In partnership with the Kingston Writing School and Kingston University, we're pleased to announce the courses that comprise our third annual International Creative Writing Summer School in Athens and Thessaloniki.
The Summer School provides opportunities for writers from across the world to develop their critical and analytical skills, enhance their writing abilities, and work intensely in an inspiring and creative environment with experienced writers associated with the Kingston Writing School, Kingston University, London. Among the writers and professors who have taught at the Summer School in the past are: Rachel Cusk, Paul Bailey, James Miller, Norma Clarke and Maurice Walsh.
This year, the Summer School has broadened and enriched its programme and offers students the opportunity to practise writing fiction, non-fiction, poetry, scriptwriting and suspense writing under the supervision and guidance of highly accomplished writers. Students may choose from three two-week courses and four one-week courses in Athens, and four one-week courses in Thessaloniki. Workshops in each course will be scheduled from Monday to Friday between 18.30 and 21.00, with extracurricular activities such as readings and tutorials taking place throughout the week, including Saturday mornings.
Two of the two-week courses in Athens will focus on fiction, with one designed specifically for students who are experienced writers and/or have attended the Summer School before. The third two-week course concentrates on non-fiction: creative, journalistic, biographical, autobiographical and/or memoir writing. The four one-week courses may be taken separately or in combination. Each is designed for writers working in a specific genre: fiction, suspense narratives, scriptwriting and poetry.
Two of the courses in Thessaloniki will offer workshops in fiction. A third will centre on non-fiction and the fourth on poetry. These courses may be taken alone or in combination across two weeks.
Courses will be held in English and are suitable for writers at all levels. See below for dates and course details.
ATHENS: TWO-WEEK COURSES
Fiction Writing Course
1–13 June 2015
with KJ Orr and Dr Howard Cunnell
- Designed for aspiring and accomplished writers alike who want to develop and enhance their prose writing skills
- Combines precise comments in peer-led workshops with individual feedback on written drafts to help students develop their own voice more confidently
- Looks at a range of elements crucial to writing good fiction
KJ Orr is a short fiction writer, whose work has been widely published, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and shortlisted for numerous awards, including the BBC National Short Story Award. She has worked as a writing mentor in London, published critical work and interviews on the short story and is completing a PhD on the form. She is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Her collection, Light Box, is due to be published in 2016.
Dr Howard Cunnell is a novelist, short story writer and academic. He has a PhD from the University of London and has been a Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Sussex. He is the author of the novels Marine Boy (2008) and The Sea on Fire (2012), which the Guardian described as ‘mapping new noir territory’. Dr Cunnell is the editor of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road – The Original Scroll (2007), called by the New York Times ‘the living version for our time’. Writer-in-residence with the Kingston Writing School, he is currently completing a memoir, Hard to Love, and Whitman, a collection of short stories.
Non-fiction Writing Course
1–13 June 2015
with Linda Cracknell and Maurice Walsh
- Designed for writers working in all types of non-fiction, including life writing (memoir and autobiography), biography, journalism, diaries and personal essay
- Explores the process of research and provides students with the opportunity to engage with practical exercises that lead to new writing
- Examines and records the students’ own personal experiences as well as the life experiences of others, and explores the benefits of studying all in the context of the other
Linda Cracknell published Doubling Back: Ten Paths Trodden in Memory in May 2014. Narrative non-fiction that explores the relationship between landscape, walking and memory, the book has been described as ‘a winning combination of memoir, travelogue and literary meditation’ and was broadcast in abridged form as BBC Radio Four’s Book of the Week. She also writes fiction – two collections of short stories, which are in print, and a novel, Call of the Undertow – and radio drama. She teaches creative writing in many settings and is currently writer in residence at a children’s hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can visit her website at www.lindacracknell.com.
Dr Maurice Walsh is the author of Bitter Freedom: Ireland in a Revolutionary World, 1918–1923, just published by Faber & Faber. His book The News from Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution was a TLS Book of the Year choice in 2008. An award-winning documentary maker, he has reported from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the United States and Europe. His essays, reviews and reportage have appeared in Granta, the London Review of Books, the Dublin Review, the New Statesman, and many other newspapers in the UK, Ireland and the US. He was Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2001, Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford in 2010–11, and teaches journalism at Kingston University.
