Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Course

Price: £ 395.00

CREATIVE WRITING

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Course

CREATIVE WRITING

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Course

Gain the skills required to write any form of speculative fiction – from novels and short stories, to scripts and video games

Fast-track your progress on this specialised writing programme

Do you have an amazing idea for a fantasy, science fiction or paranormal story? This course for beginners and seasoned writers alike takes you step-by-step through the processes that successful speculative fiction writers use to develop screenplays, novels, graphic novels, comics and games.

This Course Gives You...

Expert, Individual Feedback

Get prompt, honest, detailed feedback on every assignment from an award-winning writer. We focus on your unique writing strengths.

No Peer Reviews!

You will only be assessed by your tutor, a leader in their field. No more guessing and wondering how to write; you'll be guided line by line.

No Automated Marking

We use traditional methods of assessing work, as editors at publishing houses would. No generic feedback!

A Flexible Schedule

Work wherever and whenever you want. You can easily fit our courses around work and other commitments.

Relevant, Usable Content

Easy-to-digest course notes that capture a lifetime of writing experience, ready for you to apply to your own writing.

Ongoing Assessment

Your writing is assessed continuously as your course progresses.

Explore how to write science fiction and fantasy stories.

With the help of an experienced tutor, turn your unique, reative ideas into a manuscript.

The Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Course gives you all the writing techniques required to write credible, compelling speculative fiction. Practise your skills in 12 writing assignments, with feedback on each from award-winning author, Sonny Whitelaw.

Whether you want to sell the short story that you produce, enter it into a writing competition, or use it as the basis for a novel, this course can fast-track your writing goals.

As you work through each module, you will learn why the many genres of speculative fiction are so successful, where to find countless ideas for your stories, and how to create realistic characters and the worlds they inhabit.

By the end of the course, you will have written a 1500-word short story that you can confidently submit to a publisher or use as the foundation for your much larger alternate universe series.

Learn to write science fiction and fantasy stories. Start writing today.

With the help of an experienced tutor, turn your unique, creative ideas into a manuscript

The Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Course gives you all the writing techniques required to write credible, compelling speculative fiction. Practise your skills in 12 writing assignments, with feedback on each from award-winning New Zealand-based writer, Sonny Whitelaw.

Whether you want to sell the short story that you produce, enter it into a writing competition, or use it as the basis for a novel, this course can fast-track your writing goals.

As you work through each module, you will learn why the many genres of speculative fiction are so successful, where to find countless ideas for your stories, and how to create realistic characters and the worlds they inhabit.

By the end of the course, you will have written a 1500-word short story that you can confidently submit to a publisher or use as the foundation for your much larger alternate universe series.

‘Sonny was an excellent tutor. Feedback was prompt and covered all aspects of my work in great detail: my writing has improved faster than I could have imagined. Being able to work at my own pace from anywhere is the perfect formula for me.’

Les Maiden, Graduate Student, Wellington

Course Overview

Start your course at any time – applications open all year round.

COURSE FEE

Price includes VAT

NUMBER OF ASSIGNMENTS

12

The assignments vary in length.

NUMBER OF MODULES

5

These modules include around 120 pages of course notes.

COURSE DURATION

6

Work at your own pace – up to a maximum of six months.

START DATE: ANYTIME

Working with an individual tutor means you can start the course at any time.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

Basic writing skills are essential. Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required. No previous tertiary qualification required.

Our Graduate Students' Successes

We are proud of our graduates who have achieved success. Here are a few among dozens of our creative writing success stories.

Tutor for this course

Sonny Whitelaw

Sonny Whitelaw has enjoyed a successful career as a writer for over 30 years. Her work as a photojournalist has appeared in dozens of international magazines, including National Geographic.

She won a Draco Award for her first novel, The Rhesus Factor, and all eight of her novels, including five based on the television series Stargate, have been international bestsellers.

A qualified adult educator with an MA in Creative Writing, Sonny taught writing courses to adults and teenagers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. In 2008, she moved with her teenage son to a small lifestyle property in Oxford, Canterbury.

When she’s not having an enormous amount of fun exploring the South Island, Sonny splits her time between researching and writing scientific reports, editing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and working on her own exciting young adult science fantasy series called The Runes of Creation. Find out more about this series on her website.

Sonny tutors the Write a Novel Course, the Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course and the Advanced Novel Writing Course.

Course Curriculum

Module 1

The basics of creating speculative fiction stories

  • What exactly is ‘fiction’?
  • The many genres of speculative fiction
  • Setting the scene in four parts
  • The six elements needed in every story
  • Making your implausible story, plausible
  • Task: Complete and submit four short exercises, one of which includes the opening lines of your short story using the prompts in the exercises.

 

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Module 2

Winning over your audience in three easy steps

  • Where to get your ideas
  • Ingredients I: ancient origins and modern interpretations
  • Ingredients II: the premise
  • The three-step process: building your bridge between the known and the unknown
  • Making the rules and then breaking them
  • Task: Complete and submit one exercise and submit the first draft of your short story

 

Module 3

Worldbuilding I: Creating credible characters no matter how weird

  • Anthropomorphising your characters
  • Perception: how your characters sense their world
  • Point of view: whose story is it?
  • Cosmology and mythology
  • The hero’s quest
  • Rules for your characters
  • Building your own mythopoeia
  • Task: Complete and submit three exercise and submit the second draft of your short story

 

Module 4

Worldbuilding II: Crafting realistic settings

  • The three different approaches to creating ‘places’
  • How to reveal ‘places’ while avoiding the dreaded info dump
  • Mapping out your settings
  • Submit two short exercises, one optional exercise, and the third draft of your short story

