New Online Course: How to Write a Poem

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I am now taking bookings for the new course, which starts in January. You can find details of how to sign up here: How to Write a Poem. The course starts on January 1st (don’t worry, you will not be expected to do any work on new Year’s day, but you will receive the first lot of course materials) and lasts for four weeks, finishing on January 31st. There will be two lesson plans per week which include homework assignments.

Included in the course is personal critique of four poems per course participant, worth £18. You can choose whether these are poems which you have developed on the course, or something from another project that you’re working on. There will be a closed facebook group to chat, share ideas, share poem drafts and critique of each other’s work, but as always, this is not mandatory.

One of the things that I have noticed while running previous courses, and workshops and when mentoring, is that people worry that they haven’t had any ‘formal training’ as a poet. There is a fear that every other poet you will ever meet has been to poetry university and learned the secrets to writing a poem. In actual fact, there are far more ‘untrained’ poets than poets that have any formal education and you certainly do not need to have a university degree to write a poem. The aim of this course is to get the writer past their imposter syndrome. It’s perfect for those lacking confidence in their ability, good for beginners and also good for those wanting to refresh and get writing again.

briefly, the course covers:

Getting From Inspiration to First Draft

Developing exercises and techniques to actually get pen to paper. We’ll look at how and where inspiration can come from, the role of the poet and getting a first draft down without wanting to burn it immediately.

Working in Structured Form

We’ll be looking at a few different forms, and how to write in them. We’ll look at putting older forms into context and how and when to use form, how to choose a form for your poem and not to let the poem be consumed by the form.

Working in Free Verse

The course will look at the natural rhythms and structures of free verse, the use or non use of punctuation. We’ll look at poems which push out of their boundaries as well as looking at line breaks, and the tools in the poets work box.

Smoothing the Edges

The course will also look at editing,  what to kill and what to keep, how to develop a critical eye and how to stop editing. The course will also, briefly, look at finding an outlet for your poems, how to write a cover letter and how to keep a good record of submissions.

Cost: £50 to be paid up front.


This course is slightly more intense than the ‘prompt a day’ style course but is still a no pressure, fun way of breaking into poetry and boosting your confidence. i hope you’ll join me in January to kickstart your poetry year!



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