How Online Works
Online courses take place in CAMPUS, our digital platform for poets. CAMPUS is a Social Learning Network (SLN) that lives as part of The Poetry School website, so if you already have an account with us, you can access it straight away.
If you don’t currently have an account with The Poetry School, then you can register for free here.
Our online courses are structured according to regular fortnightly sessions (on average this amounts to 5 assignments over 10 weeks). Some also contain scheduled live chats, a ‘real time’, live-typed chatroom discussion between the tutor and students. Each term we offer a mixture of generative classes (writing new poems), feedback classes (honing old ones) and reading classes (learning more about poetry).
Each online course has its own dedicated private group in CAMPUS. Once you book a course you will automatically be enrolled and be able to access your course group. You will use your course group to post messages, interact with other poets, participate in live chats, submit poems and download assignments and reading lists. Everything is transcribed and kept for you in your group and you will be able to access everything – poems, messages, assignments, live chat transcripts – for as long as you need to.
We have worked hard to make CAMPUS as fuss-free and as close to face-to-face teaching as possible, with the additional benefits of convenience and access that online allows. If you are new to online learning, and unsure about whether it is suitable, please go to our IS ONLINE RIGHT FOR ME? section below.
ARE YOU AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT?
As well as normal online programme, we also run a small selection of International Courses, which are exactly the same as our other online courses, but don’t contain any live chats or other synchronous learning elements, and are fully accessible regardless of what time zone you live in. Just look out for the ‘International Courses’ label in the course title. (Please also note that our Fortnightly Feedback, Studios and Masterclasses are also fully accessible to international poets).
What will I learn?
Each online course consists of a mixture of reading, discussion and writing exercises to stimulate thoughts, creative expression and technical craft, alongside encouragement and constructive feedback from your tutor and peers on your finished work.
Content will vary course to course, but on all our online courses you can expect the following:
- reading, writing and thinking about poetry in different ways
- exposure to new writers, voices, forms and styles
- the confidence to write more and devote more time to writing
- generating new work (on average 4-5 finished poems per course)
- discovery of new areas and subjects for research
- better understanding of how to make choices (length, theme, tone, etc)
- enhanced critical skills
- practical advice on further development
We pride ourselves on the standard of our teaching and the poetry produced on every one of our courses. Many of our online students have gone on to successfully submit their course work for publication in magazines and journals, and had success in competitions. But don’t take it from us: read some of our many student testimonials.
The Poetry School offers a wide variety of online courses, and subject matter and structure varies from term to term, so please always check the course information carefully.
We have five main types of online course:
Interactive Courses consist of one assignment posted per ‘session’ every fortnight. (Most courses last for 5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks). You will be expected to post poems in response to an assignment, and then feedback on each other’s work in your CAMPUS online group forum. Each session culminates in a 2 hour live chatroom exchange with your course tutor and fellow students, where all the latest poems are examined in a free-flowing, live-typed discussion. All live chats are then transcribed and archived for students to re-read whenever they want. New assignments are posted after each live chat. Class size = 12 maximum.
Note: most our interactive courses are fully adaptable to international students and others who might have difficulty making all the live chats. To find out more information, please email [email protected]
International Courses are exactly the same as Interactive courses, but there are no live chats, making them accessible to students and tutors who live in all international time zones. All feedback and discussion on these courses is written/typed via the private group message board. Class size = 12 maximum.
Transreading courses – co-curated with Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese – invite us to write poems and translations in response to wide readings. Like translators, we read ‘the originals’ closely and intimately in order to transcend cultures, languages, and genres. We read voraciously: poems brought to English by translation, multilingual texts, fiction, nonfiction, drama, archives, ephemera, visual arts. Through trans-reading and trans-writing, we open our poetries to the multi-literate world. Transreading courses, without live chats, are suitable for UK and international students. Class size = 12 maximum.
Fortnightly Feedback courses are a good way to polish up poems-in-progress, and early draft work you are preparing for submission or preparation. Students share and leave written feedback within their CAMPUS online group forum only. There is no live chat component. These courses are suitable for UK & international students. Class size = 16 maximum.
Poetry Studios are short, intensive poetry writing courses that last 3-4 weeks. Unlike our standard 10 week courses, the emphasis on ‘Studios’ is more heavily skewed towards writing and getting words on the page, with a softer focus on group feedback and editing. Class size = 16 maximum.
Masterclasses are 12 week courses with a much deeper consideration of technical craft and critical theory. For advanced students only: fluency with poetic language and ideas will be assumed. There are no live chats and they are suitable for UK and International students. Class size = 10 maximum.
Subject matter and level of ability for each course vary hugely from term to term.
Is Online right for me?
Online courses are open to all students but a basic level of digital literacy is essential. The Poetry School can help you with CAMPUS technical issues, but you need to be a confident user of digital platforms to take part in these classes. To find out whether an online course is right for you, please take our self-assessment quiz.
No specialist software is required – you just need a computer, tablet or mobile device and a wifi connection. All the live chats are typed/written and done in a multi-user chat room on CAMPUS, and due to the fast pace of these sessions, it is recommended you use a laptop or PC, or a tablet/smartphone with a keyboard attachment.
Help! I’m having technical problems
Please email [email protected]
if you’re having issues with CAMPUS or the Poetry School website. If it’s a local technical issue (i.e., with your computer, not our website) then please seek advice or help from a friend.
What happens if everyone on my course is much better than I am?
‘Better’ is very subjective. Our online courses are designed to be non-partisan, as we believe the best kind of educational experience we can offer is one where all types of student can meet and collaborate meaningfully with one another regardless of how they each self-identify (beginner, amateur, pro). There will be some poets in every group that, even though they have publishing credits, still feel very much like starters. Once you’ve got through the first session, you’ll see how useful, supportive and generous being in a large group of poets of varying levels can be. Many advanced poets also like having new writers in the group, as they tend to have very fresh and original approaches to reading work. All contributions will be extremely welcome.
Will I receive a certificate at the end?
Unfortunately we don’t do those. If you’re interested in something fully accredited, and you’re based in the UK, we do offer a Writing Poetry MA.
I desperately want to do a particular course, but I can’t make the live chats. Can I still do the course?
We’re happy to be flexible with individual course arrangements. Just let us know before or after you’ve enrolled and we will try accommodate you onto your course the best way possible. It’s not always feasible, but we do what we can. If you’re based abroad, then we offer a range of International Courses each term that have no live chats, as well as Feedback, Studio and Online Reading courses.
The activity I want is fully booked – what can I do?
Contact us and ask to be put on a waiting list - if any places come free, we will let you know.