The Quiet Words
A course on learning the craft of writing creatively
You've dreamt of being a writer ever since you were little. Stories were forever spilling out of your heart and you had so many to tell back then. But then you grew up. Life happened. Yet you still feel words tug inside you, as if they're hanging off a thin tangled thread waiting to be unravelled. You've never forgotten your dream.
Perhaps you'd even started to write - a notebook by your bed, a secret document hidden somewhere on your computer. But it's hard. You don't know what to write about and then when you do, the words don't come. You simply can't find them. And perhaps when you do write, rather than celebrate, you tell yourself your words are not good enough to read. You tell yourself you can't possibly share your writing with anyone at all.
As a published writer, I know firsthand the struggles of writing. I know how hard it is to find something you feel is worth writing about. And I know how hard it is to put those ideas, those feelings, into words. I know how overwhelming it is to commit your words to paper and dare to show them to someone else to read.
But I also know how magnificent it feels when you read something you wrote yourself and realise you have created something beautiful, meaningful and creative, words that lift lightly off the page and linger long in your readers' hearts.
I want to help you feel that way too. I want you to dream again.
What is writing creatively about?
Writing creatively is the craft of writing in a creative way for any sort or style of writing, whether it's fiction or non-fiction, blog posts or essays, memoirs or journals. It’s a way to pour out all the words inside of you, and it doesn’t matter if it’s for a bestseller or for your eyes only in your journal. I consider both the act of writing and the act of being creative to be equally important and equally active pursuits and this is where we start our journey together in The Quiet Words.
What happens on the course?
Over eight weeks you will learn to unlock and explore the creativity that is already within you. You will learn to deal with creative blocks. You will read, an awful lot, and you will take notice of the words you're reading in a way that perhaps you'd never considered before. You will commit to a writing practice and you will write. You will write because you can and you will learn how to start. You'll learn how to lift your writing off the page and make it feel alive, emotive and powerful by understanding the importance of crafting what you want to say.
During the course, you will also produce a piece for me to read and I will return it to you with thoughtful, personal feedback to help you build upon your writing.
We'll have our own private Facebook group, a small and intimate space of like-minded souls where you can connect with me and also share your thoughts and discuss any aspects of the course. There is also the option of having extra, individual editorial support from me during and after the course.
The Quiet Words: Course Curriculum
Week 1 - Exploring and unlocking creativity
All writing can be creative but first you need to uncover what creativity means to you. Learn how to get into that creative mindset you need in order to be able to write.
Week 2 - The overwhelming importance of calm
Because the calmer you are, the more creative you can be. You will explore free writing techniques which will clear your head of all the clutter that is blocking your path to creativity
Week 3 - Bringing your writing alive
Being a writer means being an observer, both of other people but also, most importantly, of yourself. We explore the craft of connecting with and writing from feelings in order to bring your writing to life and resonate beyond the page.
Week 4 - Where to find ideas worth writing about and how to read with a writer's eye
We explore the value of "write what you know" as well as "write what you don't know" but also how to slow down and read with a writer's eye. This week you will also start writing your very own piece for me.
Week 5 - The beauty of descriptive writing
Learn how to craft descriptive writing and when to use it and understand its beauty, impact and nuances.
Week 6 - How to be a storyteller
Unlock a writer's technique to storytelling that is so subtle and yet so powerful, it will transform your writing and help you create an intimacy within your words.
Week 7 - Cheat Sheets
This week, you'll have handed in your writing piece to me. While I'm reading your work and compiling personal feedback, you can read and work through my cheat sheets that will always help you whenever you face creative blocks.
Week 8 - The art of editing
We end two months of creative exploration with the final layer: editing tricks to help smooth and sharpen your writing so that it reads effortlessly. This week you'll also receive your very own personal feedback from me on your Quiet Words project.
This course is for you if...
... You've always wanted to write, but have never known how to start
... You’ve tried writing before but kept getting stuck
… You’ve never shown anyone anything that you’ve written and keep it secret
… You long to feel creative and feel like creativity is missing from your life
… You love reading and have always been inspired by words, fictional or otherwise
… You crave a safe, quiet space with like-minded souls in which to write
… You want permission to put your own creativity first
… You truly want to overhaul the chaos of daily life and reclaim time for yourself for your own wellbeing
… You are nervous about other people reading your writing, but also secretly would love to have someone tell you what they think of it
By the end of this course, you will...
