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Creative writing and critical reading free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Creative writing and critical reading

This free course, Creative writing and critical reading, explores the importance of reading as part of a creative writer’s development at the postgraduate level. You will gain inspiration and ideas from examining other writers’ methods, as well as enhancing your critical reading skills. Examples will cover the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and scriptwriting.  

Free course
8 hrs
Creative commons image Icon By Morgan Johnston (originally posted to Flickr as Balmoral Hotel) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
The Writer's Room: J.K. Rowling article icon

History & The Arts 

The Writer's Room: J.K. Rowling

In January 2007, J.K. Rowling finished writing 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' in a room at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh. What drives literary tourists to visit the room where she penned the final chapter?

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University
At home with ghosts and werewolves audio icon

History & The Arts 

At home with ghosts and werewolves

Toby Litt explains his approach to chronicling his non-realistic worlds.

Audio
10 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
25th International Radio Playwriting Competition article icon

History & The Arts 

25th International Radio Playwriting Competition

The only global competition for radio playwrights. Find out more about 2015-16's event and explore drama and dramatists with OpenLearn.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
Neil Gaiman on his inspirations as a fantasy author video icon

History & The Arts 

Neil Gaiman on his inspirations as a fantasy author

Author, Neil Gaiman, discusses how P.L. Travers (author of Mary Poppins) and Enid Blyton were both a catalyst for his love of fantasy fiction. 

Video
5 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
Dame Stella Rimington on John le Carré video icon

History & The Arts 

Dame Stella Rimington on John le Carré

British author and former Director General of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington, tells us why she thinks John le Carré is the master of the spy novel in Cold War times and draws on her own experience.

Video
5 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
Val McDermid on celebrity villains in crime novels video icon

History & The Arts 

Val McDermid on celebrity villains in crime novels

Val McDermid talks about her inspirations for the monstrous character of Jacko Vance in 'Wire in the Blood' and how celebrity is the new lord of the manor in the crime genre. 

Video
5 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: © Philcold | Dreamstime.com - Crime Novel
Quiz: Create your perfect whodunit activity icon

History & The Arts 

Quiz: Create your perfect whodunit

Could you give Miss Marple or Poirot a run for their money? Answer our quiz questions to find out your perfect whodunit plot and which crime fiction writer this matches. 

Activity
Creative commons image Icon © Sarah Hipwell | Dreamstime.com - Spy Agent under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Quiz: Create your perfect spy activity icon

History & The Arts 

Quiz: Create your perfect spy

Think you could be the next John Le Carre or Ian Fleming? Take our quick quiz to determine the characteristics of your perfect spy. 

Activity
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: © Unholyvault | Dreamstime.com - Fantasy landscape with a castle
Quiz: Create your perfect fantasy world activity icon

History & The Arts 

Quiz: Create your perfect fantasy world

Inspired by the likes of J K Rowling or are you totally bewitched by witches and mythical creatures? Take this speedy quiz to find out what your perfect fantasy world is like. 

Activity