NEW! Psychology for Writers course

I am delighted to announce my first formal course for writers – one based on twenty years of teaching and ten years as working freelance writer and editor. I am taking bookings to begin from July (you can join at any time) – but places are limited and many have filled already just through word-of-mouth! All sessions are one-to-one so there’s no pressure to keep up; we go at your pace and you can start when you’re ready.

The course is the fruition of many years of training would-be writers, students preparing for university, academics and working professionals all wanting to better understand why we write, how we write and how that affects readers.

Traditionally, you either buy courses to read, watch or listen to, or you get yourself a mentor, or you attend writing classes. Most courses try to teach you rules about how to write, but these are always based on the course designers’ own experiences and preconceived ideas. One minute you’re told to ‘find your own voice’ and the next you’re told the Oxford comma must be used, never split infinitives and stories must always have climax arcs (none of which are true). It can be confusing and such courses often lead to disappointment. You can be left overwhelmed with too many rules and still feel you can’t write.

This course takes a different approach and combines teaching, mentoring and editing together into one comprehensive package, spaced out over 12 months to give you time to learn, reflect and write. The course has a structure but is designed to meet your individual specific needs.

What you will learn:

This course shows you why good writing works and how to identify what audiences and editors alike are looking for. Based on the techniques of psychology, backed up with decades of experience both as a writer and as a teacher, and using many resources from the academic world, I’ve designed this course for anyone who wants to understand how to make every word work for them. Whether you’re an aspiring writer, a writer just entering the commercial world, or have business, science or academic training and need to write well for the next stage of your career, this course will help.

It’s easy to read courses and feel demoralised. You’ll ‘never be good enough’. My course is taught one-to-one and designed to find your weak spots to strengthen them. Again and again my clients and students come away encouraged and feeling empowered to write well. You’ll have your own work critiqued and benefit from one-to-one mentoring throughout the year as you see your confidence and skills grow.

The course is tailored to individual needs so your specific areas of interest are covered; but you will learn what really works from a wide range of written formats – prose, poetry, articles, stories, novel extracts etc. – and come away with techniques which will inform your own writing and presentation. Whether it be an important email, a pitch to an editor, an article or a piece of fiction – you’ll write with greater understanding of how to influence your readers. Lessons are flexible and you can cancel further lessons at any time during the course. You can also choose to continue with mentoring sessions with me once the course is over!

What past clients say:

My past students have typically gained qualifications to enter university to study English or Creative Writing, they’ve had academic articles in peer-reviewed publications published and some have gone on to have agent representation and be published by traditional print publishers after taking my course. Some are already working writers with popular followings who came to me for editing help but come away learning more about what makes writing tick. Here’s just a handful of the countless positive comments I’ve received from clients who have received my help with editing and/or mentoring –

“… Taking lessons with Ken was a real eye-opener for me. I discovered so many important concepts that I had no idea about… The lessons completely transformed my view of writing, which I used to consider as a bothersome exercise to report findings and ask for funding, and which I now enjoy experimenting with. The writing course also rekindled my love for reading… Ken is a fantastic teacher. He explains everything so vividly and gives lots of helpful examples. You can’t help writing down everything he says…”

NA, Research Scientist, France

“Ken helped me edit my novel, a story set in India. Working with Ken is a delight as he patiently runs you through the edits required. Because he has spent a lot of time in Asia, he understands the cross-cultural subtleties and nuances of language and society… He’s organised, open to new ideas and very encouraging.”

AC, Novelist & freelance writer, India

“I am working on my first poetry collection. Editing with Ken was intense and thorough, and he was very patient. His style is honest and robust going over and beyond expectations… providing insightful pointers around grammar, and structure to aesthetics… He puts himself in the mind and shoes of readers and provides candid feedback as an editor, a writer, and reader… His notes are detailed, and his explanations are just as comprehensive. He edits with ease and works with you to ensure your ideas and words are not lost in the process.”

BB, Writer & Poet, USA

“Ken helped me edit my fiction work and it was very helpful. His feedback was constructive and specific with detailed explanations… He took the time to understand my point of view and writing style so edits never took away the essence… As a person, Ken was very responsive, kind, approachable, and supportive. He’d be there when you need him. I’d recommend him!”

EN, Writer, UK

What you get:

  • 12 one-hour monthly lessons via Skype (or Whatsapp/Messenger). This gives you time to digest what you learn, read around the key points and complete exercises for the next lesson without causing undue stress in your busy life.
  • Documents for use in the lessons tailored to your needs which contain notes on key points plus a number of links to other resources;
  • A number of writing exercises to choose from, tailored to your interests to complete for each lesson OR you provide up to 1,000 words of your own writing for each lesson. All work is proofed, edited and fully annotated with advice and suggestions;
  • Flexible timetabling so lesson times are agreed mutually every 4-5 weeks or so. Most time zones can be accommodated.
  • A certificate for your PDP file on completion of the course.

Your tutor:

I have been working as a freelance writer for over ten years and as a personal tutor well over 25 years. My second book, ‘The Old Man on the Beach’ was a bestseller on Amazon and I have three more books publishing very soon. I have many years of experience as a journalist and reviewer with published articles and stories in household magazines in Canada, America, UK, India, Bangladesh and, for several years, I was a senior science writer for a major science magazine for teenagers in China. My published work covers everything from science to arts, politics to religion, culture to magic tricks!

As an education consultant I get to travel the world advising schools, teachers and course providers. After my popular TEDx talk in 2016 I regularly give talks around the UK on a number of subjects. I am a qualified teacher with graduate and post-graduate qualifications in English, Psychology, and Sociology (among others). I have written several courses before this one on psychology, criminology and memory techniques.

How to apply:

To apply, send me an email to dkpowell.contact (and add @gmail.com to the end). Please include an example of your writing (up to 1000 words); alternatively, write a short autobiography telling me why you want to do this course and what you hope to learn. This writing will be used for our first session together.

Each session costs £40 GBP payable in advance (via Paypal or bank transfer). This includes the one-hour lesson and all editing of your course work. All course materials are provided and there are no extra hidden costs. You may cancel your course at any time. Bookings are only considered confirmed once payment has been received and this is non-refundable.

Please note that those who speak English as a second language are welcome to apply but a reasonable ability to use English is required for this course. Your initial writing example will be used to evaluate if this course is right for you. No payment will be taken if you will not benefit from this course.

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