 

Module 5

Worldbuilding III: Building civilizations and destroying them

  • The key features of civilizations and how these influence characters
  • How civilizations evolved so that you can build your own, and then break them
  • Using technology consistent with your level of civilization
  • Understand and use different speculative fiction themes
  • Case study: fortified medieval city and battle plan in the novel Stargate Atlantis: The Chosen
  • Submit two short exercises and the final polished draft of your short story

 

What Our Students Say

Camilla MilfordBasics of Creative Writing
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Helen is a magnificent tutor who masterfully responds with the right critique that automatically inspires you to improve, despite any shortcomings you might have. It is a well-rounded course that touches on all the necessary aspects of writing for beginners, without being too overwhelming. It was a wonderful journey of discovery that changed me. I can’t go back to who I was before – the writing world beckons. Thanks to The Writers College I can now move forward with certainty to achieve my goals with practice, sound knowledge and the right guidance from the courses provided here.
David JansenBasics of Creative Writing
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My tutor was wonderful and I learnt a great deal from the feedback she gave me. In my opinion, this was the true value of the course because the feedback I received was insightful and I was able to apply it to successive stages of the course. My experience was wonderful, thanks to my tutor, and well worth the cost of the course.
James MortleyBasics of Creative Writing
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Overall, the course more than met my expectations. It offered a great overview of creative writing, with a diverse range of challenging exercises and good exposure to different writers. This combination was both engaging and fun. Working on the final scene was particularly rewarding in terms of receiving good developmental input to ensure that the final draft was of good quality. Working with Helen was brilliant. She is great at giving encouragement and a good critique so that good opportunity is provided for development. It was a fun, rewarding and challenging experience.
Carol HookBasics of Creative Writing
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The Basics of Creative Writing Course offers everything. It’s been an incredible journey for me. I love writing, and learning to understand specific skills has been truly wonderful. Helen is exceptional. She answered my questions when I struggled with certain areas of the course and gave me confidence and the will to keep writing. She is a very motivational tutor. My experience at The Writers’ College has taught me a side of writing to remember for the future. Thank you for everything.
Alex LovellBasics of Creative Writing
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The course was wonderful. I feel my core creative writing skills have been properly reinforced and my confidence in my writing is better than ever. Working under Helen’s tutelage was excellent. Without her help, I feel my writing would not have been as fine-tuned as it is now. Highly recommend the course to anyone looking to improve their writing skills.
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‘Hugely beneficial, encouraging, motivating, everything I'd hoped it would be. I couldn't imagine a more ideal mentor. Hardest part was saying goodbye.’

Sebastian Wells, Graduate Student, Wellington

Get These Additional Benefits

Lifetime Course Access

Benefit from free lifetime access to future course updates and access to our writing resources.

Join a Community of Writers

You will have access to our friendly Facebook community, daily writing tips and writing inspiration.

500+ Bonus Articles on Our Blog

A superb, constantly updated resource with articles on writing and interviews with writers.

Work at Your Own Pace

Our courses work around you. You can pace your course around your busy life.

Work Opportunities

Top students are invited to join our writers and editors for hire service.

Be the First to Know About Writing Competitions

We'll help you keep up to date with the latest competition announcements

Risk-Free 100% Money-Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you will love your course that if you’re not 100% satisfied with the quality of our training, simply ask for a refund within 30 days.

Complete the Application Form to Enrol on the Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Course

You will receive an approval email and invoice within one working day.

Questions? We've Got Answers

The course consists of five modules. Detailed course notes covering the content of each module are emailed to you. At the end of each module, you will be required to complete writing exercises. In total, the course includes 12 writing assignments, all of which count towards your final result. Once the writing assignment has been completed and emailed to your tutor, an assessment and feedback will be sent to you and the module will be considered complete. You will then download the next module from the Student Centre.

Absolutely. You have direct communication with your tutor for the duration of the course. The more questions you ask, the more you will get out of the course.

You will get lifetime access to the course, and you’ll benefit from all future updates and improvements to the course.

For the majority of our courses, only your tutor will see your work. Your work will remain completely private unless you get it published. In the journalism courses, your work might be published in the public domain, but you do have the final say as to whether or not it is published.

Students will receive a Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must complete all 12 writing assignments
  • The course must be completed within six months of registration
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course
  • Basic writing skills are essential.
  • Basic computer skills, as well as email and Internet access are required.
  • No previous tertiary qualification is required.

Because you will work with an individual tutor, you can apply for a course and start as soon as you want to. There are no specific start dates as would be the case with a traditional college.

An application is usually approved within one working day. Once we see proof of payment, your course will start.

You could be starting your course today!

There is no research required for this course, just planning and writing. The speed at which you work is entirely up to you. You have six months to complete the course (and an extra 21 days if your course runs over the Christmas and New Year break).

You are welcome to finish the course sooner if you want to, but we wouldn’t want you to rush the process too much!

Once your application has been approved, you will receive notice of approval and an invoice via email. As soon as we see proof of payment, you will receive the first module. We will also send you your tutor’s email address and your login details. Your tutor will also be in touch to welcome you.

Any work you create on our courses is owned by you. We will never make a claim to anything you produce. We follow the rule that copyright subsists with the creator (you).

'Challenging and enlightening. Sonny set the bar high and gave me the tools to reach it. Authentic learning experience.'

Sharon Shaw, Graduate Student, Auckland

Got More Questions?

We would love to help you choose the best course for you. Tell us what style of writing you want to develop and we'll give you some options.