Skip to main content

Creative Writing Learner Success Story

Ciara O'Neill

Idea Store Learner: Advanced Creative Writing Course

"As a writer, I was completely self-taught purely by being a voracious reader. I had been writing novels, for my own entertainment for years and had finally plucked up the courage to self-publish one. Over the following months, the reviews started to trickle in. Most were positive, many even excellent but it was hard not to be effected by the odd negative criticism.

Struggling with my next novel-not liking one of the main characters, finding it hard to create the atmosphere I wanted - I looked out for a writing class.

Most writing classes are very expensive, or always full by the time I got around to enrolling. After discovering the Ideas Store classes, I was delighted to find they were hugely reasonable in price. I’ve learned so much during them, as well as getting to know like-minded people interested in writing.

The start of the class involves an avid discussion about the day’s theme/genre that, in some cases, became the seed of a germinating idea. Several of the people in the Advanced Class are working on novels and collections of short stories that started out as a concept or exercise we did during the term.

Class mates differ in abilities and writing interests. Regardless, ability and confidence are things that grow over the duration of the term of the class for everyone. Pairing up for some of the exercises and working together on a piece for the class is enjoyable and helps build confidence.

A big hurdle for me is writing in the first person. I had never written in that style prior to the class. Judith Johnson, the tutor set me the challenge, encouraging me and in the end I loved it! In the classes, Judith works the groups through numerous themes and genres. I had never been particularly comfortable with writing sci-fi, but found myself unexpectedly enjoying it as it is probably the most creative of all genres - absolutely limitless in scope!

The class gave me an opportunity to experiment with these new avenues without any pressure. Everyone gets a chance to share their work and solicit feedback in a very open and friendly environment. It is always really interesting to hear someone else’s twist on a theme or genre andI look forward to my class every week!"

Ciara’s novel ‘Legally Wed’ is available on Amazon Kindle.

ciara o'neill