WRITERS' HQ COURSE REVIEWS
- Writing Short Fiction
Best f**king course on writing short fiction, ever. 5I love this course. So much information, so many great exercises, such great feedback in the forums. Doesn't matter how you learn - there's a little something for everyone here, from videos to suggested readings to hands-on work - and some great prompts for the exercises. Helped me think about writing in invaluable new ways (distill your story down to a 140-character tweet? I can do this, I can do this...!). Kind, encouraging, clear, direct. I wrote some new stories during the course, and with the stories I already had before I started, I have lots of editing ahead of me....but at least now I KNOW WHAT TO DO! Thanks for a stellar course, Jo. Time now to stop f**king about and start editing (writing is rewriting :o).
Mary SteerPlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Thought-provoking and challenging. Well worth it! 5This is a fantastic course. It helped me step back from my manuscript, asked me difficult questions about plot, consistency and character that I'd been happily ignoring, and helped me to deal with each issue in easy to manage chunks rather than one overwhelming beast. The forums are so useful. Being able to talk to other people in a similar situation to myself, and giving as well as receiving feedback was just as important for me to learn as the course material was. I'm already booked on my next course!
SarahWriting Short Fiction
Clear and concise 5I've played around with writing short stories for a while, but this course really helped me understand them. It covers all the little techniques and tools needed to craft a really solid story. Even if you'd done other short story courses, I would recommend this one. The course is easy to understand with lots of fantastic examples to help cement your learning. The exercises are thought-provoking and enjoyable. Each section is broken into smaller sections to fit into a busy lifestyle. And the people are lovely too!
SarahPlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
You won't regret it 5I signed up for this course to help keep on track with a major rewrite of my novel, hoping thereby to avoid a big editing headache at a later stage. Plotstormers II provides a clearly laid out plan of action and takes you through the deconstruction-reconstruction process a step at a time, with plenty of moral support provided by Jo and forum participants along the way. A certain amount of pain may be inevitable, but it's definitely a case of no pain no gain, and also brings to mind the advice of Mark Twain with regard to riding a bicycle: you won't regret it, if you live.
Rosemary SgroiPlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Everything I wanted and more 5I'd been tentatively picking at the second draft of my novel for a while when I signed up for this course, aware that it needed a lot of work, and afraid to properly commit to it. This course kindly but firmly took me in hand and made me look at all the things I didn't want to look at (ie everything). It gave me a synopsis (wasn't expecting that!). It helped remind me what I was trying to say in the first place and why that was important to me. It gave me a plan for my next draft. And, most importantly as far as I am concerned, it gave me the push I needed to get back to writing the novel. The forums are also really useful for bouncing ideas around, and it was so good to chat to other people who were at the same stage with their books! Thank you, thank you, Jo and Sarah - I will be back for more soon.
ElizabethPlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Doitdoitdoit! 55 stars? A whole constellation for this course. Sarah and Jo are extremely talented teachers masquerading as loons. They will make you a better writer.
ElliePlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Wow! 5Being on draft 9 for the book I wanted to edit AGAIN, I wasn't sure how this course was going to make me see things differently. But wow, it really did. Breaking a novel down into its mathematical building blocks (and let's face it, i do have geek tendencies, so if there is a formula, I'm happy) was a unique way to go about editing. Pupping apart first rather than building. Once all those little itty bitty blocks became their own entities, it was so much easier to see where the gape were in my novel and what needed fixing. I will definitely be using this method for all of my other novels and going back over them with this same approach. Sharing with other writers at the same stage, both offering and receiving support gives companionship in a lonely career/hobby etc. So glad that I have now met more writers and hope we can continue to engage. A great way to learn. Also - the humour of Jo (and Sarah) really make the learning curves a little less painful and I can't count the number of times I' have quite literally laughed out loud. Am contemplating coming back for more as wondering what the initial plotting course is all about. Husband....?
MarisaPlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Everything you need it to be. And more. 5If you think you've done editing courses before, so you don't need to do another one, then you're completely and utterly wrong. This course takes your book by the short and curlies and makes it scream for it's mamma. Because this course isn't your average 'let's look at some of your prose & pretty it up' kinda course, it's a RIP IT TO PIECES & GIVE IT A FULL BODY SEARCH kinda course. Sound brutal? It is. Your brains will ooze out of your ears. But you won't regret it. Not one bit. Trust me. By the time you're done, you will know exactly what you need to do to your book to get it to tell the story you want it to tell. What more can you ask?
LornaWriting Short Fiction
Bursting with stories 5I've written short stories for a while, but this course gave me loads of ideas about where to find stories and how to develop them. It's also given me lots of food for thought about my writing process and how to approach (and edit) stories. I really feel the course demystifies everything about short stories, from idea to submission, and I'm looking forward to polishing the stories I've written over the past few weeks and trying to find them a home in the world. Thanks, Jo and Sarah!
ElizabethWriting Short Fiction
The short and the long of it 5There is a huge amount of material in this course, compactly delivered in six weekly batches of units. As well as plenty of straighforward instruction on the craft of storytelling (plot, character, point of view, and whatnot) there are diverse readings to ponder and discuss; soundbites and advice from writers and editors; prompts and challenging exercises; and a chance to post your own writing for feedback from the forum. I highly recommend it as an introduction to the world of short stories, and as food for thought on writing in general which may take me far longer than six weeks to digest.
Rosemary SgroiSeven Ideas In Seven Days
More ideas than you can shake an inspiration stick at 5Fab exercises for toning up your idea muscles. A fun, inspiring week.
JenniferSeven Ideas In Seven Days
loved it - though ideas I came up with were a bit mad 5excellent content and some great feedback - even if it all got very silly from me on the writing/ideas front..
VernonPlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Best thing ever... 5...well, the best thing ever editing-wise. My novel's been stuck in the doldrums for ages and I was losing heart, knowing it wasn't right, but not knowing how to identify what was wrong, far less having a clue as to how to go about fixing it. But now I do, and that's really exciting and invigorating. The course is clearly laid out in small, bite-sized chunks. It's all really well signposted, so you know what you need to do every week, why you need to do it, and how to do it. It's laid out in a logical order. It takes things one step at a time. It's completely bargainous. Jo and Sarah are friendly and down-to-earth and they explain things in the way you would talk to your friends down the pub and not as if you're in a university lecture. I really can't fault the course, nor can I recommend it enough.
Annie KirbyPlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
A life-saver 5I had done some writing courses before, heard numerous writers say that the real work begins with rewriting and editing but I had no idea how to approach my novel in order to deconstruct and rebuild it (and I know some writers who have done an MA in writing fiction and haven't got more of a clue!). This course was invaluable, full of practical ways to look at your story differently and very get-down-to-it exercises. Besides I also met some lovely friends along the way (other course students) and the input we gave each other was another fantastic aspect of the course. Highly recommended!
AnnePlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Do you even edit? Well, do ya? 55 stars, natch! So, so, so much great advice, tips, tools and methods for editing - it will take me 6 months to work through everything, but it will make this book much stronger than anything I've written before! If you're stuck in the slush pile and feel your book needs one more edit OR you're just finishing your first draft OR anywhere in between, then do this course. It's the Jedi Temple you have always sought, but your midichlorian levels never allowed you access, well here you get full access to a whole heap of mind tricks that will fool even Jabba! So thanks ladies, once more, I bow to your Jedi greatness. One day this Padawan will hopefully become an editing master...
Stuart WhiteSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Fabulous! 5I wasn't sure what to expect from seven days but was surprised by the amount of creativity sparked by the (seemingly) simple ideas. Brilliant course, whether you're short of ideas or not, because it gets you thinking and looking at things differently. Five well-deserved gold stars from me too 🙂 Thank you!
