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Can writing really be taught?

We're at a party and someone asks, 'So what do you do for a living?'

When we say 'We teach people to be writers,' we often get the intrigued response: 'But can you really teach someone to write? Surely it takes natural talent to be a writer?’ 

Well, yes and no. 

Talent is part of it, but compare writing to, let's say, playing a musical instrument. Someone who is naturally gifted at the piano still needs to learn skills and techniques to enable them to play well. The same can be said for artists, dancers, singers, potters, and any creative activity. People who write are no different. An understanding of the craft and technical skills of creative writing are vital. 

If you love writing, and it feels natural to you, you can certainly call yourself a writer. It follows that it makes sense to learn the skills to help you become the writer you want to be. No one, not even a best-selling author, gets it right first time. You can always learn more, no matter where you are on the journey.

What is that craft? Well, for example, your writing toolkit should include the ability to create compelling characters that walk off the page, an understanding of writing that 'shows' and writing that 'tells', how to write dialogue that conveys character and contributes to plot, how to plan and structure your story, and the ability to choose and control point of view.

That’s not the full list, but this is where we come in. We are passionate about helping writers learn their craft, and that means anyone who has ambitions to write, whether to publish, or simply for your own enjoyment. Our short writing courses and online half-day writing workshop-style retreats will help you develop as a writer. With solid skills under your belt, you'll be able to complete your draft, get it ready to share, send it to agents and publishers, or self-publish with confidence. Whatever your ambition is for your writing, we'll help you achieve it.

The next time you hear someone say writing can't be taught, tell them they are wrong. It isn't all about perfectly crafted sentences, correct grammar and punctuation (although those do matter as part of editing), but it's about the ability to grab the reader's attention and hold it, without the slips and wobbles that can so easily crop up when a writer isn't confident of their skills. We help put you in control.

Our short Stay Home video courses are being rolled out in the coming months. Together they'll give you all the tools you need to get started. Why not dip a toe in with The Seven Stories, our three-hour workshop that explains the seven stories humans have been telling and re-telling through history. See which type you want tell, and get your first words down on the page, in just three hours. 

We know you can do it.

See you soon. 

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