The Fiction Writing - Level 3 Course is designed for anyone considering professional authoring for a variety of media including books, short stories, radio and television.

The aim of this self-study course is to provide a comprehensive guide to the skills and techniques of writing fiction successfully, and will enable students to study a variety of styles. The home study course also examines practical aspects of getting published plus the essential elements of both short stories and novels.

On successful completion of this course students will receive an accredited Level 3 Certificate of Achievement.

The home study course is split into the following 9 Units:

  • Unit One -Introduction

The following topics are covered: Content, Style, Techniques and Marketing.

  • Unit Two -The Short Story

The following topics are covered: How to study and analyse it, Studying the market, Overseas markets, Writing is a business, How do I find ideas? How do I present my manuscript? and Where do I find facts?

  • Unit Three -The Theme

The following topics are covered: Choosing a theme, The basic emotion, First or third person? Get out of the way! Reader identification, Setting and Style.

  • Unit Four -The Plot

The following topics are covered: Plotting, Accuracy, The plot scheme, A twist in the tale, Finding a plot, Conflict, tension & Suspense and Balance and pace.

  • Unit Five -The Characters

The following topics are covered: Your chief character, Names, Can people be plots? Characterisation, Motives, Mannerisms, Minor Characters, Hero, Heroine, Villain or Clown and How people operate.

  • Unit Six –Getting Started

The following topics are covered: How to start? The plot thickens, Stuck? Handling Transitions, How to end? Your work plan and Rules are made to be broken.

  • Unit Seven - Title & Dialogue

The following topics are covered: Choosing a title, Writing Dialogue, Grammar, dialect and slang, Types of short story and The serial.

  • Unit Eight –Practical Details

The following topics are covered: Copyright, The laws of defamation, Agents and "Vanity Publishers”, Keeping records, Payment, Income Tax, Expenses, Writing for radio, Writing for television and Presenting a TV drama.

  • Unit Nine – Writing a Novel

The following topics are covered: Structure, Action, Thriller, Mystery, Science Fiction, Crime & Detective novels, Historical novels, Serious novels and Final points.

Course Duration:

Students may register at any time and have a full year to complete their studies. The course will take approximately 80 hours of study to complete.


There are no particular entry requirements.

Technical Support:

Once you have enrolled, you will have access to your own personal tutor by mail or email. You will receive full tutor support for a 12 month period.


At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and Certa Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards and Certa Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Kendal Publishing has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained.

The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

Information on level descriptors can be found on the Ofqual's level descriptors page.

The course itself has been designed by Kendal Publishing to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards & Certa Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards and Certa Awards have long-established reputations for providing high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. ABC Awards and Certa Awards combine over 180 years of expertise combined with a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers.

Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards and Certa Awards also offer regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales

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