The Craft of Writing Popular Fiction

Mon 23 September 2024 - Fri 27 September 2024
Tutors / Cesca Major & Ayisha Malik
Guest Reader / Rachel Joyce
Course Fee / From £625 - £725 per person
Genre / Fiction
Language / English

Characters are central to story, with their journeys underpinning the plot and atmosphere of a narrative. Our week-long course will guide you through this key element of storytelling as you learn to write characters with depth, complexity and contradiction.

Get to know your full cast inside and out with award-winning authors and experienced tutors, Cesca Major and Ayisha Malik, as you explore backstory, personality and character arcs. Learn how to understand and identify the motivation behind character actions and write fiction which surprises your readers whilst immersing them in a rich and layered world. You’ll also gain a better understanding of narrative perspective, and narrative structure as you plot out your characters’ journeys.

Through group workshops and discussions, one-to-one tutorials, and original and motivational exercises and prompts, the tutors will support you in learning the crucial elements of characterisation. This course aims to ensure that your characters leap off the page to stay with your readers long after they’ve finished your story.


Cesca Major

Cesca Major is a novelist and screenwriter. She has written fourteen novels under different names and her books have been published in more than 12 countries. She has been nominated for the RNA's Romantic Comedy Award, HWA Gold Crown and the CWA Gold Dagger Award. She currently has TV and films in development with companies including Hello Sunshine, Apple, Monumental Television, 42, Roughcut, Sky Studios and the BBC. Cesca has presented shows for ITV West and Sky Channels in the past. She enjoys hosting or speaking on panels and films vlogs about the writing process. She runs writing retreats, mentors for the Black Girl Writers and has taught creative writing for Jericho Writers & the Henley School of Art. Cesca lives in Berkshire with her husband, son and twin girls. 

Ayisha Malik

Ayisha Malik is author of critically acclaimed novels Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, The Other Half of Happiness, This Green and Pleasant Land and The Movement She was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick and Sofia Khan was a London CityReads choice. Her contributions have included, A Change is Gonna Come and the Sunday Times bestselling Conversations in Love. She has written a re-telling of Jane Austen's Mansfield Part and the children’s book Seven Sisters. Malik is winner of The Diversity Book Awards and has been shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Award, Marie Claire's Future Shapers Awards, h100's Awards for Publishing and Writing, and is recipient of the Society of Authors’ Travelling Scholarship. Sofia Khan is not Obliged and The Movement are optioned for television.  Malik is part of the Professional Writing Academy team and teaches fiction courses for Faber Academy and Curtis Brown Creative.   

Guest Reader

Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce is the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (2013), which was longlisted for Man Booker and published in over 30 languages; Perfect (2014), The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (2015) and The Music Shop (2018), all published by Black Swan. She is also an established writer in radio and has written over 20 original plays for BBC Radio 4, dramatizing both classic and new novels, and has written a period drama for BBC television. She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and Cheek by Jowl, and winning a Time Out Best Actress award.

Online Booking

Paying by Cheque?

If you wish to pay by cheque, simply use the online booking form above and select ‘Pay by Cheque’ in the payment options.

Not sure what to expect?

For detailed information about attending a course or retreat at Tŷ Newydd, take a look at our frequently asked questions page…

Need Some Help?

If you have any questions or are experiencing problems with booking online, call us…

+44 (0) 1766 522 811