Discover Writing (Creative Writing and Journalism)

Passionate about writing? Take your skills to the next level as you explore how to write a great story, and how to apply your skills to the world of journalism.
Writing

How do you become the next JK Rowling?

Starting a story is easy, but how do you end it?

How can you make a career from writing?

Discover Writing
Books

Nature of Creative Writing

Learn about different genres of creative writing and how to keep your ideas fresh and flowing!

Plot

Plot and Characters

Find out about the seven basic plots in literature and how to develop interesting characters.

Typewriter

Writing Novels/Short Stories

Analyse literature and compare with your own ideas for developing stories.

Shakespeare

Writing for the Screen and Stage

Consider how writing is adapted for the stage and screen and focus on the intricacies of writing dialogue.

Twitter

The Nature of Journalism

Explore how to gather and present information in a variety of settings and forms.

Speaking

Reporting the News

Examine news reporting across a variety of settings, comparing and contrasting styles and techniques.

Writer

Feature Writing

Learn how features are constructed and developed to inform and intrigue an audience.

Blogging

Blogging

Examine a variety of interesting blogs and develop writing skills to suit this medium.

Writing challenge

The Magazine Challenge

Put your skills into action as you write the Oxford Scholastica Academy magazine!
  • Collaborate with your team mates to design a magazine from front to cover
  • Mix journalistic news stories with creative writing
  • Have the opportunity to be published in a printed magazine

GRADUATION CERTIFICATES

Graduation evening
OSA graduation evening

On completion of the course, you’ll be awarded your Oxford Scholastica Academy Graduation Certificate at our Graduation Ceremony.

This is held on the final afternoon at the impressive Saïd Business School which we hire for the evening.

Parents are warmly welcome to attend, and the ceremony is followed by dinner.

Creative Writing summer school Oxford

Meet our Tutor

Sam Sussman, M.Phil (Oxon), B.A.

Sam was awarded a B.A. with highest honours in Political Science and English Literature from Swarthmore College, before studying for an M.Phil in International Relations at the University of Oxford.

  • Sam studied at the University of Oxford on a full Clarendon Scholarship, and has also been awarded numerous other academic scholarships and prizes
  • He has published in several academic journals, as well as with the Huffington Post, Asia Times, and several other magazines
  • He has just finished his first novel
Please note, our Tutors and Heroes are subject to change.

Alec Johnson

Meet our Hero

Alec Johnson MA

You’ll have the opportunity to meet our Hero, Alec, who has studied English Language & Literature and gone on to a career in writing and editing. 

  • Alec studied English Language & Literature at Oxford University and then received an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester University, where he won the 2011 Dissertation Prize and edited and published the university fiction anthology
  • He has worked in publishing since 2006, largely as a Managing Editor of journals and magazines and is currently a writer and editor at Ofgem
  • Alec’s first novel, Greeks Bearing Gifts, is represented by the London literary agency Mulcahy Associates

MASTERCLASSES

In addition to your Discover Writing classes, you’ll get to experience our interactive and fun Masterclasses. These sessions will broaden your knowledge and skills.

changemakers
Want to change the world?

In this Masterclass you will explore examples of individuals affecting change in a global context, and then learn the tools needed to develop and enact a plan for changing the world yourself.

  • Learn some of the ways the world has been changed historically by audacious individuals and groups
  • Work with classmates to create an executable plan to create real impact in response to real issues
  • Develop real world skills and keep in contact with friends by continuing your cohort’s mission after the summer school ends

Volunteering Masterclass
You'll be helping to make the world a better place as we take you to spend an afternoon helping out a local charity build a children's garden.

Amongst other things, you'll learn about sustainability and how to make a difference in a practical way.

  • Gain experience of volunteering
  • Develop a personal connection to the Oxford community
  • Leave a legacy of your time in Oxford

Many thanks to our friends at the great charity Student Hubs for facilitating the session for us.

stress busting

Oxford Scholastica is all about inspiring you to think about your future at an earlier stage.