Hannah McKinnonSeven Ideas In Seven Days
SUPER SPLENDID IDEA GENERATING JOY! 5I'd been feeling like I'd lost the ability to generate ideas but this course gave me my confidence back. You'll get the chance to play around with some really fun exercises and just see what happens! I got at least seven really decent ideas to develop further. It's great value for money and will really give you a great big creative kick. Five gold stars from me!
LelaPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
7 Ideas in 7 Days 5A mysterious benefactor gives you a task a day and - shazam! - by the end of the week you're a-fizzing with ideas. Tis witchcraft. Do it.
EllieWriting Short Fiction
Excellent course 5This course is well designed and strikes a great balance between challenge and enjoyment. The course leader is responsive, and quick to respond with a mixture of encouragement and constructive criticism. Highly recommended.
KatherineSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Writers’ HQ: Seven Ideas In Seven Days – Stephanie PomfrettSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Characterisation Intensive Day 5: Increments of BastardryPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
Plotstormers 5Took me from vague idea to specific novel plan in six weeks. I don't have any writing time, but guess what - it's still possible. Supportive and clear - highly recommend.
Stephanie HuttonPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
When there's something weird (in your story idea) and it don't look good...Who ya' gonna call? PLOTSTORMERS! 5Superb materials, featuring advice, ideas, exercises and tips from both Sarah and Jo, as well as a plethora of published authors, all contribute to making Plotstormers the course to take if you just don't know how the hell your hero is going to find their mentor, or which character should die next, or who should kiss who and when (bleeeurgh!) - whatever kind of novel you're wanting to write, whatever style you've had previously, the course will help to amplify, hone and refine your ideas into a coherent and detailed road map, directing you through the asteroid belt of your story! These guys rock, I had a blast and would recommend with reservation.
Stuart WhitePlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
Top notch 5I started with a beginning and an end then changed the end, twice, got the middle and finally understood what plotting is all about and what a story arc truly is. Now I see holes and have an idea of how to fill them. Great attitude to teaching from WHQ crew.
AmandaSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Loads of fab ideas! 57 ideas in 7 days is a great way to kickstart your writing year. I now have loads of new ideas to try out and techniques for generating ideas for novels. A few problems with the forums but I managed to post my comments eventually...! Highly recommended, thanks to Justine who did the course last year.
AliSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Great fun, brilliant value for money - what's not to like? 5This was recommended by a friend on my creative writing MA. She said that she'd managed to fit it in and benefit from it at the same time as doing the MA and look after two small children, so I had to rise to the challenge! Despite starting it on New Year Bank Holiday Monday and thinking that it was 'a very bad idea' I can truthfully say that it has kickstarted my new year creative thinking in a very enjoyable way. It demands, on the face of it, an hour a day of your time, but really you can take as much or as little from it as you want. I have got pages of ideas to develop (or not) in the future, and lots of useful hints. So, thank you to my friend, and a big thank you to Sarah Lewis for running the course.
DianaSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Ticked all the boxes.... 5Thank you, what a great kick start to the year. Very good value, this course delivers exactly what it promises - and then some.
SallyPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
5Top notch course and the exercises are really challenging. It is hard work but it helps build a habit of writing too. I am really enjoying it a lot and surprised by how much I managed to do within those few weeks. Sarah has been an absolute brick really supportive and verifying or checking things in such a gentle and encouraging way. Go for it, you'll love it.
JeanninePlotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Gives plentiful food for thought 5Loved this course. Love, love, love. And also hated. But only because it made me realise how much damn editing my book needed. The information is plentiful, the HQ admin peeps are brilliant and they really know their stuff. I feel like it's given me the leg up I needed to really push through and get this beast fixed.
LisaSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Writers' Humungous Quality 5If, like me, you find that brainwaves rarely come knocking on your forehead, this course is a great way to let them in around the back, like a thief in the night, when least expected. While the time commitment is not huge, it really gets you thinking even when you're AFK. The daily exercises are more than just a series of writing prompts - I especially loved the foray into cover art design. Above all, 7 Ideas is tons of fun. Do it!
