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 Code: VWR004
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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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.

Modules

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.


HERE'S WHAT A TYPICAL CERTIFICATE MIGHT COVER

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
 

SOME THOUGHTS ON GETTING STARTED WITH CREATIVE WRITING

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.

 

ESTABLISH A THEME

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
 
 
WHY CHOOSE US?

• 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.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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.

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





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Nicola Stewart

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Julia Mayo-Ramsay

Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay is a practicing environmental and agricultural lawyer. She holds a PhD in International Environmental Law, LLM, BLJS, GDLP, LLM (Environmental Law) and a Master of Applied Science (Agriculture).
Julia started out in agriculture working on various dairy farms in the 1980s before working as dairy manager / tutor at Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond NSW. Julia then went on to work at Riverina Artificial Breeders at Tabletop (Albury) NSW as an embryo transfer technician assisting vets with artificial breeding and embryo transfer in cattle, sheep and deer. This was followed by two years as a herd manager for a very large commercial dairy herd milking 3,000 cows over three dairies on the outskirts of Sydney before heading overseas. In 1994 Julia accepted a position in NE Thailand at the Sakhon Nakhon Institute of Technology (now a University) training farmers and students in cattle breeding and dairy farm management. On returning to Australia in late 1996 Julia completed a Master of Applied Science in Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (UWS) as well as law degrees and maritime studies. Julia now works as a Lawyer in the area of environmental and rural law.
Currently Julia teaches a variety of maritime subjects for Marine Rescue NSW.
As well as teaching Julia is working on a number of environmental research projects.

Jenny Bragg

Jenny has experience across many different business areas including marketing, operations management and human resources, her specialty fields are events, hospitality and tourism. She has worked in a number of different service sector organisations including hotels, restaurants, bars and specialist event providers. Jenny is a trained teacher and has worked with different educational bodies in the UK, as well as providing a consultancy service to the business and events sector.

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