• Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

The Book You Want to Write: How to Structure Your Story, with Jem Poster and Sarah Burton | Guardian Master Classes

ByRandall B. Phelps

Apr 20, 2022

Our first ideas for a work of fiction often come to us randomly and without any obvious structure. It’s natural – an inevitable first step in the creative process. What happens beyond this stage depends on the writer’s ability to first identify the patterns and possibilities of that raw material, and then shape the material into a solid, satisfying form.

In this weekend, a masterclass with novelists, teachers and co-authors of an inspiring new guide for fiction writers, Poster and Sarah Burtonyou will be able to explore and enjoy this challenging but rewarding second stage of fiction writing.

Through practical writing exercises and careful reading of passages by other authors, you will gain valuable insight into this crucial aspect of the writing profession.

Suitable for budding fiction writers and those looking to hone their skills, this supportive workshop with two of the best authors and teachers working today will help you energize your practice, gain a better understanding of structural possibilities, and develop the confidence to take your writing to the next level.

This course is for…

Course content

Read Jem and Sarah’s practical tips for fiction writers on the Guardian Masterclasses blog.

Tutor profile

Poster is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Aberystwyth and co-founder, with Sarah Burton, of the Masters in Creative Writing program at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of two novels, Courting the Shadows (Sceptre, 2002) and Shootout Paradise (Sceptre, 2006), as well as a collection of poetry, Highlighted (Bloodaxe, 2001). He edited Oxford University Press volume III in six volumes Edward Thomas: Writings in Prose (OUP, 2018) and co-author, with Sarah Burton, of a manual for fiction writers, The book you must read to write the book you want to write (Cambridge University Press 2022).

by Sarah Burton publications include two biographies, Imposters: six types of liars (Penguin, 2000) and A Double Life: A Biography of Charles and Mary Lamb (Penguin, 2003, shortlisted for the Mind Book of the Year award); a children’s book, The Miracle of Bethlehem: A Storyteller’s Tale (2008); and a page-by-step guide, How to Organize a Community Game (2011). His novel, The strange adventures of H (Legend Press, 2020) was an Amazon historical fiction bestseller. With Jem Poster, she co-founded the University of Cambridge’s Masters in Creative Writing program and co-authored The book you must read to write the book you want to write (Cambridge University Press 2022).


Date: Saturday June 11 and Sunday June 12, 2022
Weather: 2pm-5pm (BST) both days
Price: £249 (plus £7.80 booking fee)
Event Capacity: 30 tickets

This masterclass is available worldwide. If you are joining us from outside the UK, please use this time zone converter to check your local live stream time.

14:00 BST | 3pm CEST | 6am PDT | 9 a.m. EDT

You will receive a link to the webinar 24 hours and 2 hours before the start time of 2 p.m. (BST).

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