Rosemary SgroiSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Inspiring! 5A really varied crash course in ideas generation. It was great sharing the course with a small group of fellow students and Sarah is a wonderful course leader. I'll definitely use the ideas I came up with and the techniques I learned in my writing. Five gold stars!
Poppy O'NeillPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
Plotstorming is Rough....but I loved it. 5It took me a while to get through the course materials. Mostly because of the huge monster in my head telling me I couldn't, wouldn't and shouldn't get through it. It is a testament to Sarah and Jo's skills, encouragement and general awesomeness that despite all this I kept finding my way back and eventually emerged the other side with a not just a plot, but a passion for my story that I feared was lost. The course is worth every penny, every bead of sweat and every tear. I feel like a better writer in a better position. Can't thank you guys enough!
VickiSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Just a fab way to work 5Really enjoying myself and discover so many aspects of the writing process i didn't know or ignored. They throw you in at the deep end but best way to question your process and the way you work. We are so easily stuck in a rut. And this course is a real encouragement to define a box and then think outside it.
JeanninePlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
Good stuff 5Excellent course. I have to say I never got the hang of the forums. But I'm probably getting old and not very online-attuned. I prefer classrooms with real people. But that's my problem, not the course's. Overall, a very good course, beautifully thought through. Recommended, even if like me you aren't too hot on the virtual side of things.
AndrewPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
Useful Course 4I found the planning method taught in this course a bit of a straight-jacket in terms of developing an outline for a new idea. That said, I think it will be a useful tool to diagnose problems once I have an outline in place, so I can confidently say that this course has improved my novel planning process. I think I would recommend it to writers who have an outline they want to knock into shape, rather than idea they were trying to outline though. Using the forums was problematic, as the threads quickly became walls of text when people shared their work, which made it difficult to do a quick check-in, or participate in discussion (something I had limited time for). This was addressed part way through the course, when we were asked to make a new thread if we wanted work critiqued, and hopefully will be something that they look to improve for future offerings.
EmmaPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
Highly Recommended 5I came to this course with the complete first draft of a novel I had already written, but which (after a year of failing to rewrite it on my own) I knew needed more than just a bit of editing to make it work. Plotstormers has been a great way of completely deconstructing what I had to begin with, and then building it up again from scratch into first four, then seven, then sixteen units. The early weeks give you a brilliant introduction to various theories of plotting, soundbites from successful authors, and links to useful blogs and resources; this part is huge fun, and the video of Kurt Vonnegut explaining the shapes of stories is absolutely priceless. When it came to the actual writing bit, Sarah and Jo provided excellent support, encouragement and incisive feedback throughout (though be warned: the swearing is contagious. You'll know you have a problem when your 2 yr old starts effing at random people in shops). In the latter weeks of the course the forums (fora?) became indispensible for sounding out ideas and identifying problems as well as helpful cameraderie. I lagged behind towards the end, but nevertheless this course has given me the boost I needed to get my novel back off the ground, or at least back onto the runway. I highly recommend it, and look forward to taking more Writers HQ courses in the near future.
Rosemary SgroiPlotstormers Weekend Intensive: Residential Retreat
absolutely marvellous! 4Brilliants tips; a great model that really did get us plotting the darned novel. Having time away from normal life is what I needed - and got. The teaching plus the space to think in a countryside environment (which blows away the city cobwebs & gets the creative juices really flowing) was JUST the ticket. Sarah & Jo were the double-act that led our troupe, fed us, sorted our plotting problems .... and reminded us a hundred times to bring a B*%@y towel 🙂 I would thoroughly recommend this course .... and the other one "7 ideas in 7 days" (that I'm too late to give a review on). They just need to read my article on the Guardian now & tell me how great I am 😉
InduPlotstormers Weekend Intensive: Residential Retreat
Go wild in the country 5What a weekend! It was just such a great group of people to be with, an amazing setting and, for me, so productive! I felt that by spending such an intensive weekend thinking about the structure of my story that I could really move it forward and help it to get towards the right direction. It was so useful to have time and space to plan and I feel that the instruction that we were given was priceless. I was also impressed that between the three of us in our small group that we came up with a brand new story for the initial exercises. This format really works for me, I really hope that you will run more such courses. I would certainly come on another one and would fully recommend it to others, it is the natual progression on from the day retreats! Thanks to Jo & Sarah for an excellent weekend, it will live long in my memory!
