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2-Day Creative Writing Workshop

Please contact us for future course dates.

Course description

Jane Hankin is a writer and an educator. She teaches in a number of arts universities in and around London, with illustrators, artists, makers, and animators. Her subject is creative writing and creative thinking.

This weekend workshop at Kingston is all about thinking and writing. It will push your thinking, will encourage you to write, and to read out what you've written, and it will listen constructively and positively to your voice.

It will be hands-on, lots of fun, with lots of different little excerpts – from Flash Fiction to Charles Dickens – to inspire you and get you thinking about all sorts of ways into stories.

It's perfect for a range of abilities: beginners, curious newcomers to creative writing, filmmakers, animators, artists – all those who use stories in their work. Both days will feature different exercises to free up thinking, to stretch and progress you as a storyteller and writer. By the end we hope you will have built a portfolio of writing that will stand as an exciting beginning to your practice as a writer.

Everyone can write. Everyone can tell stories. All it needs is a willingness to stop and ask, ‘what if?' and suddenly all sorts of ideas will come wriggling up like razor clams in sand.

Ask when does your practice become you? To take yourself seriously as a writer is often the hardest thing to do. To allow yourself a little space and a little time to create without judgement, to inhabit a part of you that doesn't have to account for itself is hard for most of us.

So, to take this step is brilliant. Because this is that space, and it is that time.

Example Course Structure

Day one

Making the Familiar Strange: So much good writing starts at home. To be a successful writer, we need to learn to see: to lean in to the ordinary, the overlooked, the marginalised. David Almond, who wrote the children's classic, Skellig, wrote in an essay about just that, about going home: ‘… I turned and looked again, and saw that my true imaginary world, the source of my joys, fears and obsessions, was the small place in which I'd grown and which had surrounded me for most of my life …'

Pigs in blankets: We'll talk about what writing is – Margaret Atwood describes it as ‘wrestling an oiled pig in the dark'! We'll talk about what stories can be, and what they absolutely don't have to be!

A short story is a glimpse from the corner of the eye in passing: you'll be writing some short pieces in response to different prompts and text excerpts and get some constructive and positive feedback.

I remember: We'll talk about how stories can start – should start – from the particularity of your own lives (Rose Tremain), and how mashing about in our memories can be a wonderful way in to story.

There'll be a little writing exercise as homework.

Day Two

Hearing voices: here we'll build on what we did the day before and take a look at character. All good stories should start with character: the function of all storytelling is to reveal character (Robert McKee). We'll look at point of view, at voice and how to write in a way that honours feeling, feels truthful and authentic to your character.

Turning the Screw: we'll talk about conflict and what's at stake for your character, at conflict as a means for characters to show themselves.

Magical thinking: you'll do some writing from a child's eye view, and look at a series of short excerpts to inspire your writing and perhaps offer a way in.

The Kiss: you'll work on a longer piece which we'll workshop in class.

What to bring

A basic list will be sent to you a week in advance of the course start date. All other materials are provided by Kingston School of Art (KSA)

Course tutor

This course is taught by author and co founder of Blowfish books, Jane Hankin.

Booking information

We aim to be fully compliant with government health and safety guidelines whilst running short courses at Kingston University.

View the terms and conditions for booking a short course.


The standard course fee is indicated at the top of this page. If a course has any discounted fees available (e.g. for early-bird booking, alumni or students) these will be clearly outlined on the booking website.

As an educational institution fees for our open short courses do not attract VAT.

We will be running this course in summer 2023, course dates coming soon! Please contact us for further information.

Related courses

Kingston School of Art also offers the following related courses:


Directions to Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE:


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