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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate

Release your imagination - study creative writing.

Study for your Certificate in Creative Writing at home by Distance Learning

  • Nurture your creativity, and become a successful writer.

  • Develop your writing skills with help from our highly qualified and experienced tutors.

  • Understand different areas of fiction – find your niche.

  • Study when and where you want to.


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Develop and advance your skills in creative writing.

  • Train as a writer.

  • Explore your strengths!

  • Confront your weaknesses - discover what it takes to be a successful creative writer!

Want to be a successful writer?  Then see what this course has to offer.  

Studying Creative Writing with ACS, you will:

  • Advance your writing skills;

  • Hone your technique;

  • Develop your approach to extracting your ideas, and focusing on a project  through to its conclusion.

Creative writing is stimulating, but also challenging, and not always completely what the student expects it to be. If you want to be a successful, creative writer, and have the commitment to follow that dream then this course could be the path you have been looking for.


Course Duration: 600  hours.

Start Date:
Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Study six Core Modules.

The Core Modules are: Creative Writing, Writing Fiction, Children's Writing, Editing I, Dramatic Writing, and Poetry.

All modules for the Certificate In Creative Writing are summarised below.  Follow the title link for further information on each.



Six modules must be successfully completed, as follows:

Creative Writing BWR103
Creative Writing is a 10 lesson module.  Students will consider what constitutes creative writing and the different forms of writing.  The module will take them through the process of developing their writing skills (such as styles of language, writing structures and the setting of scenes or moods, and so on).  Establishing a routine is important and the module includes sections on planning how and what you may write, and how to develop your ideas.  There are lessons on writing for different purposes (i.e. fiction, non-fiction, and for newspapers) and once the student has studied these areas, they will embark on a special project where they will produce and compile a portfolio of writing with which they can sell themselves.

Writing Fiction BWR105
This 8 lesson module looks at how to write different types of fictional material (in terms of genre and form of material – a play, short story, or a book).  Students will consider the planning, the components that make up a story, and the conception and research that needs to be undertaken to produce a written work.  Within this they will look at developing the characters they create (their names, who they are, where they come from), whilst also being aware of how to avoid unengaging or stereotyped characters.  Having considered all the elements, including writing a synopsis of the planned work, students will then focus their studies on writing for different genres and producing different types of work.
Children’s Writing BWR104
To write for children you need to free your imagination and look at a story through their eyes.  Only those who can communicate and be imaginative and engaging will succeed in keeping a child’s attention.  This 10 lesson module encourages the student to consider how children think and how they view things.  Having looked at how to plan and develop a concept, students will look at the production of fictional and non-fictional material, and for different types of publication (i.e. periodicals, short stories, picture books, story books and so on).  The module concludes with a special project, whereby the student will plan, produce, edit, evaluate, and present to their tutor a piece of children’s writing.

Editing I BWR106
This module provides students with an introduction to editing.  Through 8 lessons, the module considers what the role of editing is, what tools are used, and how it fits in with publishing.  Students will consider what constitutes clear writing and the use of correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and so on.  They will look at how to assess manuscripts, what they should be looking for and what form their relationship takes with the author of a document.  The module then focuses specifically on the editing process and what is involved with editing a document, proof reading it and checking final proofs before printing/publishing.

Dramatic Writing BWR110

This 8 lesson module focuses on the development of your writing skills.  Dramatic writing covers a wide range of areas; from fictional and non-fictional stories to newspaper articles, periodical reviews, and marketing material.  Although this module was primarily conceived from the perspective of story writing, it can therefore be a useful development aid for a wide range of purposes.  Lessons in the module look at the development of characters in a story, developing themes, plots and background stories.  Students will consider how to develop their characters within a story, how the characters affect the plot, what their motives and aims are.  The final lesson provides students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned through this module and they will undertake an exercise to plan and produce a chapter for a dramatic novel.  This brings about the opportunity for them to be published in the student magazine.

Poetry BWR109
This 9 lesson module is concerned with the nature and scope of poetry, determining the different types of poetry, whilst also looking at the works of some well-known poets.  The module looks at the different styles of writing and how students may produce work to follow these styles and forms (including styles such as Ode, Sonnet, Italian Sonnet, Haiku, Monody; and following rules such as Quatrain, Pantoum, Acrostic).  Students will be challenged to think about the language they use to convey scenes, situations, or circumstance and will be encouraged to develop their ideas via a number of exercises throughout the module.



There are many different types of writing which may be regarded as creative writing. Occasionally, a genre may lose popularity and drift into obscurity. Likewise, every so often, a new genre may evolve which becomes subsumed under the canopy of creative writing. For instance, a relatively new genera is that of 'flash fiction'.  Flash fiction involves writing a very short story. There is no universal agreement of how short, but the word length ranges from 300 words to 1000 words.  

The chief categories of creative writing are poetry and prose. In fact, all writing is either poetry or prose. Whilst all poetry is creative, not all prose is. For instance, a statute is a written law which most would not consider to be creative writing - although the law itself may be quite inventive. Creative prose can include:

  • Novels;

  • Autobiographies;

  • Magazine and newspaper articles;

  • Plays;

  • Film scripts, and more;

  • Marketing and Advertising;

  • Letters, emails, memos;

  • Within prose and poetry are many subcategories.

