The Essential Techniques of Great Fiction Writing

Take command of the written word with this intensive, six-week Zoom boot camp.

The length of the sessions varies depending on the session topic and the questions and discussions that arise. Sessions will be a approximately two hours long with a five minute break in the middle.

Only eight places available on this workshop.

Starting Wednesday 18th January 2023 at 7pm for six weeks ending 22nd February 2023

Times shown: GMT

If you are interested in future dates for this boot camp please email:

Boot camp fee: £199.99

(meeting invite will be sent out a couple of days prior to the workshop)
  • Learn how make your writing sparkle

  • Detailed, weekly feedback on your writing from boot camp leader, Phil Busby

  • Develop your editor's eye by assessing other participants' work

  • Notes emailed to you after each session

  • A maximum of eight people

Boot Camp Outline

Over the six weeks, Phil will read and mark all work submitted during the boot camp (up to 1000 words each week). He will provide you with constructive feedback to help you improve your writing.

In addition, you will be expected to read and give constructive feedback on the submitted work of other participants and they will do the same on your work. This is to help you develop your editor’s eye.

Each session is split into two. The first half is a lecture covering specific techniques of fiction writing (see below for details).

In the second half of your session you’ll be going through a selection of participants' work and discuss the points raised. This may sound scary but Phil's caring and gentle approach means that it can be a very effective way for learning the concepts being taught and building your confidence as a writer.

Week 1: Nuts and Bolts – find out why it’s important that your spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct and learn about the tools you can use to help you if you find these things difficult. You’ll think about how the vocabulary you choose can make your writing dull as grey skies or shine bright as the sun. Plus, you’ll be shown how to professionally layout your manuscript.

Week 2: The Object of the Exercise – in this session you’ll discuss what makes writing ‘good’. You’ll explore how to take the story in your head and transfer it onto the page by manipulating the writers’ creative material – words. We look at the sort of things that can stop readers from reading and then how to make your writing 'gorgeous' throughout your work.

Week 3: Writing Techniques 1 – here you’ll explore tense, point of view and narrative voice. Find out how to choose the right one for you and how to stick to your choice.

Week 4: Writing Techniques 2 – this week you’ll be looking at every creative writing tutor’s pet mantra, ‘Show, Don’t Tell’. Find out exactly what this means and how to apply it to your writing.

Week 5: Writing Techniques 3 and Editing Techniques 1 – you’ll have fun looking at three things to avoid in your writing: clichés, adverbs and passive voice.

Week 6: Editing Techniques 2 – once you have a first draft written it’s time to start editing. Here you’ll learn the single most important editing rule, then look at how to make sure you get a good rhythm into your work and why it’s so important.

This boot camp is run by Budding Writers in partnership with The Writers Bureau.

Boot Camp Leader

Phil Busby E.N. (M) B.A. Hons

Phil Busby

A playwright, singer-songwriter and author, Phil works in course development for The Writers Bureau, Manchester. Originally a psychiatric nurse, he studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts before working across Europe for ten years as a performer, writer and workshop leader. Phil is a co-founder of Budding Writers.

By taking part in this boot camp you will:

  • meet other writers and make new friends on the same path as you

  • receive constructive feedback on up to 6000 words of your writing

  • have time for discussion as there are only eight participants per group

  • develop an understanding of how to manipulate words to produce great writing that people will want to keep reading

  • find out how to avoid the common pitfalls writers often fall into

  • learn how to set out your manuscript professionally

  • gain increased self-confidence to take your writing forward on your own.

Starting Wednesday 18th January 2023 at 7pm for six weeks ending 22nd February 2023.

Boot camp fee: £199.99