Student Experiences: Turning an Idea into Reality

From the Unthank School of Writing blog, Zoe Bell talks about how our Online Fiction Workshop has helped her grow and shape her novel…

Before I attended the Unthank Online Fiction Workshop I thought I could do it on my own: a biology degree and a career at a multinational corporation were adequate preparation for writing historical fiction, obviously.

I’d drafted my novel in the early mornings and nights around family and work, and then left it in a drawer to mature for a month. When I took it out again to do final edits, that’s when I realised, not without horror, that much more work was needed.

An advertisement for the Unthank School Online Fiction Workshop crossed my Facebook page. Serendipity? A present from my fairy godmother? Who cares. I clicked on it and thus began my transformative journey.

Shepherded by the unfailingly good-natured Stephen Carver, erstwhile Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, and author of the most excellent regency adventure Shark Alley, I redrafted my manuscript into a work I’m proud of and ready to submit to agents.

My focus was historical fiction but the workshop is suited to all genres. I attended two back-to-back sessions (24 weeks!) because my book is on the longer side and I truly benefited from the discipline imposed. Participants from all over included history buffs like me but also memoirists and writers of detective novels, thrillers, contemporary fiction, short stories, and literary fiction. All of us had different forms but our aim was the same, to write and finish our story.

To continue reading, please click here

To find out more about Zoe’s work please click here

Places are still available on the next workshop. For further details please click here or drop me a line at:

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