Getting Started

Starting out with creative writing can feel overwhelming and exhilarating. We might feel like we know what we're doing; or that we don't; or that everyone else knows the big secret to being a good writer. There is no secret. The route to good writing is reading and writing. As much as you can possible fit in.


As you start working towards finding your own voice, read as widely as you can, across genres, and take everything in. It fuels you, helps you decide what you like, what you don't like and what kind of writer you want to be. If you want to be published, you need to know what's out there, so read new and old work. 


Then, start building your writing skills. You might take a course, join a writing group or make your own way. Remember, there is no one perfect route into writing, and everyone has different needs and demands on their time. So be kind to yourself, experiment and be ready to get it wrong. You'll learn from every mistake and you will get better!


Here are a few places to find resources to get you started:

Start Writing Fiction - this free course from FutureLearn and the Open University is a gentle introduction to writing fiction, and works as a refresher if it's been a while since you've written.

National Centre For Writing - there is a wealth of free articles, workshops and packs on the National Centre for Writing website. Start with some free courses then look at subject specific packs on novel writing, world building, self-publishing and more.

New Writing North - the regional agency for Northern writers also has a brilliant resource page which is accessible to everyone. Find tips on using social media, pitching, editing and hear from published writers on how they work.

Spread The Word - the network guide is packed with interviews, reading recommendations and pocket guides to help you navigate your way into writing. Spread The Word also run regular courses and workshops as well as writing prizes so are worth a follow.

OpenLearn - another free course from the Open University is Creative Writing and Critical Reading, which will help you get a better idea of why reading is important and how you can use it in your work.