You'll one day be faced with a job application process, and we think it's important for you to understand how such a process works. We'll let you know about:

  • The kinds of things employers are looking for
  • How to demonstrate and fulfil your potential in an application form or CV
  • The key stages of putting together a successful job application

debating at the oxford union

Do you want to sharpen your wits and be able to defend your point of view against bright opponents? Our Debating Masterclass is a fun, fast paced and memorable session where you learn to master the fine art of persuading your audience to believe your case. Led by expert debaters, this Masterclass will be followed by a Debating Competition in the famous surroundings of the Oxford Union - you'll be following in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa and Michael Jackson!

  • Develop your ability to think quickly on your feet to combat opposition points
  • Work collaboratively in teams to create and articulate solutions to the big problems
  • Improve your self-confidence, speaking and listening skills in this interactive session

Our Masterclass last year was led by Jo Cruse, who has recently been featured on BBC News talking about the use of emotion in public speaking:

Presentation

In this busy globalised, technology fuelled modern world, it's easy to get stressed out by work and other situations. Led by doctors with backgrounds in Psychology and Psychiatry, this fascinating Masterclass will look at:

  • Identifying individual patterns of stress
  • Exploring cognitive behavioural theories of stress
  • Developing personal toolkits to optimise performance under stressful situations

OUR TIMETABLE

Hover your mouse over the timetable to see more information.

First week

8am‑9am 9am‑10am 10am‑11am 11am‑12pm 12pm‑1pm 1pm‑2pm 2pm‑3pm 3pm‑4pm 4pm‑5pm 5pm‑6pm 6pm‑7pm Evening
Sunday ArrivalOur team will be ready to help you settle in at the accommodation. If you are coming from abroad we can happily help to arrange a transfer from the airport Dinner Icebreaker eveningAn evening of fun introductory games designed to get you to know your new friends and our staff team
Monday Breakfast Welcome and Introductory ClassYou'll be introduced to Oxford Scholastica, and get your first chance to meet your Tutors who will talk you through the course outline and answer any of your questions LunchYou'll have the opportunity to visit one of Oxford's many tasty, healthy cafes/restaurants for your lunch each day Oxford TourWe'll be taking you around the most famous landmarks in Oxford, from the colleges which inspired Harry Potter to the historic city buildings Scavenger HuntPut your new found knowledge to the test in our Scavenger Hunt competition, and discover Oxford's secrets Dinner Ice CreamRelax after your first day with a sociable dinner, and some of Oxford's famous George & Danver's (G&D's) ice cream!
Tuesday Breakfast Classes and Independent StudyOur small-group courses are conducted by our hand-picked tutors. Each day you'll have a two hour class and be given some reading or work by your tutor to complete in your two hours of independent study. Just like a university student, you'll be trusted to work independently or in groups in your rooms. Lunch Failure to Success or How to Be Great MasterclassesLearn the secrets of successful people, as we explore the tips and tricks to become successful, and discover how experiences of failure have driven successful people to stellar achievements. Dinner Outdoor ShakespeareTonight we'll be watching a Shakespeare play in the beautiful surroundings of the city.
Wednesday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch PuntingA punt is a flat-bottomed, square-ended boat which is powered by submerging a long pole onto the bank of the river and pushing the boat along - or as some people put it, pushing a boat with a stick! It is most commonly seen in Oxford and Cambridge, and is a favourite summer activity of students at Oxford. We'll teach you how to punt along the beautiful banks of North Oxford, and this is one of our students' favourite events each year Picnic Dinner Parks' GamesAfter our punting afternoon we'll spend the evening having a picnic and playing games by the banks of the river in the Oxford University Parks, arguably the most beautiful park in Oxford
Thursday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Windsor TripWe're off to visit Windsor Castle today - the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
Friday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Applications MasterclassMany of you will be thinking about your future life after school. In this interactive afternoon, we'll guide you through the job applications process, or the process for applying to UK universities for further study Dinner Active ActivitiesJoin our Activities Coordinators as they lead active activities outside, to make the most of the summer. Choices have previously ranged from yoga to rugby, dancing to football, frisbee to zumba, and many more!
Saturday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch The Oxford Scholastica Challenge Afternoon!This is the moment you've been waiting for, as you'll get the chance to apply the knowledge you've learnt so far. From designing and marketing an App (Enterprise and Computer Science) to a Mock Clinic (Young Doctors) to a Model United Nations (Leadership and Debate) to designing a Magazine (Creative Writing) to a mock trial (Law), your teamwork skills will be tested to the max in our afternoon of fun Challenges Dinner Film NightAfter a hard day of putting your learning into practice, chill out in your accommodation with your friends and watch a film. Popcorn provided!

