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‑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 Talk Introductory ClassYou'll 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 Private StudyEach day you'll be given some reading or work by your tutor to complete. Just like an Oxford student, you'll be trusted to work independently or in groups in your rooms 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 Dinner Quiz NightTonight we'll be testing your general knowledge in our Oxford Scholastica Academy Quiz - with prizes for the winning team
Tuesday Breakfast ClassesOur small-group courses are conducted by our hand-picked tutors Lunch Private Study Success MasterclassLearn 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 Ice Cream tastingWe'll be visiting George & Danver's (G&D's), Oxford's iconic ice cream shop to taste some of their ice cream - something many Oxford students do regularly!
Wednesday Breakfast Classes Lunch Private Study Volunteering MasterclassVolunteer your talents to help the local community. We'll be helping to rebuild a children's garden in the south of Oxford, learning about sustainability in action. Dinner Shakespeare PlayWe'll be visiting the Saïd Business School's outdoor amphitheatre to watch an evening Shakespeare play as the sun sets
Thursday Breakfast London Day TripWe'll be visiting London today, spending the morning touring the trendy street art of East London. After lunch in the famous Spitalfields Market, where you'll have a chance to shop in their vintage shopping arcade, we'll be taking in a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre, a reconstruction of Shakespeare's original theatre on the banks of the River Thames. We'll conclude with a trip on the London Eye, a giant ferris wheel, where you'll see all the important sights of London Dinner London Trip
Friday Breakfast Classes Lunch Private Study Debating MasterclassOur experts will give you a hands-on introduction to debating. You'll learn the technical side to debating, as well as how to formulate an argument and defend it against opponents. For many students this, and the subsequent competition, is the highlight of the summer school Dinner Debating CompetitionThe world-famous Oxford Union will be the scene for our debating competition. You'll be putting into practice what you've learnt in the afternoon, in the setting of the Union which has seen speakers from Winston Churchill to Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan to Mother Teresa, Michael Jackson to Dizzee Rascal!
Saturday Breakfast Classes 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 filming a play (English) 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 Oxford OlympicsThis evening we'll be hosting our very own Oxford Scholastica Olympic Games. There will be group and individual activities back at the house where we'll challenge you to see which teams can go Faster, Higher, Stronger!

Second week

8am‑9am 9am‑10am 10am‑11am 11am‑1pm 1pm‑2pm 2pm‑3pm 3pm‑4pm 4pm‑5pm 5pm‑6pm 6pm‑7pm Evening
Sunday Breakfast Private Study Lunch Sports CompetitionsThis afternoon you'll have the option to take part in our sporting competitions, including our Football Tournament on an Olympic quality astroturf Ashmolean Museum visit/Bicester Village Shopping Trip/free timeYou've earned a well-deserved afternoon off! Go shopping with our trip to the Bicester Village designer outlet, or alternatively visit the cinema, or just relax with your friends - the choice is yours. We'll also be holding an optional tour of the Ashmolean, the world's first university museum Dinner Evensong/Film NightEach Sunday evening Christ Church Cathedral hold a Sung Evensong sung by the famous Cathedral choir. This event is optional. After evensong there will be a film night back at the accommodation
Monday Breakfast Classes Lunch Private Study Punting IntroductionA 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, passing Lady Margaret Hall and the University Parks, and this is one of our students' favourite events each year Dinner Riverside picnicAfter our punting afternoon we'll spend the evening having a picnic by the banks of the river in the Oxford University Parks, arguably the most beautiful park in Oxford
Tuesday Breakfast Classes Lunch Private Study You're Hired! Masterclass: Applying for JobsMany of you will be thinking about your future life after school. In this interactive afternoon, we'll guide you through the jobs applications process Dinner Treasure HuntWe'll be exploring Oxford tonight, with our Treasure Hunt around the city - with prizes for the winning teams!
Wednesday Breakfast Windsor Castle and Eton College Day 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. We'll then visit Eton College, the most famous school in the world, founded by King Henry VI in 1440 Dinner Frisbee EveningWe'll be relaxing after our trip by playing frisbee in the local park, who will win our Frisbee Championship this year?
Thursday Breakfast Classes Lunch Private Study Change Makers MasterclassYou're going to go on to do some amazing things in your life. Learn more about how you can make the world a better place in our Change Makers Masterclass, where you'll discover practical ways to realise your dreams. Dinner Oxford's Got TalentTonight you'll get to show off your skills in our talent show. Which team will win this year's award?
Friday Breakfast Classes Lunch Graduation and Prize GivingWe'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 Summer School Review which you can get your friends to sign (the equivalent to a Yearbook). Parents and friends are very welcome to attend! Dinner Ceilidh DanceDress up and see out our final evening in style 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. For example, you may have your Classes in the afternoon and your Private Study in the morning.

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

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