ONLINE WRITING COURSES & WRITING RETREATS

Writers' HQ has everything you need to get your story written.
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FOR BADASS WRITERS WITH LITTLE TIME OR MONEY

We’ve got everything you need to get going, keep going, plot, edit, unpick, rebuild, and publish your stories
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Free online writing retreats

Procrastination-busting, word-writing, story-eating, tea-drinking, biscuit-dunking online writing retreats in the UK and worldwide. And they’re FREE!
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Free creative writing courses

A squillion creative writing courses, covering novel writing, short story writing, productivity and publishing. Plus a four free courses available right now.
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THE ABSOLUTE BEST COMMUNITY
WHQers are quite simply the most productive, supportive, story-making, gif-slinging, hilarious, generous, loving bunch of writertypes anywhere ever.
We’re writers too
We understand how it works
A pie chart called 'how to do wording' showing that writing is made up of writing words, eating biscuits, drinking tea, swearing, and crying

We’ve been helping writers believe in their writing since 2012. 

Writers’ HQ is run by Sarah and Jo and a badass team of hand-baked writers who understand that all stories – your stories – are important and need to be told.

Fantastic Course

Thoroughly excellent course. A guided tour of the first draft you thought you knew, with myriad exercises to ensure you end up knowing it better. Help to recognise its strengths, and strategies to deal with its weaknesses. Advice, support, and plain good sense. A variety of approaches, to suit different kinds of writers. By the end of the course, I was raring to go, and what’s more, I knew what I had to do to make my draft into the best book it could be.

Cassie Oakman
Plotstormers II
Detailed and easy and fun to follow

I’ve only just started, but I can tell this course and the group is going to help, especially as I’ve done more short story courses than I can remember.

Jacqui Dickson
Writing Short Fiction
Now I am a Plotstormer

I love this course. So much great actionable advice on how to plot a novel, starting from 50,000 feet up and getting closer and closer until you’re at ground level….I was struggling with a novel I’ve been wanting to write for years now – have charged into NaNoWriMo every November for the last four years, hoping to get ‘er done, and with the exception of one year (in which I got 50,000 words of…backstory!), I’ve stumbled out of the gate and never hit the final target for the month. This year I’m more hopeful – because I have a much better idea of where I’m going with the story. This was something I hadn’t taken the time to think about in advance. Now I have, and I realize that was the missing piece – now I know what I want to do, I know things may change along the way, but I also know I have my Magical 16-Point Plot Planner lurking in the background of my files, waiting to rescue me – or to be adapted to fit the story as things morph and change. And it’s been great hanging out with other writers who are working out their plots as well – seeing the process and how it’s working for other people – getting to contribute to their work and getting their wonderful suggestions and help for my own. All hail Plotstormers! I’ll be using what I’ve learned over and over and over….

Mary Taslimi
Plotstormers
Best f**king course on writing short fiction, ever

I 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 Taslimi
Writing Short Fiction
Thought-provoking and challenging. Well worth it!

This 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!

Sarah
Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Clear and concise

I’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!

Sarah
Writing Short Fiction
Everything I wanted and more

I’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.

Liz O
Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Doitdoitdoit!

5 stars? A whole constellation for this course. Sarah and Jo are extremely talented teachers masquerading as loons. They will make you a better writer.

Ellie
Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Wow!

Being 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. Pulling 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’ve have quite literally laughed out loud. Am contemplating coming back for more as wondering what the initial plotting course is all about. Husband….?

Marisa
Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
Everything you need it to be. And more.

If 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?

Lorna
Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back
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Some of the places our writers have been published

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Gift a free Writers' HQ membership!

Fill in the form and we’ll drop your friend an email letting them know how they can sign up for their free year, as gifted by you.

Sorry. This form is no longer available.

*In case you missed the promotion, you’re not paying for this. We’re doing a whole Buy One Gift One Free hooha throughout September.