Advanced Fiction Writing
15–27 June 2015
with Francesca Kay and Jonathan Gibbs
- Designed for experienced and accomplished writers who want to develop and enhance their fiction writing skills
- Combines professional, constructive comments in peer-led workshop sessions with individual feedback on written drafts to help students develop their own voice more confidently
- Includes analysis and discussion of different styles, writing exercises in class and readings of the writers’ current work
Francesca Kay is an award-winning writer of fiction. Her first novel, An Equal Stillness, was serialised on BBC Radio, won the Orange Award for New Writers and was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ prize and the Authors’ Club First Novel Award. Her second, The Translation of the Bones, was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2012. Both books have been translated into several languages, including Chinese. She won an Asham prize for her short story Holding the Baby. Her third novel, Starveling, will be published by Faber & Faber in 2016.
Jonathan Gibbs is a novelist, academic and critic. His novel Randall, or The Painted Grape, was published last year by Galley Beggar Press and is also available/forthcoming in Dutch and French. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The Barcelona Review, The Best British Short Stories 2014 and Gorse. He has taught creative writing at the University of East Anglia and has written on books for the Independent, Telegraph, Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and elsewhere.
ATHENS: ONE-WEEK COURSES
Fiction Writing Course
1–6 June 2015
with Ed Docx
- Designed for aspiring writers who want to develop and enhance their prose writing skills
- Combines exercises related to a range of techniques crucial to writing good fiction with constructive feedback to all students in peer-led workshop sessions
- Emphasises discussions and exercises that will help students to discover, explore and enhance their personal style and vision
Edward Docx is a British writer who lives and works in London. He has taught Arvon courses and Guardian masterclasses. His first novel, The Calligrapher, was cited by the San Francisco Chronicle as a best book of the year (2004) and was a finalist in The William Saroyan Prize and The Guilford. It has been translated into eight languages. His second novel, Self Help in the UK and Pravda in the US, won The Geoffrey Faber Prize and was long-listed for the Man Booker. Amazon (USA) listed Pravda as one of the best books of the year (2008), and The Hay Festival committee named Docx as one of the 21 most gifted young writers from around the world. His third novel, The Devil’s Garden, has recently been published.
His non-fiction appears mainly in Prospect Magazine and the Guardian/Observer. He has been short-listed for The George Orwell Prize for Journalism and regularly appears on radio and television as a cultural commentator.
Suspense Writing Course
8–13 June 2015
with Dr Andrew (A.J.) Hartley
- Studies the design, orchestration and execution of all long-form genre fiction that contain elements of suspense, particularly mystery, thriller, fantasy and science fiction for all ages
- Aimed at writers who aspire to generate a commercially marketable novel
- Focuses on both large-scale structure (including the development of high concept premises and how to outline a story in three acts) and on the sentence-level writing of scenes from work in progress
A.J. Hartley is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of books in a variety of genres. His thrillers include The Mask of Atreus, On The Fifth Day, What Time Devours and Tears of the Jaguar, all of which have been translated into almost thirty languages worldwide. His fantasy adventure series (Act of Will and Will Power), centering on eighteen-year-old actor, Will Hawthorne, was first published by Tor. With David Hewson, he is the co-author of Macbeth, a Novel, an adaptation of Shakespeare's play written specially for audio, voiced by Alan Cumming, nominated for a 2012 Audie in the Best Original Work category and published as a conventional book in spring 2012.
Hartley and Hewson's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, A Novel, released as an audio book in 2014, was named Audible's Best Book of 2014. The first of Hartley’s middle grades fantasy adventure series, Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, appeared in 2011, followed by Darwen Arkwright and the Insidious Bleck in 2012, and Darwen Arkwright and the School of Shadows in 2013.
Hartley has a Ph.D. in English Literature from Boston University and is the Russell Robinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is the author of The Shakespearean Dramaturg, a performance history of Julius Caesar, Shakespeare and Political Theatre, and Shakespeare on the College and University Stage, as well as numerous articles and book chapters in his field. You can visit his website at www.ajhartley.net.
