Sunday, December 7, 2014

Two reviews of Brian Henry's Next Step in Creative Writing course by Katherine Byrnell & Susan Thomas

Once upon a time everyone believed you had to be gifted to write. Not so: writing good fiction isn't reserved for the talented few. Brian coaches our group to create their own engaging scenes and weave in elements of good story structure. He's offered some truly inspired ideas to enliven sagging starts, turn stories into plots and techniques to avoid common pitfalls.

Plus he's given all of us a healthy dose of encouragement to continue on the journey to Happily Ever After ~ publication, which is a great way to end any plot.

Katherine Byrnell enjoyed a 30-year-career as a nurse, often travelling throughout the world to do medical repatriations. A keen amateur historian, she's had several articles published in newspapers and history magazines. Now retired, Katherine enjoys developing her creative writing skills by attending Brian's workshops and classes.


I always felt that writing in isolation was lonely but necessary. Being part of Brian’s "Next Step in Creative Writing" course has shown me otherwise. 

Brian and my fellow participants provide me with the constructive feedback I need to develop myself as a writer, plus the deadlines and expectation for written output challenge me to write more (and better).

Instruction from Brian regarding the writing process provides a forum for discussion and allows me to consider new concepts and how they might apply to my own writing. But it’s the support and guidance of a whole group of committed colleagues that’s perhaps most valuable.

Our critiques of one another’s writing provides a learning experience all around. Having the chance to review the work of others, consider the strengths of their pieces of writing, and provide suggestions for improvement never fails to give me insight into my own creative efforts.

Positive, constructive feedback is essential for growth, and this course creates a safe and comfortable environment where writers are encouraged to explore and extend their creative writing abilities.  It’s a great place to hone your craft.

Note: Read other reviews of Brian's various weekly courses and workshops here.

Susan Thomas can’t imagine a world without books and loves to share the adventure by creating stories of her own.  She is a school administrator who spent many happy years as a Teacher/Librarian, immersed in the world of children’s literature. Susan was born in England but emigrated to Canada as a child, and now lives in Southern Ontario with her husband and her three children. 

Earlier this year, Susan published her first young adult novel,  Incarnation, with Evernight Teen, under her maiden name of Susan Nolan. Check out Incarnation here. For information on submitting to Evernight see here

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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