There are many different types of poetry ranging from ballads to rhyming couplets to free verse. Poets will develop their own style and way of writing their poems. Some poets may mostly write about specific topics such as nature, situations or events, or love. Others adopt a more eclectic approach to subject matter.
In the modern world, many people regard essays as something which are written at school. However, essays have long been a form of creative writing before they ever became a part of a school language curriculum. An essay is a piece of writing from the author’s point of view.
News Items

Although news items are not fictional, the way that the story is constructed involves some degree of creativity. Whilst most media outlets purport to be impartial in their coverage of events, this is clearly not always so. The use of words, phraseology, headline, and organisation of the story, all involve creative input. Next time you listen to the news, take note of how the story is presented, and think about how else the same story could have been presented to give greater emphasis to another aspect of it. If the news is on the television, you might also observe the news summary on the tickertape at the bottom of the screen. This is based on the bare facts of the story, but is still creative, albeit often in a sensational manner.

When it comes to the reporting of political news items, whilst a story may be expressed creatively, it is also often tainted with the bias of the reporter, or the broadcasting channel's or newspaper's underlying allegiance. Even the reporting of history is distorted by the views, and creativity, of whoever has told or written it. We must accept that the Bible, which to some is one of the best story books of all time, contains narratives which have been diluted over the years each time it has been rewritten. Even the original recording of events would have been influenced by the writer's interpretation and their biases.  

Spin Doctors

A spin doctor is spokesperson who gives a favourable version of events to the media or general public. Spin doctors are usually used by political parties. To be able to put a positive spin on a negative situation can require a great deal of creativity.  

Screenplays and Stage Plays

Whilst screenplays are written to appear on the cinema or television screen and stage plays are written for stage performances, there is a great deal of overlap in the two styles of writing. There are also some subtle differences too which relate to such things as:

  • The amount of character speech used;

  • Narration;

  • How ambience is created;

  • How characters position themselves for their respective audience;

  • How they project their voice.

Novels are one of the most popular forms of creative writing, and novelists are perhaps the most influential role models for up and coming creative writers. Whilst poets such as John Betjemen, and stage play writers such as William Shakespeare are very well-known, in recent times many of the most famous writers have been novelists such as J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Robert Ludlum, and so on. However, popularity, as with any other creative art, does not necessarily equate with talent.
There is no limit to the storyline for a novel, but there are fashions in terms of different genres that sell well at certain times. For instance, two of the authors listed above are associated with the popular teenage vampire genre of the mid-late naughties.
Recent changes in publishing, such as the growth of eBooks and internet sales, have seen more and more authors successfully self-publishing. In some cases, they may sell books themselves by installing secure checkouts on their own websites. Alternatively, they may sell through a third party website which does the marketing and promotion for them exposing them to a larger audience, and handles sales for a commission. In other cases, some authors have been successful in obtaining a publishing deal after self-publishing.


You can start the course at any time.

Study anywhere in the world!  Our courses are studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.


The Certificate In Creative Writing requires around 600 hours of study. This is made up of six 100 hour modules.

To pass the course –

1. Pass all assignments on the six 100 hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.

2. Pass six examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.

If you are not ready to study the Certificate In Creative Writing, each of the modules can be studied as standalone courses.


"I found the course to be extremely helpful. It has given me the confidence and skills to present my work to publishers."
Dilys, Creative Writing
"I commenced the Creative Writing Course with the ACS having had no prior experience in this field whatsoever.

Having always been in accounting or payroll jobs, I decided to give the course a go.The course demonstrated to me what I enjoyed writing about, the types of writing I was good at, and not so good at. It broadened my horizon to show me what was out there to write about. It gave me knowledge and confidence. I have continued to write, and in the future want to commence with the next course, but in the meantime, I have submitted various articles of mine to some magazines and have had nothing but positive feedback from all the editors and some of my work is to be published!! Which I personally feel is fantastic as I have only been doing this for a year or so. Thank you for opening up a whole new world of creativity to me which I can only enhance upon!"
Jo, Creative Writing


  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.

  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.

  • Study where you want to - online studies offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.



  • Learn how to take your ideas and develop them.

  • Find the type of writing that works for you and learn how to plan, produce and edit your own work ready to submit to publishers.

  • Discover how to source publishers and submit drafts of your work.


Realise your creativity .... Why delay? Enrol today!

Choose the right course to suit your goals or career plans.

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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

John MasonMr Mason has worked 45+ years in Writing, Education, Horticulture and Recreation. His experience in both public & private sectors is extensive; particularly across Australia and England.
Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Tracey Jones (writing)Tracey has enjoyed creative writing since she was a child. She has had several short stories published and a novella. She is also a keen writer of children's stories and poetry. She has also written many academic and non-fiction books in the fields of psychology, sociology, child development, writing and marketing.

Check out our eBooks

Writing for Childrenby John Mason and staff of ACS Distance Education
English GrammarThe English Grammar ebook can be a great reference for students, people who are learning English and anybody who writes anything- ever. The English Grammar ebook takes grammar back to basics to help confirm correct use of grammar. Topics that are covered within this course include 1/ Introduction- the components of language, 2/ Types of words, 3/ Punctuation, 4/ Upper and lower case, abbreviations, numbers, bullet points and 5/ Using words together.
Professional WritingProfessional writing is any writing that you are being paid for. It can include fiction writing, a best-selling book, articles in a magazine, articles in a newspaper, blogs for companies, technical manuals or procedure manuals, copy for catalogues, newsletters, text books and other academic material and so on.
Creative WritingThe Creative Writing ebook can be useful for writing students or even professional writers to help improve their writing techniques and skills. The Creative Writing ebook is a fabulous starting point for budding writers. The topics that are covered within this book are an introduction to creative writing, Methodology and technique- the building blocks of writing, Genres, Creative non-fiction, creative writing techniques, developing your skill, building your career and a Glossary.