Scriptwriting Course (Theatre/Radio)
15–20 June 2015
with Winsome Pinnock
- Aims to help students hone the skills of writing for performance through exercises
- Explores a number of contemporary texts by authors such as Laura Wade, Caryl Churchill, Leo Butler and Nick Payne
- Examines the significance of time and space in dramatic writing
- Emphasises discussions and exercises that will help students to create complex characters and to write dialogue that is authentic and dynamic
Winsome Pinnock is a scriptwriter whose plays include Taken, Leave Taking, Talking in Tongues and One Under. Her plays have been produced at the Royal Court Theatre, Royal National Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith and Soho Theatre in London, in San Francisco (Magic Theatre), Los Angeles (Ahmandson Theatre), and in Jamaica and Australia. Prizes include the George Devine Award, Unity Theatre Award and Pearson Plays on Stage Award. She was runner-up for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She was Senior Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University and worked as a Script Editor for BBC television. She has also written for radio and television, and has taught with the Royal Court’s International Department. She is currently Head of Department for Creative Writing at Kingston University.
Poetry Writing Course
22–27 June 2015
with Ahren Warner
- Designed for aspiring writers who want to develop and enhance their poetry writing skills
- Explores the lyric subject, poetic ethics, the line, cadence and sensation of contemporary poetry as the basis of critical reading, discussion and workshopping
- Aims to develop the understanding of the stakes, potential and problems of poetic language so that students will be able to write more accomplished and affective poems
Ahren Warner is the Poetry Editor of Poetry London, the leading independent poetry magazine in the UK, and a Research Associate with the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts. His books include Confer (2011) and Pretty (2013). He is the recipient of an Arts Foundation Fellowship, a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award and two Poetry Book Society Recommendations.
Lecture Series on British Literature in Athens
Saturday 6, 13, 21 & 27 June 2015 at 11.00
This series of four early-afternoon lectures (PDF, 122 kb) will explore a range of topics related to British literature. Well-known writers associated with Kingston Writing School and Kingston University will read excerpts from their work, and engage with audiences in a relaxed atmosphere of stimulating critical reflection.
The lecture series will take place at Polis Art Café, Book Arcade, 5 Pesmazoglou Street, 105 64 Athens. Admission is free.
THESSALONIKI: ONE-WEEK COURSES
Fiction Writing Course
1–6 June 2015
with Adam Baron
- Designed for aspiring and accomplished writers alike who want to enhance their fiction writing skills
- Focuses on students’ writing – plot development, characterisation and tone
- Provides insight into story structure and includes informal reading as part of the course
Adam Baron writes both crime and literary fiction. His novels have been translated into Greek, French and German, and dramatised on the BBC. He is MA Course Director in Creative Writing at Kingston. He has recently completed a new novel as well as a PhD in Creative Writing at Brunel University under the supervision of Fay Weldon.
Non-fiction Writing Course
1–6 June 2015
with Sam Jordison
- Helps students decide what they want to write about, how to write it, and how to convince other people that they will want to read it
- Looks at how to focus in on a topic, test ideas and proposals against the current market, and assess them in terms of originality and entertainment value
- Examines strategies for attracting the attention of agents and editors
Sam Jordison is the author of seven non-fiction books, several of them bestsellers in the UK, and has helped many other writers to publication as an editorial consultant. He is a co-director of an award-winning publishing company, Galley Beggar Press. He is also a journalist who writes for the Guardian and Independent newspapers about books and publishing. He takes regular workshops as writer in residence for the Kingston Writing School at Kingston University.
Poetry Writing Course
8–13 June 2015
with Ann Fisher-Wirth
- Based on interactive workshops – combines the satisfaction of learning more about poetic techniques with the pleasure of discovering the profound embeddedness of the self in its world
- Analyses the way poems are structured and how their form works together with content to generate meaning(s) and ambiguity
- Includes short in-class writing exercises and workshopping of the creative pieces that participants submit
Ann Fisher-Wirth published her fourth book of poems, Dream Cabinet, with Wings Press in 2012. Her other books of poems are Carta Marina, Blue Window and Five Terraces. With Laura-Gray Street, she co-edited the ground-breaking Ecopoetry Anthology, published by Trinity University Press early in 2013. Her poems appear widely and have received numerous awards, including a Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, the Rita Dove Poetry Award, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award, two Mississippi Arts Commission fellowships and thirteen Pushcart nominations, including a Special Mention. Her current project is a collaborative poetry/photography manuscript called Mississippi with the acclaimed photographer Maude Schuyler Clay. She teaches at the University of Mississippi, where she also directs the minor in Environmental Studies. In addition, she teaches yoga at Southern Star Yoga Studio in Oxford, Mississippi.
