‘Passionate about writing’ banner
Monday 03 June 2019 to Saturday 15 June 2019

Are you passionate about writing? Do you want to meet like-minded people, develop your writing technique, sharpen your critical skills and discuss your work in small, focused groups? If so, don’t miss the chance to apply for a place on our seventh annual International Creative Writing Summer School taking place in Athens and Thessaloniki.

Our Summer School has distinguished itself as one of the leading programmes in creative writing in Greece. It offers the opportunity to craft original work under the guidance of some of today’s most respected practising British writers. Among the writers and creative writing professors who have taught at the Summer School in the past are: Ed Docx, Ahren Warner, Heidi James, Norma Clarke, Rachel Cusk, Adam Baron, Paul McVeigh, Siobhan Campbell and Maurice Walsh.

This year, the Summer School will enable students to enhance their writing skills through writing short fiction, crime and thriller, novel and/or poetry under the supervision and guidance of highly accomplished writers and academics. While the focus will be clearly on critiquing and discussing work in progress, the participants will immerse themselves in writing and address key issues in literature, as well as participate in one-to-one tutorials.

The courses will be adapted each time to respond to the participants’ specific needs, level and aspirations, as well as to the particular local context. Workshops in each course will be scheduled from Monday to Friday between 18.00 and 21.00, with extra-curricular activities such as readings and tutorials taking place throughout the week.

Courses will be held in English and are suitable for writers at all levels. See below for dates and course details.


Short fiction with Gerard Woodward
3–8 June 2019

Short fiction can be anything from a few sentences to several thousand words. It offers a special challenge to the writer who has to work within its restricted parameters. As we shall see, the key is to make use of these restrictions and see them as an advantage rather than a limitation. The short fiction course:

  • is designed for writers at all levels from beginners to the more advanced
  • explores short fiction through analysis of published examples using workshopping and prompts to inspire and help develop technical skills
  • encourages discussion of the students’ work that will deepen the understanding of fundamentals such as character, description, plot, dialogue and point of view.

Crime and Thriller Writing with Paul Perry
3–8 June 2019

Learn how to create convincing characters, compelling storylines, suspense and structure. In an immersive and supportive atmosphere, you will be given the tools to write your own crime and thriller novel in a course which:

  • is designed for writers seeking to enhance their crime and thriller writing skills
  • provides an accessible, constructive and friendly approach to developing ideas and improving your writing
  • explores technical approaches to writing
  • is suitable for aspiring and experienced writers
  • offers in-class writing exercises and homework assignments.

Poetry with Sasha Dugdale
10–15 June 2019

The course will consist of taught seminars followed by workshopping of students’ work. Through a number of collaborative exercises and individual work, as well as analysis of poems, students will be asked to understand what makes a good or striking poem, and how to best share thoughts and emotions on paper. The course:

  • is suitable for writers who would like to develop their work and their thinking further
  • involves workshopping participants’ poems in a warm and constructive atmosphere
  • explores approaches and strategies together and will try some exercises to stimulate poetry and to explore the poetic craft.

Novel with S. E. Lynes
10–15 June 2019

Telling a coherent, entertaining and thought-provoking story over approximately ninety thousand words is, at the very least, a challenge. On this novel course, students will:

  • learn how to approach narrative structure in a way that allows them to manage what can often be an overwhelming volume of words
  • explore how to use both overall and individual scene structure to keep the reader turning the page
  • find out more about the art of mimesis: showing character through dialogue and action
  • how to access a character’s interior life, how to create tension, how to use the external world, symbolic detail, narrative perspective; and how to write the most fundamental building block of prose fiction: the complete scene
  • combine craft techniques, critical examination of great novel writing, and workshopping of students’ work.

Three-day workshop in Thessaloniki

Writing better essays with David Rogers
12–14 June 2019

This three-day workshop will focus on helping writers to develop a trusted process for drafting and revising their essays, whatever type and form their essays take. Based on David’s textbook Writing Better Essays: A Simple Rhetorical Guide to Process, Structure and Coherence, which will be provided to all participants, the course is suited to all writers – including students whose interest may be principally academic essays – looking to enhance their knowledge of good practice and how to implement its qualities to improve their style. The course will include detailed explanations of key features of good writing, as well as examples and in-class exercises, including imitation. Participants will be asked to send in a sample of their writing before the course begins, and they will receive feedback on their writing, which they will be encouraged to complete once the course finishes.

Literary Saturday Mornings

This year’s events will offer a wider audience the opportunity to experience being part of the International Creative Writing Summer School community.

Greek writers and poets and our Summer School writers and tutors will discuss issues that are of interest not only to those who write but also to those who love reading: writing techniques and the art of writing, writing as a way of life, creative processes, the book market and the relationship between literature and life. The speakers and audience will share what inspires and challenges them, and discuss the continuously changing reality of the book market, while our invited writers will read excerpts from their work.

Saturday 9 June 2019, 11.00
Gerard Woodward, Paul Perry & Mirsini Gana

Writers Gerard Woodward (short fiction) and Paul Perry (crime fiction – suspense), and poet and translator Mirsini Gana will talk about the way personal experiences feed their work, how they face tough days lacking in inspiration, as well as the relationship between readers and authors in the age of social media.

Saturday 15 June 2019, 11.00
Sasha Dugdale, S. E. Lynes & Elias Magklinis

Poet Sasha Dugdale and novelists S. E. Lynes and Elias Magklinis (writer at Kathimerini newspaper) will discuss how art shapes the way they see the world and life, the place of literature in the age of ‘Homo social media’ and how literature can respond to the fake news crisis.

Discussions will be moderated by writer Vangelis Provias.

The events will be held at the Numismatic Museum Café (12 Panepistimiou Street, 106 71 Athens). Admission is free.


Certificates of achievement will be awarded upon completion.

Summer School Overview

Deadline for applications
  • 5 May 2019:
    Early bird deadline
  • 24 May 2019:
    Application deadline for Athens courses and Thessaloniki workshop

Entry requirements
  • Applicants should be able to demonstrate a high level of written and spoken English (equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.5 overall and 7.0 in the writing module).
  • They will also be required to submit a sample of their work in English: either a selection of poems (up to six poems) or a prose piece of approximately 2,000 words, depending on the course(s) they have chosen.

Course fees
  • €350 for each course
    10% early bird discount for applications received by 5 May: €315
  • €180 for the three-day workshop in Thessaloniki
    10% early bird discount for applications received by 5 May: €160

Course length
  • 15 workshop hours
  • One individual tutorial
  • Saturday readings/events


How do I apply?

Email the completed application form to Maria.Papaioannou@britishcouncil.gr.

We encourage you to apply as early as possible to secure your place. Groups are small and places fill up fast.

Please note:

  • The form must be accompanied by a sample of your work in English: either a selection of poems (up to six 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, 09.00–14.30.
  • 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: GR51 0840 0010 0000 0044 4215 003

    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

General Conditions

  • 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 Summer School and the application procedure, please contact Maria Papaioannou:

Email Maria.Papaioannou@britishcouncil.gr
Telephone +30 210 369 2336 / 333