Writing a Novel

Mon 24 September 2018 - Fri 28 September 2018
Tutors / Alys Conran & Louis de Bernières
Course Fee / From £ per person
Genre / Fiction
Language / BilingualEnglish

Writing a novel is an incredible journey, but it can also feel intimidating. Whether you’re at the beginning of a project or are deep into your story, this course will give you support and inspiration on your way. Gaining ideas from some great writers, and using their work as ways of prompting our own, the course will look at all the main challenges of writing a novel. We’ll look at original and interesting approaches to novel writing, considering what might be the best narrative perspective to choose for your story, and how to find the best voice in which to tell it. We’ll get deeply involved with our characters, exploring what makes a great character seem to live and breathe. We’ll consider how to write great dialogue, what makes it scintillating, and what can make it dull, and we’ll explore ways of honing description so that your writing really springs to life. And of course, along the way, we’ll consider plot, story, and how to put your novel together. Individual tutorials and group workshops will help you to move your writing on and you’ll leave with lots of writing done, fuelled up to see your project through.


Alys Conran

Alys Conran is the author of Pigeon (Parthian Books, 2016), the first novel to be published simultaneously in English and Welsh. Pigeon was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2017, the Rhys Davies Fiction Prize and the Wales Arts Review People's Choice Award. Her second novel Dignity will be published by W&N in 2019. Her short fiction has reached the Bristol Short Story Prize, the Manchester Fiction Prize and the Bath Short Story Award. She has read her fiction and poetry at The Hay Festival, the Edinburgh Book Festival, and on BBC Radio 4 and her work is to be found in magazines including Stand and The Manchester Review, and in anthologies by The Bristol Review of Books, Parthian, The Camden Trust and Honno. She also publishes poetry, creative non-fiction, creative essays and literary translations. She is a Creative Writing lecturer at Bangor University.

Louis de Bernières

Louis de Bernières published his first novel in 1990 and was selected by Granta magazine as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993. Since then he has become well known internationally as a writer, with Captain Corelli's Mandolin winning the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Novel in 1994. His sixth novel, the acclaimed Birds Without Wings, came out in 2004, A Partisan's Daughter (2008) was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and Notwithstanding: Stories from an English Village was published in Autumn 2009, followed by his first collection of poetry, Imagining Alexandria: Poems in Memory of Constantinos Cavafis in 2013; it is also available in audio, read by the author. Publication of his major new novel, The Dust That Falls From Dreams, was in July 2015, and his new collection of poems, Of Love and Desire, was published 2016. As well as writing, Louis plays the flute, mandolin and guitar.

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