Courses

We’re delighted to reveal our 2017 programme. All our residential courses are listed below, and you can find details of our day courses here.

To hear about our 2018 courses two weeks before everyone else, join the Literary Collective Friends’ Scheme, or you can sign up to the mailing list here.

View past creative writing courses here. Read the 2016 brochure online here.

Date/Time Course
Mon 10th Apr - Sat 15th Apr
5:00pm - 3:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Limited Places Available
Crime: Stuart MacBride & Louise Welsh, Guest: Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Good crime writing makes a reader’s heart race and their stomach turn. Stuart and Louise will share their techniques, tips and experience to show you how it is done.

Mon 17th Apr - Sat 22nd Apr
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Fiction: Lesley Glaister & Andrew Greig, Guest: Ruth Thomas

Maybe you’ve started writing stories or novels but always run aground? Or maybe you’ve completed a writing project but have a nagging feeling that it could be better? In this course we’ll help you hone your writing skills and offer encouragement and strategies to help you develop further as a writer.

Mon 8th May - Sat 13th May
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Spring Retreat

Step into Spring with some focused writing time, away from the distractions of everyday life. This Retreat will give you the permission to concentrate on that first, third or final draft in a supportive environment.

Mon 15th May - Sat 20th May
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Limited Places Available
Starting Out in Fiction: Ross Raisin & Cynthia Rogerson, Guest: Jonathan Buckley

A week that will give you the inspiration and the impetus to get writing. Whether you have an idea that has been floating around in your head for a while, or you simply have a yearning to write, the aim of this course is to help you find your direction.

Mon 12th Jun - Sat 17th Jun
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Limited Places Available
Starting Out in Poetry: Jo Shapcott & Maura Dooley, Guest Jim Caruth

Aimed at beginner poets, this course will stimulate fresh work and encourage you to share it. Bring your notebooks and writing tools to explore the many ways poetry brings ideas, stories and emotions to life.

Mon 19th Jun - Sat 24th Jun
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Midsummer Retreat

If you’re planning a summer getaway, why not incorporate some writing time in your trip? Our Midsummer Retreat provides writers with the peace and quiet necessary to crack on with their projects, amid beautiful surroundings.

Mon 3rd Jul - Sat 8th Jul
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Memoir: Tim Clare & Sally Magnusson, Guest: Rupert Thomson

What makes a good story? How do you select those parts of your life that will resonate with other people? Why is less often more? What story-telling techniques are needed to sustain interest? Sally and Tim will guide you through the myriad questions that come up when you are writing from life.

Mon 10th Jul - Sat 15th Jul
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Only Twin Rooms Available
Fiction: Kevin MacNeil & Tiffany Murray, Guest: Patrick Gale

This course will cover a range of topics, from the spark of an idea to writing an irresistible opening line; from discovering your characters to shaping a plot; from that messy first draft to becoming your own most helpful critic; and the development of good writing habits to take home.

Mon 24th Jul - Sat 29th Jul
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Writing for Children: Melvin Burgess & Jenny Valentine, Guest: Gillian Cross

If you are serious about writing original fiction for young people aged from six to sixteen and up, this is the course for you. The week will include individual tutorials and workshops covering such topics as story, character, and voice for children of all ages.

Thu 3rd Aug - Sun 6th Aug
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Only Twin Rooms Available
Short Course - Comic Writing: Jon Canter & Marina Lewycka

British culture is rich in humour: irony, satire, farce, wordplay, wit, silliness, absurdity, teasing. The first rule of comedy is, there is no rule. So, this course won’t tell you what’s funny and what’s not – that’s up to you. Instead, you’ll discover the techniques writers use to fulfil the comic potential of their characters and plots. No longer will you strive to make every line funny, which soon becomes tiresome (and tired).

Mon 14th Aug - Sat 19th Aug
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Poetry: Peter Sansom & Ann Sansom, Guest: Michael Longley

An intensive but very enjoyable course of writing and reading with ‘the best poetry teachers in the world’ (The Guardian). Taking classic and contemporary poems as model and stimulus, we will create our own new pieces throughout the week.

Mon 21st Aug - Sat 26th Aug
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Fiction: Joanne Harris & Naomi Alderman, Guest: James Runcie

Writing convincing fiction is not unlike building a house. You need a solid foundation, good craftsmanship and the finishing skills to make it feel like yours. This course will outline the elements of fiction with sessions on plot, characterisation, dialogue, creating atmosphere and a session on how to edit once you have put it all together.

Mon 28th Aug - Sat 2nd Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Nature Writing: Sara Maitland & Mark Cocker, Guest: Gavin Francis

Mark and Sara are both nature writers (though of rather different kinds) who believe that seeing and first-hand knowledge are the first essentials. They will offer outdoor activities to help you develop those “forensic” skills as well as a series of workshops on memory, language and narrative.

Mon 4th Sep - Sat 9th Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Tutored Fiction Retreat: Amanda Smyth & Paul Murray, Guest: Sarah Bannan

This course will suit writers with a work in progress. If you need an intensive period to focus on something which is nearing completion, this is your chance. Paul and Amanda will be on hand to offer constructive advice in one-to-one tutorials on finishing and those final tweaks to plot and character to help make your work the best it can be.

Mon 11th Sep - Sat 16th Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Playwriting: Chris Thorpe & Nicola McCartney, Guest: David Greig

Plays come in many different shapes, but to deviate from the norm, you have to understand what you’re deviating from. The week will provide a grounding in classical dramatic structure, and then encourage participants to test their own ideas against it.

Mon 18th Sep - Sat 23rd Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Travel: Horatio Clare & Michelle Jana Chan, Guest: Sara Wheeler

Beginning with classic techniques and examples of the most evocative travel writing, this course will bring participants bang up to date with the latest developments in the genre and explore ways and means of working as a travel writer now.

Mon 25th Sep - Sat 30th Sep
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Only Twin Rooms Available
Performance Poetry: Lemn Sissay & Hollie McNish, Guest: Caroline Bird

The stage can be a frightening place. It needn’t be. The nature of expression through the poems which you have carefully written are what this course is all about. We will show you how to give the words the respect they deserve by exalting them through your voice and physical presence.

Mon 30th Oct - Sat 4th Nov
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Short Story: Michèle Roberts & Romesh Gunesekera, Guest: David Constantine

This course for fiction writers will concentrate on how to re-draft short stories. Re-drafting is a crucial art, indispensably part of writing well. It involves recognising and building on your strengths as a writer, and takes time and practice.

Thu 16th Nov - Sun 19th Nov
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Short Course - Fiction: Louis de Bernières & Jem Poster, Guest: The Bookshop Band

Although writers tend to work holistically, it can be helpful to isolate and examine some of the elements of our writing. In this course, novelists Louis de Bernières and Jem Poster will foreground the writing of character, emphasising the importance of such matters as dialogue and silence, action and inaction as means of revealing the inward workings of our characters’ minds.

Mon 20th Nov - Sat 25th Nov
5:00pm - 10:00am
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity

Fully Booked
Winter Retreat

Tis the season to be writing! Come on our Winter Retreat and cosy up next to a burning stove while you work. Be inspired by the snow-filled landscapes and starry night.

 

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