Photo of a person writing

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

At a Glance

  • Live online course
  • 2 hours a week
  • Mondays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 20 weeks: October to March
  • Tutor: Ronnie McGrath
  • Fees from £230 to £420
  • Imperial College attendance certificate (T&Cs apply)
Booking link

On this course, published author and experience creative writing tutor, Ronnie McGrath, will help you to develop and refine your creative writing skills and encourage you to explore your creative and expressive potential as a writer.

The course aims to boost confidence in your imaginative powers and equip you with the technical skills to imagine, create and explore convincing characters and fictional worlds. We will examine the creative process in online discussions and workshops that are highly interactive, using short stories, fragments of fiction, poetry and extracts from essays. You will be asked to write and share your writing with others on the course, and learn how to give and receive positive feedback as reader and editor. 

On the course Ronnie will focus on creating and engaging contemporary poetry and prose, and take an innovative approach to creative writing by seeking to feed our imaginations through guided experimentation and playing games with words. This is a tried and tested and hightly successful approach which enables writers  - both beginners and the more experienced - to identify and connect with the undiscovered possibilities of their talent.

The course is open to complete beginners but it is also suitable for those with some experience of writing and returning students who will be encouraged to explore different genres and various narrative techniques for the novel and the short story form.

Weekly sessions will be supported by reading material which draws from a diverse community of writers. There will also be information onhow to get published, poetry magazines, competitions, venues, websites, small presses and literary development agencies.

Online Access to Course

This is a taught live online course which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time on a specific day of the week. To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped and internet-enabled device. Please find full details and instructions below under 'Course Delivery'.

Attendance certificate

Those who attend at least 80% of the course sessions will receive an attendance certificate from Imperial College London upon completion of the course.

Course Information

Course Programme

The course programme will start with an introduction to creative writing and an exploration of the indiidual interests of each of the participants.

Following on from this the programme will be tailored to the individual needs of each student, and the group dynamics.

The weekly sessions will be supported by reading material which draws from a diverse community of writers. Information regarding how to get published, poetry magazines, competitions, venues, websites, small presses and literary development agencies will be distributed if and when they arise.

You are advised to bring your own pen and paper or laptop to the virtual workshops.

Additional Reading

There is no requirement to undertake specific reading for this course, but your tutor might recommend you look at specific texts during the course.

Your Tutor

Ronnie McGrath photoA graduate of Manchester University’s MA in Novel Writing, Ronnie McGrath is a highly regarded writer, performance poet and creative writing lecturer.

Ronnie’s short story The Day Before That One, Too, is published in IC3, The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain.

Other published works includes Meghan’s Sparkle, in the anthology Filigree, published by Peepal Tree Press; Poems from The Tired Lips Of Newspapers, published by the Tall-Lighthouse Press; and the novel On The Verge of Losing iT, published by Ankhademia Press, 2005. Data Trace, Ronnie’s full collection of postmodern poetry was published by Salt in 2010.

In 1993, Ronnie was commended for his writing by ACER who later published and awarded 1st place for his writing in 1994. 

Contraband, an experimental short story which represents his aesthetic to date, will be published by Peepal Tree Press in 2022. 

Ronnie was also writer in residence at Wandsworth Prison for the Loss and Liberty Project that culminated in an exhibition at The Museum of London, Docklands.

Course Delivery: Live Online Taught courses

All our online courses are taught live which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you must be able to attend the online session at the time stated for the course description.

All times stated are British Standard Time.

To take part you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your device.

Microsoft Teams

This course will use Teams as its online delivery method. Teams is easy to use. You will need to log into your existing Teams account or, alternatively, please create a free account hereNear the date of your first online session you will be sent an email with a Teams web link that will allow you to access the course. All you need do is click on the course link in the email and you will be asked to enter your name. This is the name that will be seen by your tutor and other students in the class. Once you have entered your name you might be asked to enter a password to enter the class. The password will be included in the email sent to you. Once you enter the password you will either be taken directly into the class, or asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until the tutor is ready to let you into the class.

All courses lasting two hours have a 10-minute break in the middle. For one-hour courses there is no break.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 40  20  £420    (Early Bird Rate: £380*)
£250    (Early Bird Rate: £230*) £330    (Early Bird Rate: £300*) 
* The Early Bird rate is available for enrolments made before the end of 30 September for courses starting in October only  |   All fee rates quoted are for the whole 2-term course.


Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
  • Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
  • Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should contact eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk before completing the online enrolment form

Associate Rate

  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Members of the Kennel Club
  • Members of the London Zoological Society
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • National Health Service (NHS) employees
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Teachers and other staff of UK schools
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Applicable terms & conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer termSummer School
 40  20 18 Oct - 18 Dec 2021 (9 weeks)*  PLUS 10 Jan - 26 Mar 2022 (11 weeks) n/a n/a
* Followed by the Christmas break

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 2nd August 2021

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:

  • Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
  • First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
  • The booking process involves entering payment details after your course choice and applicant details are collected via an in-built questionnnaire
  • The following email notifications are sent:
What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working daysPlease treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

  • Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the tutor, Ronnie McGrath, abreton13@yahoo.co.uk
  • Questions about your enrolment and payment should be sent to the Programme Administrator, eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk

If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.