Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Strathclyde University Blaze courses

ETA: If you come looking for an opinion on the Blaze courses, please check these other posts [link]

Life has this knack for handling you lemons sometimes, and while I am not a fan of lemonade, I’ll admit that it was more or less that kind of process that had me learn about the Blaze Courses from the Centre for Lifelong Learning of the the Strathclyde University [link] in Glasgow . Blaze [link] offers three online writing courses, which sounded really interesting and actually affordable, so I snooped around.

These are the courses. The deadline was April 6 to start on April 16, and well, online means you can take them close to anywhere, you just need an Internet connection:

  • Kindling: Creative writing for beginners
  • Feeding the Flame: Creative writing for writers
  • Inferno: Novel Writing

I thought about signing up for Kindling, but it was booked out. Then again, I am not really a beginner, am I. Lo and behold, inner discussion – almost up to schizophrenic levels – ensued.

The reasoning was that I should start “low” (Flame) because a) the course people recommend it and b) it should give me more of a base, right? Who am I to go directly into Inferno with my zero knowledge of actual writing techniques? Hm, but… But. Lots of buts.

Feeding the Flame [link]

The course is for intermediate and advanced writers who want to give and receive feedback in a supportive and motivating environment. It is about writing and writing well – about finding your voice and pushing yourself as a writer. You will be encouraged to explore your creativity and to think about narrative structure and processes in a series of assignments that build towards the submission of a final piece of writing.

Inferno [link]

The course is for intermediate and advanced writers who are engaged in writing a book-length work of fiction or creative non-fiction and who want to engage in feedback in an online workshop environment with the tutor and other writers. It will give you a grounding in the craft and discipline of writing a book length work. The course gives you access to inspired and informative resources about writing and the writing process and creates a challenging, supportive and motivating environment in which to engage in feedback with other writers (including the tutor!)

Here are the summaries of the fact sheets:

Duration 10 weeks 10 weeks
Format Online Online
Aimed to Intermediate and advanced writers Intermediate and advanced writers who are engaged in writing a book-length work
Required Work A maximum of 5000 words of new writing New writing or substantially rewritten work that could do with some feedback
Assignments One shorter piece of writing (1500 words)
One longer piece of writing (2000 words)
Reflective log book outlining experiences and observations
One 3-400 word synopsis of your planned work or work in progress
One 1500 word piece of writing
Two 1500-3000 words pieces of writing
Time Two hours online per week + writing time Four to six hours minimum of writing + online time
Places 12 12
Access to Forum and chat Forum, chat and resources


I’ve always considered myself someone who goes for short stories. I think that is because I fear that if I start something long I will never finish. Which… might be a valid reasoning except that… five books over sixty thousand words within the same universe (Osaka Guardians) sort of defeat it. My last “short story” project was Undeliverable, a sort-of sequel to Retriever and that went over 40000 words… So I had to break it to myself… the short story thing? So not working.

Then again, shouldn’t Flame be more manageable? It’s just a few hours a week. But the amount of time I actually devote to writing is more in the Inferno range. But they recommend taking Flame before Inferno. See the mental loop? I’ve been trapped there for a couple of weeks.

So screw it. I decided to go with Inferno and spam them with Victim #14 stuff. It can do with feedback. And more suspects.

ETA: If you come looking for an opinion on the Blaze courses, please check these other posts [link]


12 responses to “Strathclyde University Blaze courses

  1. Denise March 28, 2012 at 12:47

    Hon, let me break it to you, there was lots of outward discussion, too.