetry, poetry forms and terminology.
  2. Famous poets.
  3. Encouraging your creativity.
  4. Developing different styles of poetry a
  5. Developing different styles of poetry b
  6. Developing different styles of poetry c
  7. Developing different styles of poetry d
  8. Getting your work published – how and where
  9. The next phase – how to continue to improve


The process of getting words on to paper is made easier by working to a regular routine. Aim to write a set number of words each day (or a set number of pages), and stick to it no matter what. If the writing is going particularly well, continue to write even if you have completed your goal for the day. Your routine should allow for you to write at such times, though this may require the cooperation of others to take over your other tasks when you are on a writing streak.

If starting to write presents a problem, try the following suggestions:

  1. Plan each chapter in advance.
  2. Start with an easy chapter or section, or one that particularly interests you at that moment. You do not need to write in sequence. In fact, it is best to write what you can cope with at the moment and postpone more challenging parts till you have more time or are thinking more clearly. The preface and introductory chapter are often best written last.
  3. When you stop writing each day, leave a note for yourself about how and where you intend to restart. Jot down the first few words or sentence of the proposed section, or outline the ideas you want to put down.
  4. If really stuck, read a bit from a similar or related book. It may help you start your own line of thought to see how someone else dealt with the subject.



Every piece of writing, no matter whether it is a novel or a business letter, should have a dominant theme or underlying idea. In a business letter and in technical writing, the theme should be immediately obvious and clear and should be stated. In a piece of creating writing it might be gradually revealed through the development of the work and may only be fully apprehended by the reader at the very end. Nevertheless, the theme should be present from the beginning, and should exist as a unifying thread through every chapter or paragraph. Every piece of the writing should, in some way, relate to that theme. It is what unifies a piece of writing and lets it stand alone as a meaningful expression.

The theme of a creative piece may never be directly stated. For instance, the underlying theme of Boris Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago is personal integrity, being true to one’s self in thought and action. This is never stated, but is exhibited in the behaviour of the main characters, each of whom draws upon hard-won inner truth for the strength and courage to maintain integrity in a vicious, chaotic, and seemingly unprincipled world.

In a novel, we often find that a theme branches out into several sub-themes. Because of its length, the novel allows for this kind of interweaving of themes and ideas. So, in Dr. Zhivago, there is plenty of room for developing a critique of the rise of Communism, of war and aggression in general, of different kinds of power, and of love. But these must and do return in some way to the dominant theme, to enrich our understanding and experience of that dominant idea.

In comparison, the short story or poem might focus entirely on one theme, though even then, there are usually subtle or even overt references to other ideas and themes, for no one idea or experience is self-sufficient, but inevitably relates to and rests on other ideas and experiences.

We can develop themes any means, and often through a variety of means, such as:

  • thoughts and speech of characters
  • actions of characters
  • contrasting societies or generations within a society
  • identifying shared values and experiences between groups or generations
  • ways to dealing with and coping with the environment
  • symbolic use of landscape and nature
  • repetition of ideas in different forms
  • repeated symbols or cultural items
  • contrast of values

One way to plan your writing is to establish a central theme, then consider how to develop it, and how to display its complexity and facets through different sub-themes. Ask yourself, “What do I want to say?”, then ask yourself over and over, “What else do I have to say about that?” This constant meditation on a theme can yield a rich trove of ideas.


Who can benefit from taking this course?

Amateur and aspiring writers seeking to build confidence in their abilities, or improve their fundamentals. This certificate is also well-suited to writers wanting a deeper understanding of genre, modes, and writing types, or an introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of creative writing.

Writers seeking helpful and informative critiques or a supportive introduction to workshopping. This course will help writers of all levels build confidence in their abilities, or improve their fundamentals..

Writers wanting to try something new with their work in a supportive environment.

Anyone seeking a better understanding of story and story fundamentals, narrative arc, and the general theory and craft of writing.

At the end of this course you will:

  • Know the difference between several genres and types of writing
  • Understand how to apply good writing practice and theory to create well-written, engaging stories and other creative works
  • Understand how to revise and improve your work
  • Write engaging fiction and non-fiction stories within different genres
  • Understand how to create good writing habits and develop concepts into drafts

• Reputation: well-known and respected in publishing and writing
  The school runs a successful publishing business, the principal has been
  editor of national magazines; many of the staff are published authors)
• Industry focus: courses designed to suit industry needs and expectations
• Different focus: develop problem solving skills that make you stand out from others
• Hands on: develop practical as well as theoretical skills
• Lots of help: dedicated and knowledgeable tutors.
• Efficient: prompt responses to your questions
• Reliable: established in 1979, independent school with a solid history
• Up to date: courses under constant review
• Resources:  huge wealth of constantly developing intellectual property
• Value: courses compare very well by cost per study hour basis
• Student amenities: online student room, bookshop, ebooks, social networking, acs garden online resources.

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John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. J
Rachel Syers

Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affa
Christine Todd

University lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social). An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.
Tracey Jones

Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Lear
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