Creative Fiction Writing: Dr Ron Irwin 24 June to 29 July

12 May 2023
Dr Ron Irwin

Dr Ron Irwin. Photo Supplied.

12 May 2023

This online course is designed for the creative writer who hopes to tangibly improve their creative work. Over the course of six two-hour sessions, we will explore the fundamental elements of creative writing. We will offer every writer the opportunity to have their fiction critiqued in class. The experience of having one's fiction read and critiqued by readers is invaluable. Participants want to know what their readership is thinking about their work, how effective they are, and what results they are getting.

This course has been designed to give participants the editorial principles that most acquisitions editors are taught to look for. Editorial issues such as characterisation, dialogue, tight plotting, and strong beginnings are the everyday work of the people who buy and publish fiction.

Participants will be asked to complete ten pages of fiction by the end of the course, and to have their work read and critiqued for effectiveness by the lecturer.

Session 1: Great openings

The sad truth about readers and editors, and why they need compelling beginnings.

Session 2: Story

What is it? How do I create one?

Session 3: Dialogue

What is good dialogue? Why is it the most important aspect of fiction?

Session 4: Description and place

Why do certain places stick out in our minds as ‘real’? Why do some characters in fiction seem to ‘leap off the page’?

Session 5: The crucible 

The magic formula that makes your writing interesting.

Session 6: How to edit your own work

Why getting to ‘the end’ is only the first step.


Dates: 24 June to 29 July

Time: Saturdays from 10:00–12:00

Course fee
R1 800
UCT Staff and students: R900

Booking is through Webtickets


Dr Ron Irwin is a professional lecturer and writer. He was the writer in residence for the University of Cape Town's prestigious MA in Creative Writing in 2008 after teaching on the programme for ten years. He has taught in the Centre for Film and Media since 2009 where he is a senior lecturer.

Ron is the author of two published novels, Flat Water Tuesday (St. Martins Press USA, 2013) and My Side of the Ocean (Pan Macmillan SA, 2023). Both have received wide praise from readers in the USA, Canada and South Africa. Find out more at