Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writing Course Online

Can You Write Horror? Sale!
Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hours (6 months)
Exam Optional
Qualification Certificate
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
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Learn to write horror, science fiction and fantasy in this unique self-paced online course.   These genre's are central to our society, our myths and our storytelling, consider some of our most popular books and movies such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and The Walking Dead.  Horror allows us to feel fear, fantasy allows us to extend our imagination and science fiction allows us to explore the impact of science on humanity and our place in the universe.  All three can combine together or not.

  • 100 hour course
  • self-paced study
  • payment plans available (interest free)
  • full tutor support

Whats your genre?

Knowing what genre, you want to write in can be difficult is you enjoy all equally and would like to imagine them all in your portfolio of stories. The thing with genre is that there are a lot of tropes, memes and themes that get used to distinguishing them from other stories or other genres. A science fiction story might have a space ship, but one would look odd in a fantasy story with knights and dragons. That said, there have been many a fantasy story written with space ships and with these stories the genre is called cross-genre. If you want to write cross-genre then it is welcomed along with all others mentioned or not mentioned. The key thing is to read widely in what you want to write and learn from those authors the elements in use that distinguish the work in their chosen field. Style is a major attribute, setting, science, elements, mode of speech and transport. If you have a fantasy world it is important to know, a horse needs rest every few hours, water and food, and to get a communication across fifty kilometres may take two days. Knowing the genre will teach you what is possible and what isn't possible. This will apply to magic. If magic exists in the world then it must be consistent throughout the story; the magic needs to make sense to the characters, it cannot be just a surprise for all involved and just say magic. The genre is harsh on this type of inconsistency.

Read an article on science fiction and horror writing by our tutor Robert N Stephenson here

Detailed Course Outline

Each course is made up of a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.

There are 8 Lessons in this course:

Lesson 1

  • Introduction
  • Where it All Began
  • Becoming a Writer
  • The Work Place
  • Equipment
  • Assignment Presentation
  • Meditation – Contemplation
  • What to Write

Lesson 2

  • Understanding Genre
  • Fantastic Fiction
  • Urban and Paranormal
  • Lofty Consideration
  • Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
  • Creation of the Short Story
  • Story Length
  • Short Story Sample
  • Cliché Opening
  • The Novel

Lesson 3

  • A Word from Richard Harland
  • Writer’s Groups

Lesson 4

  • Elements of Story
  • Thinking in Circles
  • Writing the End
  • An Overview of Plots
  • A Summary
  • General Ignorance
  • What are Themes
  • All Just Fiction
  • Sub-Genres
  • The Final Appraisal

Lesson 5

  • Writing Tools
  • The Skills of Writing
  • The Premise
  • Developing the Premise
  • The Sentence
  • Show, Don’t Tell

Lesson 6

  • The Question of Dialogue
  • In Examination Part 1
  • In Examination Part 2
  • Exposition

Lesson 7

  • Stop and Think
  • Writing the Perfect Scene

Lesson 8

  • Cigarette Burns
  • The Novel
  • The Synopsis
  • The Principles of the Synopsis
  • A Note on Characters
  • Genre Mood and Atmosphere
  • The Senses
  • The Basement
  • Building a Fantasy World
  • The Publishing Business

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

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Course Tutor

Robert N. Stephenson

Robert N. Stephenson is a published author of 5 books and the publisher of 25 books for other authors through his publishing imprint. Over his career thus far he has had over 100 short stories published in 10 countries and a number of languages. For fourteen years he also worked as a literary agent for his own agency where he represented such authors as Tony Shillitoe and Christy Jordan. As a tutor he has worked with over 1500 students in the last 10 years and a number of which have gone on to develop careeers in writing.

Besides wining awards for his own writing he is also the runner up in the 2008 Pride of Australia Medal for his contributions to the development of writing in others. Robert ran Altair Magazine for seven issues before it stopped production b ut during this time he discovered several new writers who have gone on to do great things both in Australia and in the USA. As he says, writing is a journey and a conversation with a reader, may we learn to create together.

How It Works

1. Learn Online

Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

2. Get Help & Support

Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

3. Receive Certificate

Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.

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Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.