The First Chapter

As member of Where Authors Begin – an online writing community with close to 30,000 members worldwide – I discovered many aspiring authors were making fundamental mistakes as they shared their work (even those who had already self-published). Many of these writers have had no formal education in creative writing and couldn’t afford the time or finances to take a college course or degree.

Having helped many writers to review their approach, I created The First Chapter, a short, affordable creative fiction writing course for aspiring authors. Undertaking a writing project is like a road trip. With that in mind, the course incorporates 7 essential elements of writing a winning story:

1. Deciding on your starting point

How to generating killer ideas, then turn them into a clear story

2. Knowing why the trip matters

Establishing a clear character goal to drive the story

3. Planning the journey

Why you need a clear a structure to your story, and how to make it work for you

4. Choosing your travellers

Creating a cast of memorable characters and choosing the right point of view

5. Taking the scenic route

Mastering powers of description, while keeping the story moving.

6. Conversation for the road

How to write convincing dialogue that also drives the plot.

7. Getting your passengers on board

The first chapter – or opening scene – is essential in hooking the reader. What elements do you need to include, and what should you avoid?


The course is practical and workshop-based, running in Wantage, Oxfordshire from September 2017. The programme will consist of core modules, delivered every two weeks from 7:15pm-9:15pm. By the end of the course, you will have written a 2000 word short story, with a full review from your tutor, Jez Fernandez.

This course is open to all aspiring and developing writers, from age 18+. If you are interested in registering for this course, please use the form below and I will keep you updated on dates, costs and content.