Creative Writing Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is the form of writing that draws on the imagination to convey meaning through the use of imagery, narrative, and drama.

Creative writing uses senses and emotions in order to create a strong visual in the reader’s mind whereas other forms of writing typically only leave the reader with facts and information instead of emotional intrigue.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in 21st Century Teaching and Learning in the following subject areas:

  • Creative Writing (M.Phil.) – This course is intended for students who are seriously committed to writing, are practising, or are prospective authors, and who wish to develop their writing within the framework of a university course and in the context of an Irish literary milieu.
  • Creative Writing: Portfolio – Develop, progress and ultimately gain specialised evaluation of a portfolio of writing/long-form manuscript or novel and synopsis up to 50,000 words.
  • Creative Writing (QQI Level 5) – Develop an understanding of the process of writing, key aspects of writing fiction, as well as the possibility of getting work published.
  • Online Creative Writing Course – Learn Creative writing techniques in poetry and short story and other aspects of writing through exercises and examples, discussion and friendly critique in this highly interactive Online Creative Writing Course.
  • Creative Writing for Adults – In this Creative Writing for Adults course participants will receive instruction and feedback in the writing of fiction (short stories, extracts from novels, memoirs) in a relaxed setting.
  • Creative Writing: Single Project – This course is designed for those writers who wish to spend a sustained period of time working on a single project of any length.
  • Creative Writing: Introduction – An introduction to the craft of creative writing while working in a range of genres such as sci-fi, crime, horror and realism.
  • Creative Writing: Intermediate – Suitable for writers with some experience or those who have completed ‘Creative Writing: Introduction’.
  • Creative Writing: Advanced – Course includes a discussion of songwriting, romance fiction, multiform, video-game writing, writing for the internet and commercial script writing along with elements of the writing craft.

Studying Creative Writing

There are many courses in Creative Writing that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. You can gain valuable experience by writing for your student newspaper or magazine, volunteering in schools, or getting involved with writers’ groups. Also, try submitting work to journals or anthologies, entering competitions, or approaching local drama groups to see if they will use your scripts. Building a portfolio of written work, especially any that you’ve had published, will help to evidence your writing skills and establish your reputation as a writer.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a Creative Writing course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of writing and research skills and a passion for sharing the written word.

As a writer, you’ll be involved in the creation and development of works of fiction and non-fiction.

This covers various forms of writing, including children’s stories, life writing, magazine and newspaper articles, non-fiction, novels, poetry, screen and radio, scripts for theatre, short stories and even web content.

Most writers work freelance and are self-employed. As income from writing may be low and unpredictable, most writers supplement their income with other related activities such as author visits, workshops and events.

Some writers may find avenues to diversify their writing and write in different forms, such as published novelists also writing reviews and literary criticism. In addition, many writers manage their writing work alongside full or part-time jobs, which may be related to their writing (such as lecturing on creative writing courses) or entirely unrelated.

As a creative writing graduate you may work to establish yourself as a writer on a self-employed basis, either writing your own works or writing for others in a freelance capacity.

Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies.  Working hours typically include regular unsocial hours. Writers often use weekends and evenings to work, fitting their responsibilities around other employment commitments. However, some writers may adopt a disciplined approach, keeping strict office hours and working away from home to avoid distractions.

Related jobs include:

  • Advertising copywriter
  • Arts administrator
  • Creative director
  • Digital copywriter
  • Editorial assistant
  • Lexicographer
  • Magazine journalist
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Publishing copy-editor
  • Proof-reader
  • Talent agent
  • Web content manager
  • Writer
  • Academic librarian
  • Concept artist
  • Film director
  • Information officer
  • Marketing executive
  • Primary school teacher
  • Public librarian
  • Public relations officer
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Social media manager
  • Web content manager

Further study

After completing a course in Creative Writing you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as teaching, journalism, librarianship, publishing, communication and media studies, English language or literature and the performing arts.


Are there different types of Creative Writing?

Creative writing isn’t just limited to novels, short stories, and poems; in fact, this type of writing encompasses at least a dozen different types, each suited to specific situations and kinds of personal expression.

Types of creative writing include:

  • Poetry
  • Plays
  • Movie and television scripts
  • Fiction (novels, novellas, and short stories)
  • Songs
  • Speeches
  • Memoirs
  • Personal essays

The majority of writing, by far, is creative. With it, you can pretend anything you want and help a potential reader do the same.

Where can I study Creative Writing?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

  • The most expensive book ever purchased was sold for $30.8 million. It was Codex Leicester by Leonardo Da Vinci, and it was purchased by Bill Gates, according to Business Insider. 
  • Author’s names didn’t used to be printed on the covers of their books. The covers of the first printed books were considered artworks. They were covered in drawings, leather and even gold — so there wasn’t a place for the author’s name.
  • Did you know, the fear of running out of something to read is called Abibliophobia.
  • People say the longest sentence to ever be printed in literature belongs to Victor Hugo. The claim is that in Les Misérables there is a sentence that is 823 words long.
  • The earliest known work of literature is an epic poem titled the Epic of Gilgamesh. The ancient poem is from Ancient Mesopotamia and because paper books did not exist at the time, the whole tale is told on 12 tablets.

Mariza Halliday

21st Century Teaching and Learning Courses
Irish Writing Courses


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