... Have committed to and established a daily writing practice
... Learn how to declutter your mind to enable creativity to flow
... Have produced a piece of writing and received personal feedback for it
... Read books the way a writer would, watching closely for the details
... Know how to spot a good idea to write about, and know the importance of following through
... Understand how to craft memorable and moving descriptions
... Know how to edit your work to make it read effortlessly
... Learn how to connect with yourself in order to infuse your writing with a sense of true emotion that will bring your work alive, regardless of the context
... Be on the path to living the creative, enriched and fulfilling life you have longed for
The next course of The Quiet Words will run from 4th February, 2019.
Thank you for taking us on a beautiful journey. You led us to explore our voice and relationship to writing in a playful, curious and mindful manner, letting us run freely while always close by for guidance and encouragement.
This course you created is a little treasure I will keep close to my heart along my writing journey. It confirmed my utter love for writing.
- Marie Kenny, mariekenny.com
The Quiet Words is changing my life, one word at a time.
Through this course, and with Huma's encouragement, I have started my blog and put myself out there. I never used to believe in investing in myself, but this course was so worth it.
If you've always wanted to write, but didn't know where or how to start, this is the course for you.
- Beth Henson, somedayslower.com
I have long believed that creative writing classes were not for somebody like me, I wasn’t planning to write a novel or even short stories, but simply wanted to feel a little more confident in the writing I share on my blog.
Having completed The Quiet Words I am beginning to feel a little differently. The course itself is much more holistic than simply lessons on writing.
Huma’s gentle and thoughtful method helped me reflect on why I write at all and then on how I can make it more enjoyable, both for myself and any potential reader.
I’ve benefited in ways I didn’t expect to; I feel generally calmer and clearer, and more at ease with the idea of being the sort of person who calls themselves a writer.
- Vanessa Dennett, thesimpsonsisters.co.uk
The Quiet Words far exceeded my expectations. The course is about writing, yes, but Huma also shares her approach to creativity as a whole. I now find myself carving out more time for myself, to create and to explore my thoughts about the world a little differently. I have written in some form for a long time, but I'm now reading with a writer’s eye, and I'm putting words together far more intentionally. I am so glad I invested in this course, which I have no doubt I will return to again and again.
- Ruth Poundwhite, ruthpoundwhite.com
"The Quiet Words really was magical. Huma has a wondrous way of writing such calm and thoughtful content that the course did far, far more than just instruct me in the art of writing. It caused me to pause; to really delve into why I want to write, and to contemplate what creativity means to me and how I might add some brush strokes to the canvas of words, narratives and stories out there, that we all live by. I feel like it's given me calm but also courage. Thank you, Huma.
- Ali Kirwan
8-week course only, one payment in full £225
8-week course, 3 payments of £80
8-week course plus extra editorial support: two email check-ins during the course and a further editorial critique of a long-length piece of your writing produced after the course*: £375
Extra editorial support add-on (if at any time during the course you feel you would like to add this on): £150
(Please note: this pricing is not inclusive of VAT. Please be aware that VAT will be charged additionally by Teachable, the online course platform I use, at checkout)
*If you choose the extra support option, I will email you to check your progress twice during the eight week course. As well as offering feedback on the piece you will produce as part of The Quiet Words, I will offer a further more in-depth critique of a second, longer piece of writing of up to 5,000 words which must be submitted to me within three months of the course ending.
Why take a writing course with me?
Because I have been where you are. I wanted to write but didn’t know how to start. I yearned for creativity for so long and felt it missing from my life. I never showed anyone my work. Self-doubt has always plagued me and sometimes it still does but finding something I am good at, writing creatively, has helped me grow. Writing has brought me so much joy and a quiet, inner strength that helps me stay grounded. I would love to be able to pass that along to you.
I am also an award-winning published author of short stories represented by the literary agency Bell, Lomax Moreton, and a former national newspaper journalist for the Guardian and Observer. My freelance work has appeared regularly in numerous national publications, including The Times, The Independent, New Statesman and Psychologies magazine. You can find more of my personal writing in my weekly long reads over on my blog and meanwhile, here's what a few people have said about my book, In Spite of Oceans.
"‘Huma Qureshi’s beautifully written prose is filled with heart-breaking details." The Guardian
"Memorable and moving." The Observer
"Huma Qureshi's stories shine a bright light into hidden corners; they ring with a resonance that remains with you after louder and showier narratives have faded." Roopa Farooki, acclaimed novelist
"A gifted writer; a remarkable insight into the human experience." Desi Blitz