Liz ThornsPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
The scales have truly fallen 5I had an idea. I wrote it out for 60k words. Someone said it was more like a short story. I was stuck. Then I discovered Writers HQ... I've found my people. This course has literally transformed my work. I now have something that actually reads like the outline for a novel. The teaching methods, materials and support (both from Sarah and Jo, and my fellow plot-a-trons) has been superb. Sensible, practical, intense, with a good splosh of anarchy. I now feel more confident about the actual writing and am also happy that the original idea holds up. Thank you so much and I'm looking forward to the next course (9 month...). It'll be AWESOME!
LizPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
Amazing journey of discovery 5I was a bit hesitant about doing an online course but I liked Writers' HQ's approach and the programme for plotstomers looked like the business. Over the last 6 weeks I have made such huge progress with novel. Really getting to grips with where story was going, characters' motivation, that thing everyone mentions called "conflict". The teaching material was excellent: just right amount and level. Support was good though I didn't really get too involved with forum discussions as my head was buried in doing the plotting homework. Feel massively more confident now about actually writing the bloody novel. Will be going on to the next stage with Writers' HQ.
Colette BatterbeePlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
I am converted 5Before the course, I was a solid pantser, but now I have truly seen the light. The way Sarah & Jo take you step-by-step through each stage, they make it impossible not to understand the theory of story structure and help you to put it into practice. So, after 6 short weeks (ARE THEY REALLY OVER?!), I can scarcely believe it, but I have a well-structured plan, with all the sub-plots in place, and I know what I want to happen and when. I just need to write the darned thing, now. If only they had a course for that... oh, wait a minute...
LornaPlotstormers: How To Plot Your Novel
A solid foundation 5At the beginning of this course I had an idea for a novel that I could have comfortably written down on a single sheet of paper. Six weeks later I have a detailed narrative structure, with subplots and well-drawn characters. I have the confidence to take this outline forward and begin the actual novel writing process.
Mark SadlerSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Just what I needed 5Simply put, I enjoyed this week-long course. It gave me the tools to be able to generate ideas - and generate ideas from ideas. . Seeing everyone else's work in the forums was really useful, if a little daunting - why is everyone else so clever!
RussellSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Excellent Course 57 Ideas in 7 Days exceeded my expectations. The daily exercises not only showed me ways to generate new ideas, but gave me an insight into the methods that work best for me. As a result, I ended up with a workable novel idea, and a new perspective on an existing project. While 7 days may seem intensive I found it easy to fit the work around everything else I had going on. It turned out to be a very small investment for a great return, and excellent value for money.
EmmaSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Enjoyable and illuminating 5A set of engaging exercises that kindle the spark of creativity in different ways and provide guidance in developing any raw ideas that do emerge. The course moves along at a brisk but manageable pace. After seven days you will likely leave with a broader perspective on the creative process, and an array of fresh approaches to apply the early stages of writing something new.
Mark SadlerSeven Ideas In Seven Days
Excellent value 5So many practical and manageable ideas to aid creativity. Invigorating and supportive.
Stephanie HuttonSeven Ideas In Seven Days
5Really found this useful to do & it has stimulated my creative juices again. Look forward to doing more courses with you in future!
Liz ThornsSeven Ideas In Seven Days
brilliant 5Really loved this - going to miss it now it's gone. I didn't just get an idea that I'm excited about for my next novel, I also learnt some excellent strategies for thinking up new ideas. Sarah and Jo were helpful and supportive. I'll be recommending this course to others, definitely! Justine x