creative writing
(a practical approach)

teacher: Margaret Luppino


Do you like to write? Do you have an idea for a story but don’t know how to get started? Or do you simply want to hone your writing skills in a dynamic and interactive virtual environment?

Designed for writers at all levels, this online course will familiarize students with the very basics of writing fiction, poetry, drama and creative non-fiction in English. In a much larger sense, the course should enable students to strengthen their ability to use written language for expression and communication purposes.

During the course, students will produce their own writing exercises as the main object and basis for class discussion. However, we will also discuss well-known published authors in order to understand how literature works.

This course includes a face-to-face classroom session in Barcelona.

Addressed to

Those who have an advanced level in English and want to start writing in this language, developing at the same time a basic knowledge in literary creation.


  • Understand the difference between literary and non-literary language.
  • Understand the basic components of different fiction and non-fiction genres by examining important aspects such as point of view, dialogue, time, style, and others.
  • Improve overall writing and communication skills: word choice, simplicity, coherence, the importance of rewriting and eliminating clutter and the overuse of literary devices.
  • Become aware of one’s personal writing voice.


  1. Introduction
    What makes a good writer. Simplicity. Literary language vs. non-literary language. Introduction to literary devices.
  2. Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Creative Non-Fiction
    Define subcategories: Novel, Novella, Short story, micro-story; memoir, travel writing, newspaper piece, autobiography, letters, textbooks etc. What is creative non-fiction?
  3. Poetry
    Short introduction to poetry. The importance of observational skills. Show, don’t tell. Look at famous poems and focus on their use of line breaks, imagery, diction (word elisions), “you should notice and fondle details” (Nabokov) Dimension, senses, light and place.
  4. Novel and Novella
    History of the novel. American and British famous novels over time. Differences in how they are set up: nuts and bolts of each. Structure.
  5. Short stories and micro-stories
    What are short stories and micro stories. Structuring the conflict – physical conflict and unwritten problem (the theme). The time in the story: structuring a line of events from photographs. Focus on a moment, not on a casually connected chain of events. Compression of elements in a novel (like a poem).
  6. Time and plot, the knot
    Time and conflict. Flash-forwards, flashbacks, present tense, memory, “stream of consciousness”
  7. Character, point of view, place
    How to build a character. Look at character profiles from a selection of novels. Write profiles of people you see in a picture. Narration: 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person.
  8. Tone, Rhythm, Voice
    What authors have distinctive voices? What make them distinctive? Writing for adults and writing for children. How do you create a fictional voice? Creating mood with characterization, description, and images.
  9. Dialogue
    The keys to writing dialogue. Study the great writers.
  10. Other creative writing genres – the sky is the limit
    Fiction: Adventure novels, children’s storybooks, comic novels, gothic horror novels, historical novels, mysteries, science fiction, westerns, etc. Non-Fiction: articles, essays, magazine articles, humorous pieces, memoirs, letters, research papers, and textbooks.


The course is run in 10 sessions (weekly) combining theory and practice in our Virtual Classroom. We’ll have a face-to-face classroom session at Barcelona.

  • Our learning methodology is dynamic, collaborative and creative. It is based on practical writing and reading exercises, as well as on the interaction with fellow students and the teacher. Students will work both individually and with fellow students.
  • All practical exercises and learning material are available to the students at any time of the day at our Virtual Classroom. Online resources will be used for the most part, but the teacher may also recommend some particular books. Most of the readings will be either downloadable or links will be provided to articles that can be found on the internet.
  • The teacher moderates the activities and controls the participation and evolution of each student through the Virtual Classroom.
  • The students’ writing skills benefit from their being part of a working group. The other students act as first readers of the texts, so that the author is able to experience what they have really understood. Through discussions and debate, the student will easily learn the contents of the course.
  • The teacher offers the students recommendations about their texts, as well as constant help and support. She will not follow a particular literary tendency or impose a certain view, but will rather follow the students’ personal tendencies and interests in order to help them with the improvement of their writing skills.

Teaching Activities

  • Open-ended questions that invite reflection about different topics.
  • Interactive and multimedia resources.
  • Readings for each class downloadable from the Virtual Classroom or accessible through links.
  • Debate on the readings through the Forum.
  • Composition and submission of writing exercises.
  • Revision and commentary of the exercises through the Forum.
  • Debates and resolving of any doubts through the Chat or in videoconference sessions scheduled by the teacher.
  • Course evaluation.

Reviewing Student writing

The teacher will correct the texts and will give the student a general evaluation, along with advice on how to improve his/her writing.

At the end of the course, she will select one text per student to be published in a digital anthology on the Laboratorio de Escritura website.


The Laboratorio de Escritura will present the student with a certificate of completion of the course if the student has successfully carried out a minimum level of participation in most of the teaching activities and has submitted all writing tasks. The teacher will provide the student with a written general assessment of his/her learning process and a description of his/her strong and improvable points.


Margaret Lupino obtained her BA in Romance Languages and Literatures (with a major in French and Italian Literatures) from Mount Holyoke College, (Massachusetts, USA). As a student she worked part-time as a writing and speaking mentor for Mount Holyoke College’s Speaking Arguing and Writing Program, helping fellow students improve the communication of their ideas (in both English and French) in various disciplines. Following her studies, she has worked as a freelance translator (primarily Catalan to English, but also French, Italian and Spanish to English when necessary), an English teacher and a freelance writing consultant.

Want to see a demo?

Starting dates

October 19 to December 31



3 months (60 hours)


This course is taught in English. All assignments are to be handed in to the teacher in this language.


250 €

More information:

t. (+34) 93 213 94 89 /

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