2017 courses

“Writing a book is easy, anyone can do it.”

Ever tried to write a book only to discover it isn’t easy at all? It’s hard work, time-consuming and frustrating. But it is achievable.

This year, we're offering writers the chance to learn the technique to writing seriously good stories through a programme of classes and workshops. We build in stages from beginner to advanced level, using a mixture of literary theory, textual analysis, exercises and feedback. Courses run between May and November at Edinburgh’s Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Classes take place on weekday evenings and our beginner, intermediate and advanced level courses are all five classes long. These sessions are an equal mix of teaching and audience participation and have a maximum of 20 attendees.

Workshops are genre specific and have a maximum of six attendees. Sessions include some theory but mostly allow participants to work on their writing, in collaboration with each other and the tutor. To make the most of the time, attendees should bring along a few short stories or the beginning or more of a novel.

Beginner, intermediate and advanced

For beginner sessions, attendees need to speak and write fluent English, enjoy reading fiction and be comfortable using simple literary terms such as structure, narrative, protagonist, climax etc. And that’s about it!

Intermediate classes and workshops are for those with a good grasp of fiction writing who want to refine their skills. Attendees should be familiar with key aspects of writing such as genre, story arcs, internal journeys and writing style.

Advanced courses are a bit more serious. Participants will need a good grounding in literary theory and writing technique. For this reason, we invite anyone wishing to attend to submit an extract of their writing, which will be assessed by the tutors free of charge, before booking onto one of the advanced courses.

Age Restrictions

Any under 18s attending a workshop or class will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If participating, the parent or guardian will need to pay full price. If they are just observing, they will only be charged for refreshments (where applicable).


The Storytelling Centre is fully accessible, with Braille signage and a hearing loop in performance areas. The Centre is accessible to wheelchair users via the John Knox House. Please let us know if you have any access requirements or questions concerning access.

Finding the venue

The Centre is located on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and is a short walk away from Waverley train station, Holyrood Palace and Prince’s Street. There is no allocated parking but there is pay-and-display parking nearby on Jeffrey Street and Canongate, as well as a multi-storey car park at St John's Hill.

Not near Edinburgh?

If you’re not able to get to Edinburgh for the courses, don’t despair. We are currently working on plans for touring courses and are open to suggestions of areas to visit.

Book a tutor

If you’re part of a writing group and would like to book a Writers’ Essentials tutor for a bespoke course, get in touch and we’ll do our best to sort something out.