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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


This course has been cancelled. Please register your interest by using the ‘Ask a Question’ function and we will notify you when this course, or a similar course, is next run.

All creative writing courses naturally teach the art of writing, but many omit the art of listening. However, most writers, editors and tutors will say that dialogue is the most challenging part of the story-telling process and the moment where most aspiring writers fail. Listening is necessary to the creation of uniquely compelling and believable characters. It’s what will enable you to create characters who aren’t simply various versions of yourself. Learning to listen like a professional writer will elevate your novel to the next level.

In this day school we’ll begin by discussing examples of excellent dialogue and discovering what makes such dialogues sound both realistic and compelling. We’ll use practical exercises to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and thus learn to write dialogue that sounds different depending on the character. As a result of the day school students will be able to differential good dialogue from bad and be able far more effectively to write dialogue to a professional standard.


Fees & bursaries


The course fee includes tuition, tea, coffee and lunch and travel on excursions (but not entrance fees to properties visited).

VAT does not apply to course fees and there is no service charge (gratuities to domestic staff are left to your discretion).


You may cancel a course booking at any time. After the 14 day cancellation period has expired, the standard ICE course cancellation policy will apply. Please view our refund and cancellation policy for further details.


The Cambridge University Press (CUP) Bursary Fund offers a bursary of 50% of the course fee to applicants who teach in a UK state school or state-funded further education institution, applying to study a day school, weekend course or online course.

Unless otherwise stated, teaching and assessment for ICE courses are in English. Students whose first language is not English should refer to the Competence in the English Language Policy for further guidance.

Printable versions of our brochures are available to download from the Institute Publications page.

Course dates

01 Dec 2019

Course duration

1 Day

Apply by

24 Nov 2019

Course fee


Academic Directors, Course Directors and Tutors are subject to change, when necessary.


Institute of Continuing Education
University of Cambridge
CB23 8AQ
United Kingdom

Qualifications / Credits


Teaching sessions

Meetings: 1

Course code