Could your ability to tell stories give the Grimm brothers a run for their money? Then try our Start Writing Fiction short course. Taken from an Open University module, you'll gain fantastic skills in order to pen your masterpiece.
Start writing fiction is a free course that helps you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters.Learn more ❯Start writing fiction: characters and stories
Do you want to improve your descriptive writing? This free course, Writing what you know, will help you to develop your perception of the world about you and enable you to see the familiar things in everyday life in a new light. You will also learn how authors use their own personal histories to form the basis of their work.Learn more ❯Writing what you know
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.Learn more ❯Creative writing and critical reading
Have you always wanted to try to write poetry but never quite managed to start? This free course, What is poetry?, is designed to illustrate the techniques behind both the traditional forms of poetry and free verse. You will learn how you can use your own experiences to develop ideas and how to harness your imagination.Learn more ❯What is poetry?
Sorley MacLean (1911-1996) is regarded as one of the greatest Scottish poets of the twentieth century. This free course, The poetry of Sorley MacLean, will introduce you to his poetry and give you an insight into the cultural, historical and political contexts that inform his work. MacLean wrote in Gaelic and the importance of the language to his work is also examined.Learn more ❯The poetry of Sorley MacLean
Do you want to get more out of your reading of poetry? This free course, Approaching poetry, is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary texts. You will learn about rhythm, alliteration, rhyme, poetic inversion, voice and line lengths and endings. You will examine poems that do not rhyme and learn how to compare and contrast poetry.Learn more ❯Approaching poetry
How did Romantic writers address questions of identity? How did their experiences influence the way they expressed themselves? The Romantic period saw a rise in creative, artistic and intellectual pursuits in eighteenth century Europe. The era placed greater emphasis on emotion and intuition as opposed to the scientific rationalisation which had gained prominence during ‘The Age of Enlightenment’. In this audio selection, a panel of experts evaluate various elements of this movement and asses themes such as authorship, the idea of self in addition to the extent to which their work was affected by its historical context. This material forms part of The Open University course A230 Reading and studying literature.Listen now ❯The Romantics
Find out more about some of the greatest authors of our time.
In the last century which women writers have truly challenged the existing forms of literature? How did they make their voices heard using brand new techniques and styles? For centuries there have been women writers who have changed the face of literature, but we tend to talk of their lives and work in very certain terms. This series of video-slideshows reveals how writing and reputation are often forged in transition, uncertainty and change. In these 4 films we re-examine the lives, work and influence of: Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Katherine Mansfield and Jeanette Winterson. This material forms part of the Open University course A300 20th century literature: texts and debates.Watch now ❯Women Writers: Voices in Transition
This free course introduces Virginia Woolf’s last novel, Between the Acts (1941), with the aim of understanding how she writes about time, memory, and ideas about identity. It also considers why Woolf’s fiction is often considered difficult. Selected extracts from her essays on writing help to clarify some of these perceived difficulties, illuminating complex patterning and structure in this fictional account of an English village, on a day in June in 1939.Learn more ❯Exploring Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts
Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë had very different writing styles but can you tell their writing apart from the other? Try our interactive quiz to find out.Take part now ❯Quiz: Which Brontë sister wrote it?
This free course, Exploring Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, is designed to tell you something about Hardy's background, and to introduce you to the pleasures of reading a nineteenth-century novel. Why do we believe in fictional characters and care about what happens to them? You will discover some of the techniques that Hardy uses to achieve an illusion of real people and their relationships in a real world. Through analysing narrative you will think about who the narrator is, and the importance of the narrative point of view in telling the story, as well as understanding how characterisation, the use of dialogue, time and locations work within the novel. Watch the following video in which Sue Asbee, the course author, introduces the course.Learn more ❯Exploring Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd
Roald Dahl: the incredible storyteller loved by millions or a belittling bully? Find out what his character was like in this article.Read now ❯The man behind Matilda – what Roald Dahl was really like
Firstly, well done on completing your novel. What to do next? Your best bet is finding a literary agent, if you want to see it on other people's bookshelves. Find out how...