Fiction Writing Course
8–13 June 2015
with Lizzie Enfield
- Designed for writers of mixed abilities and genres: novels, short stories, novellas and flash fiction
- Combines exchange of ideas and feedback within group workshops, with individual tutorials allowing for constructive criticism of written drafts
- Includes group exercises and discussions that will focus on the building of blocks of fiction – voice, style, structure, point of view, dialogue and characterization – as well as looking at the wider issues of ethics, context and polemic in a focused atmosphere of study, respect and support
Lizzie Enfield combines novel writing with work as a freelance journalist, contributing to several UK national newspapers and magazines. She also teaches journalism and creative writing at a wide range of institutions. Her latest novel, Living With It, was a Mail on Sunday Book of the Week and featured on Woman’s Hour. Lizzie has written two previous novels, Uncoupled and What You Don’t Know (Headline), and her short stories have been broadcast on Radio 4 and published in various magazines.
Lecture Series on British Literature in Thessaloniki
On the occasion of the International Creative Writing Summer School we are organising this June and the visit of three distinguished UK writers to Thessaloniki, we are delighted to invite you to a series of presentations (PDF, 79 kb) on the contemporary British literature scene, seen through the work and experience of our invited speakers.
Adam Baron’s and Sam Jordison’s presentation will take place at 11.30 on Saturday 6 June 2015, and poet Ann Fisher-Wirth’s presentation at 11.30 on Saturday 13 June 2015 at our office in Thessaloniki at 43 Tsimiski Street (4th floor). The presentations are open to the public following reservation (telephone: 2310 378 314).
Certificates of achievement will be awarded upon completion.
Summer School Overview
Deadline for applications
Two-week courses: €600
One-week courses: €300
An additional 5% discount will be given to participants who wish to take more than two separate courses.
Holders of the European Youth Card will be given a 25% discount on all our creative writing courses until 22 May 2015.
- Athens courses: Application form (MS Word, 73 kb)
- Lecture Series on British Literature in Athens (PDF, 122 kb)
- Athens courses: Teaching staff biographies (PDF, 97 kb)
- Thessaloniki courses: Application form (MS Word, 69 kb)
- Lecture Series on British Literature in Thessaloniki (PDF, 79 kb)
- Thessaloniki courses: Teaching staff biographies (PDF, 77 kb)
- Summer School brochure (PDF, 2 mb)
How do I apply?
Email the completed application form to Maria.Papaioannou@britishcouncil.gr.
- The form must be accompanied by a sample of your work in English: either a selection of poems or a prose piece of approximately 2,000 words, depending on the course you have chosen.
- In the case of non-native speakers of English, the level of English language competency required should be equivalent to a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with 7.0 in the writing module.
How do I pay the course fee?
Once we've confirmed your participation on the course(s) of your choice, we'll ask you to pay the course fee.
- If you are resident in Greece, you can make the payment in cash or by credit card (VISA, DINERS and MASTERCARD) at our Athens office (17 Kolonaki Square, 106 73 Athens), Monday to Friday, 08.30–15.00.
- If you are resident in Greece but cannot visit our Athens office or you are an international applicant, you can make the payment by direct deposit to the British Council bank account:
Citibank account number: 0/444215/003
IBAN: GR 5108400010000000444215003
Alpha Bank account number: 7140 0200 2002 275
IBAN: GR85 0140 7140 7140 0200 2002 275
Please quote your name followed by 'Creative Writing' in the 'Αιτιολογία' field on the deposit slip (e.g. Eleni Papanikolaou, Creative Writing).
Scan the bank deposit slip and send to Maria Papaioannou by email at Maria.Papaioannou@britishcouncil.gr or by fax to +30 210 361 4658.
- We reserve the right to make changes to the course content and programme details.
- We reserve the right not to open a class with fewer than six students. Fees will be refunded.
- No refunds will be made after the course has started.
- Places cannot be guaranteed until course fees have been paid.
- Normally the maximum number of participants per course will not exceed 12.
For further details of the creative writing courses, the application procedure and accommodation advice, please contact Maria Papaioannou:
17 Kolonaki Square
106 73 Athens
Telephone +30 210 369 2336 / 333
Fax +30 210 361 4658