Second week

8am‑9am 9am‑10am 10am‑11am 11am‑12pm 12pm‑1pm 1pm‑2pm 2pm‑3pm 3pm‑4pm 4pm‑5pm 5pm‑6pm 6pm‑7pm Evening
Sunday Breakfast Hero SessionYou'll get the opportunity to meet your course Hero, a young professional who has studied your subject and has gone on to some impressive things in his/her early career. You'll be inspired to discover a possible career you might like to go into, and what a day-in-the-life in this line of work entails. You'll also do a hands-on task related to the typical work you might do in this career, as well as the opportunity to ask your Hero lots of questions. BrunchYou'll eat a delicious brunch in the beautiful dining hall of Corpus Christi College Free TimeYou'll have free time this afternoon, giving you the opportunity to explore some of Oxford's famous museums including the Ashmolean, the world's first university museum, go shopping or alternatively relax and have some downtime Dinner OSA International BallJoin us for the much anticipated Oxford Scholastica Ball. Put on your finest clothes, represent your country in national dress, and experience a magical evening cruising down the river with your friends
Monday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Debating MasterclassIn the famous surroundings of the Oxford Union, sharpen your debating skills and put them to the test against your peers Dinner
Tuesday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Change the World MasterclassDo you want to make the world a better place? Our Change the World Masterclass will introduce you to the best ways to go about putting your ideas into reality and inspire you with stories of our alumni who have done just that! Dinner Conquering HappinessLearn from an expert exactly what it means to be 'happy' and how we can apply these ideas in our own lives
Wednesday Breakfast Cambridge TripSee the UK's other famous university city - Cambridge. Take a relaxing punt down the college backs, while learning about the town's history, and take the opportunity to visit some of its beautiful colleges.
Thursday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Bicester Village, Football Tournament or Free TimeYou'll have the opportunity to go to Bicester Village, Europe's luxury shopping capital, or take part in our football tournament at the famous Iffley Road Sports Centre (where the first sub four minute mile was run by Roger Bannister in 1954), or alternatively you can take the opportunity to have some free time and relax. Dinner Oxford's Got TalentTonight you'll get to show off your skills in our talent show, and be amazed at the amazing skills of your friends.
Friday Breakfast Classes and Independent Study Lunch Packing and Feedback GraduationWe'll be celebrating your achievements at our Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony and dinner at the famous Saïd Business School, where you'll also receive our Yearbook which you can get your friends to sign. Parents and friends are very welcome to attend! BBQ and CeilidhDress up and see out our final evening in style with a ceilidh. A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish Dance, and local band Swinging Molly will be present to play the summer school out
Saturday Breakfast Departures

Please note this timetable may be subject to change.

MAKE FRIENDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD!

Windsor
Olympics
Lampl

Secure Your Place on the Discover Writing Academy

This course is perfect for anyone interested in:

  • Studying arts related subjects such as English, Media or Drama
  • A creative career involving writing, including journalism
  • Developing their ability to write fluently and coherently

Entrance Requirements:

  • You must be 13 or 14 years old at the start of the course
  • You must be motivated and keen to learn
  • You must speak and understand English well. Please contact us if you want to discuss your English level