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Marks on the Page - A Writer's Guide
to the Techniques of Narrative Fiction

Six-session online workshop, 1 - 1.5 hours per session, live teaching, via Zoom.

Session times vary depending on the session topic and the questions and discussions that arise.

To enrol, please click on the date and time of your choosing.

Only ten places available on each workshop

September 2021 dates to be announced shortly

times shown are BST

If you’re interested in this workshop please email
to be put on the priority notification list for future programmes.

Workshop fee: £149

(meeting invite to follow after enrolment)

Join us in our virtual classroom for a six-session creative writing workshop from the comfort of your own home, via Zoom.

With numbers strictly limited to ten, this six-session workshop will guide you through a variety of writing techniques that will help make your writing sparkle. You’ll be shown how to put words together in a way that will keep your readers engaged and wanting more.

Once you've completed the workshop you’ll have the chance to have a 1000 words assessed by workshop leader, Phil Busby.

This is a great opportunity to develop your writing skills and make friends with others on the same journey. It’ll be exciting, stretching, lots of fun, and give you the confidence to take your writing forward. This workshop is suitable for writers who want to develop their fiction writing skills, including beginners.

Workshop Outline:

Each session will start with some writing chat to help the group get to know each other, relax and settle into a creative mind set. Some of the exercises in the workshops will be completed as a group and others on your own. We take sometimes ‘boring’ and difficult subjects and make them fun and easier to understand.

Week1: The Object of the Exercise – in this session you’ll discuss what makes writing ‘good’. You’ll explore how to take the story in your head and transfer it onto the page by manipulating the writers’ creative material – words. We look at the sort of things that can stop readers from reading and then how to make your writing 'gorgeous' throughout your work.

Week2: Nuts and Bolts – find out why it’s important that your spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct and learn about the tools you can use to help you if you find these things difficult. You’ll think about how the vocabulary you choose can make your writing dull as grey skies or shine bright as the sun. Plus, you’ll be shown how to professionally layout your manuscript.

Week 3: Writing Techniques 1 – here you’ll explore tense, point of view and narrative voice. Find out how to choose the right one for you and how to stick to your choice.

Week 4: Writing Techniques 2 – this week you’ll be looking at every creative writing tutor’s pet mantra, ‘Show, Don’t Tell’. Find out exactly what this means and how to apply it to your writing.

Week 5: Writing Techniques 3 and Editing Techniques 1 – you’ll have fun looking at three things to avoid in your writing: clichés, adverbs and passive voice. Then you’ll work as a group editing a piece of work putting into practice everything you’ve learned so far.

Week 6: Editing Techniques 2 – once you have a first draft written it’s time to start editing. Here you’ll learn the single most important editing rule, then look at how to make sure you get a good rhythm into your work and why that it’s so important.

We don’t set homework between each session as we hope you’ll be applying what you learn to the piece you'll be submitting at the end of the workshop. But, we do provide you with an online classroom which is exclusive to your group. All the course notes are in the classroom for you to download and you can share your work with your classmates should you want to.

Workshop fee: £149


Phil and Susie Zooming


Workshop Leader :Phil Busby – E.N. (M) B.A. Hons

A playwright, singer-songwriter and author, Phil works in course development for The Writers Bureau, Manchester. Originally a psychiatric nurse, he studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts before working across Europe for ten years as a performer, writer and workshop leader.

Workshop Support: Susie Busby Principal of The Writers Bureau

Susie has been involved in creative writing training for over 30 years. She is an experienced writing competition adjudicator and has a passion for literature, art and astronomy.

By taking part in this workshop you will:

  • meet other writers on the same journey as you

  • have time to ask questions as there are only ten participants per group

  • develop an understanding of how to manipulate words to produce great writing that people will want to keep reading

  • find out how to avoid the common pitfalls writers often fall into

  • learn how to set out your manuscript professionally

  • gain increased self-confidence to take your writing forward on your own

  • receive constructive feedback on 1000 words of your writing.


We’re operating as normal in these unusual times.

So don’t worry about your studies. All our tutors work from home and we’re set up for HQ staff to work remotely.  You’ll still be able to contact us if you need to. All you have to do is stay healthy and keep your brain active by studying your course.

Theresa Gooda Writers Bureau's Student of the Year 2021

“I began my first Writers Bureau course (Comprehensive Creative Writing) in 2007. Having more than covered the course fees from published pieces I have never looked back. Initially my ambitions were to get going. I knew I wanted to be a writer, I just didn’t know how to go about it, or, if I’m honest, quite what I wanted to write. Since, I have gradually blended a teaching career with writing, first with articles and short stories, then increasing the writing commitment dramatically when I secured an agent in 2016 to ghostwrite a series of memoirs. This year I have undertaken The Art of Writing Poetry course to really hone my skills in what I now realise is a genre I love - and have already had my first poems published.”

Theresa Gooda - Writers Bureau Student of the Year 2021

Free Creative Writing Course Prospectus

Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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