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Writing Modern Fairy Tales

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Course Fee:


  • Start Date(s): 7 October 2023
  • Duration: Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm, three weeks
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Discover the magic of writing your own modern fiction story and explore how to connect traditional fairy tale storylines with the contemporary world around you.

On this course you’ll develop your knowledge of the classic fairy-tale by examining the work of both traditional and modern writers of the fairy-tale.

Drawing from your findings, you’ll learn how to create new stories for your own fairy-tales, highlighting themes and issues in the contemporary world, with strong, endurable characters that can both entertain and inform.

This course is ideal for anyone interested in developing their creative writing; whether you’d like to write for children and young adults, or if you’d like to write a fairy-tale that can be understood at a much deeper, more subconscious level by an adult.

Create your own tale and be the storyteller for an adventure, letting your imagination run wild.

On this course, you’ll deconstruct the makings of a traditional fairy-tale, including timeless plots of ‘good versus evil’, recurring social and political themes, and the common archetypal characters developed within them.

You’ll look at the concept of fairy-tale stories and imagery; from their older origins to the more modern depictions and styles, considering literary opportunities to connect your own writing with current social and political themes and current affairs.

Learning how fairy-tale characters and plots find their way into the modern writing world and how their long-lasting impact can inspire and benefit your writing, you’ll plan and structure your own fairy-tale.

  • You’ll be part of a creative writing community; one that promotes discussion and collaboration, and encourages experimentation and the constant swapping of ideas.
  • With a limited class size you'll have the one-to-one attention you need to ensure you leave with the skills to continue developing your writing at home or work.
  • Benefit from learning with an experienced tutor who has established links to the profession and significant experience working in varied practices.
  • On successful completion of the course you will receive a certificate of attendance

What you’ll study

During the course you will:

  • look at well-known fairy-tales and their characters
  • reflect on how traditional tales are represented in both their original time and the present day
  • consider struggles and conflict within fairy-tale relationships (looking at power, control, freedom, and their relevance to our current environment)
  • look at symbolism in fairy tales and understand the tropes of the genre
  • devise new approaches to writing, considering how to subvert from the traditional
  • play with your own ideas and look for inspiration for your own story
  • learn how to redraft and refine your work
  • considering plot twists and the importance of moral lessons in modern fairy tales.

Classroom discussions and critiques will be combined with a variety of practical homework exercises.

You’ll investigate the enchanting and surprisingly dark themes of several well-known fairy tales to inspire and inform your own creative writing, looking at writers such as Hans Christian Anderson, Brothers Grimm and Oscar Wilde.

You’ll also reflect on contemporary stories by writers including Neil Gaiman and Angela Carter, as well as questioning what can be considered a ‘true’ fairy-tale.

How you’re taught

You will be studying creative writing in a UNESCO City of Literature, and be based in the School of Arts and Humanities on the City Campus.

You will find modern teaching spaces and quiet study environments to develop your ideas and writing.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Further information

By the end of the course, you will leave with the beginnings of your own fairy-tale, and ideas for future work.

You’ll also have a network of fellow writers and potential collaborators with whom you can progress your work further.

Tutor Profile:

Tina Jay is an award-winning playwright, having won both the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing for her play ‘Walking’ and the International Student Playscript Competition (judged by Sir Ayckbourn) for ‘Rotten Apples’.

Her plays have been performed in London, at venues including Tristan Bates, The Park Theatre, Lost Theatre, Greenwich Theatre, Barons Court, Rich Mix, and The Royal Exchange in Manchester.

Her most recent play 'Syndrome' completed a two-week run at Tristan Bates Theatre in February 2020, with the production having been described as a ‘Masterpiece’ and ‘Pitch Perfect’, receiving 5-star reviews and 2 Offie Nominations.

Three of her short stories from her audiobook 'Love Light Betrayal' were also performed at Quad Cinema in Derby.

Tina has taught creative writing in a variety of disciplines, and has an MA in TV Scriptwriting (with Distinction).

She is currently working on a number of new TV, Film and Theatre projects.

Materials List:

Please bring with you to the first day:

  • a notepad and pen
  • any ideas you have for your fairy-tale.

Campus and facilities

Entry requirements

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: No experience is required

You must be over the age of 18 to attend this course

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is:


Payment is due at the time of booking.

How to apply