Whether you want to write an intense crime novel, a fantasy adventure or a tragic romance, Creative Writing for Beginners can help equip you with all the literary tools needed to start writing your own fiction.

The course is run entirely online: there are no “live” classes, tutorials or set times to log in, allowing you the flexibility to study wherever and whenever best suits you. You’ll receive regular one-to-one feedback on your writing, and can message your tutor at any time.


Delivery Online
Duration 10 weeks
Time Commitment 5–10 hours per week
Payment Options In full, or in two monthly instalments
Next Course Date 26th November

Why Choose Creative Writing for Beginners?

How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

Flexible, 100% Online learning

Study completely online from anywhere in the world, with no face-to-face classes to attend or set times to log in.

Benefit from One-to-One Feedback

Receive continuous one-to-one guidance and feedback from an expert tutor, who you can message at any time.

Learn through a practical approach

Get practical advice from Penguin Random House authors & editors through articles, videos and podcasts.

Cover All the essentials

Achieve a solid grounding in key topics including Character, Plot, Point of View, Dialogue, Voice and Setting.

Sharpen Up Your Writing

Develop your writing through weekly activities, and discover how to use language to its best effect.

Avoid the Common Pitfalls

Familiarise yourself with the technical traps associated with fiction writing, and learn to sidestep them.

Why Choose Us?

Penguin Random House is the world’s largest publisher, and home to many of the world’s most popular and culturally admired adult and children’s authors, from debut writers to Nobel Laureates and international leaders.

Writers are at the very heart of our business, and all of the authors who have contributed to this course remember what it was like to first put pen to paper, and want to pass their writing tips and experience on to you.

At The Writers’ Academy, we pride ourselves on the quality of our learning materials, tuition and support, reflected by our ever-growing online writing community.

What Will I Learn?

How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

Create Complex Characters

Develop multi-layered, exciting & believable characters who fascinate your reader.

Drive Your Story Through Plot

Examine the links between character and plot, and use them to catalyse your story.

Experiment with Viewpoint

Who’s telling your story?
Discover the power of using different points of view.

Explore the Subtleties of Setting

Construct a captivating world for your characters – use setting as more than a backdrop.

Make your dialogue come to life

Master the principles of writing convincing, engaging dialogue which leaps off the page.

Get Insights into the Publishing Industry

Put all your questions to a Penguin Random House editor in our editor Q&A week.

Course Contributors

Throughout our beginners’ fiction course you’ll have access to videos, podcasts, articles and interviews from best-selling and award-winning authors such as Ian McEwan, Joanne Harris and Sophie Kinsella.

In addition, throughout Week 10 of the course a Penguin Random House editor will be on-hand to answer any questions you may have about the book publishing process, and what goes on behind the scenes.

Additional Benefits

How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

Have your Work Reviewed by an Editor

As a student you can choose to get constructive feedback on your writing from an experienced Penguin Random House Editor, for an extra fee of £150.

Receive a Certificate of Completion

On completion of our Creative Writing for Beginners course you’ll receive a unique certificate as proof of your achievement.

Take Advantage of Exclusive Discounts

All our writers receive an exclusive 40% discount on all Penguin Random House books, plus 25% off all ProWritingAid Premium licenses.

Weekly Overview

  • Week 1: Character
    Learn about and experiment with character development.
  • Week 2: Plot
    Explore how Character and Plot are inextricably linked, and how a character’s actions and reactions drive a story.
  • Week 3: Point of view
    Who is telling your story has a crucial effect on the reader’s experience of it. Experiment with writing in the first person or the third person, or from one character’s point of view or that of several characters.
  • Week 4: Description
    Reflect on how to present the world of your story and its inhabitants in an exciting and emotionally rich manner.
  • Week 5: Character Revisited
    Revisit the relationships between your characters and how they interact with each other. These interactions allow you to further develop your characters, and thus allow the reader to learn more about them.
  • Week 6: Dialogue
    Learn the principles of writing plausible yet engaging dialogue.
  • Week 7: Voice
    Explore how to give your narrators lively, compelling and diverse voices.
  • Week 8: Setting
    Master how to present a dynamic world within which the characters interact and struggle.
  • Week 9: Beginnings
    Discover how to start a novel, and what should be revealed, hinted at or withheld.
  • Week 10: Extended Assignment
    Put what you have learnt so far into practice by writing an extended piece of fiction.

Is this course right for me?

We hope so! You don’t need to have any knowledge of creative writing to join Creative Writing for Beginners – only a keen interest in getting started writing fiction.

However, if you do already have experience, it doesn’t necessarily mean this course isn’t for you – it can also be a great way to refresh your knowledge of the fundamentals of fiction writing.

The weekly writing activities are designed to be flexible, meaning that your tutor can work with you on an individual basis, depending on the stage you’re at.

Still not sure? Feel free to contact an advisor

How does online study work?

How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

The “Schedule”

There’s a week-by-week structure to the course, but when you choose to log in, work through the course materials, and message your tutor is up to you.

Time commitment

Each week provides between 10-15 hours of distance learning across the course materials and activities, designed to help you develop every aspect of your draft.

Your tutor

Tutor feedback is integral to the course, and regular communication with them is encouraged – students can expect the highest level of tutor support throughout.

Using the Study Site

Our online creative writing courses are delivered through a world-class educational platform, which allows you to connect easily with Penguin Random House experts and fellow writers, wherever you are in the world.

You’ll have access to your own online writing studio, from which you can:

  • Log in at any time, from any device
  • Get unlimited one-to-one tuition & guidance
  • Communicate with fellow writers in group forums
  • Access tailored course materials & writing activites
  • Message your support teams at any time

Want to see what it looks like?

Play the video for an overview of how you’ll study.


To use the study site and upload your writing activities, all you’ll need is a desktop computer or laptop (PC or Mac), Word processing software, and access to the internet – nothing else.

While studying on the course you won’t be required to do anything particularly difficult or technical. However, we’re aware that online study is new for many of our writers, and so we’re on hand to help – if you have any technical problems, you can contact our dedicated Support and Technical team.

Fees and Payment Options

The fee for Creative Writing for Beginners is £499.

A monthly payment plan can be set up over the phone: you can either contact us and let us know the best number to get you on, or you can call us (we’re available Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm (UK time).


+44 (0)203 0260810

You May Also Be Interested In…

If you feel you’re already well acquainted with the basics of fiction writing, but would like a further challenge, you may be interested in our Constructing a Novel course: an online course designed to help you develop your own idea for a book.


Next start date: November 26th


+44 (0)203 0260810


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