Writers' Treasure

Effective writing advice for aspiring writers

Creative Writing 101

Creative writing is any form of writing which is written with the creativity of mind: fiction writing, poetry writing, creative nonfiction writing and more. The purpose is to express something, whether it be feelings, thoughts, or emotions.

Rather than only giving information or inciting the reader to make an action beneficial to the writer, creative writing is written to entertain or educate someone, to spread awareness about something or someone, or to express one’s thoughts.

There are two kinds of creative writing: good and bad, effective and ineffective. Bad, ineffective creative writing cannot make any impression on the reader. It won’t achieve its purpose.

So whether you’re a novelist, a poet, a short-story writer, an essayist, a biographer or an aspiring beginner, you want to improve your craft. The question is: how?

When you write great fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, amazing things can happen. Readers can’t put it down. The work you wrote becomes a bestseller. It becomes famous. But you have to reach to that level… first .

The best way to increase your proficiency in creative writing is to write, write compulsively, but it doesn’t mean write whatever you want. There are certain things you should know first… it helps to start with the right foot.

To do exactly that, here we have a beginners’ guide from Writers’ Treasure on the subject:

  • An Introduction to Creative Writing
  • How to Get Started in Creative Writing in Just Three Steps
  • Creative Writing vs. Technical Writing
  • Fiction Writing 101: The Elements of Stories
  • Poetry Writing: Forms and Terms Galore
  • Creative Non-Fiction: What is it?
  • Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Creative Writing
  • Common Mistakes Made by Creative Writers

For novelists: do you want to write compelling opening chapters?

Are you an aspiring novelist? Will your novel see the light of day? For that, you will need to make the first chapter of your story as compelling as possible. Otherwise, readers won’t even pick up your novel. That chapter can be the make-or-break point that decides whether your novel is published or not. It’s because good editors know how you write from the first three pages… or sometimes even from the opening lines.

To solve this problem, I created a five-part tutorial on Writing Compelling Opening Chapters . It outlines why you need to write a compelling opening chapter, my personal favourite way of beginning it, what should be told and shown in it, general dos and don’ts, and what you need to do after having written it. Check it out for more.

Need more writing tips?

Sometimes you reach that stage when you outgrow the beginner stage of writing but feel that you’re not yet an expert. If I just described you, no worries– Writers’ Treasure’s writing tips are here. Whether you want to make your writing more readable, more irresistible, more professional, we’ve got you covered. So check out our writing tips , and be on your way to fast track your success.

I offer writing, editing and proofreading , as well as website creation services. I’ve been in this field for seven years, and I know the tools of the trade. I’ve seen the directions where the writing industry is going, the changes, the new platforms. Get your work done through me, and get fast and efficient service. Get a quote .

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Creative Primer

What is Creative Writing? A Key Piece of the Writer’s Toolbox

Brooks Manley

Not all writing is the same and there’s a type of writing that has the ability to transport, teach, and inspire others like no other.

Creative writing stands out due to its unique approach and focus on imagination. Here’s how to get started and grow as you explore the broad and beautiful world of creative writing!

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a form of writing that extends beyond the bounds of regular professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. It is characterized by its emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or poetic techniques to express ideas in an original and imaginative way.

Creative writing can take on various forms such as:

  • short stories
  • screenplays

It’s a way for writers to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a creative, often symbolic, way . It’s about using the power of words to transport readers into a world created by the writer.

5 Key Characteristics of Creative Writing

Creative writing is marked by several defining characteristics, each working to create a distinct form of expression:

1. Imagination and Creativity: Creative writing is all about harnessing your creativity and imagination to create an engaging and compelling piece of work. It allows writers to explore different scenarios, characters, and worlds that may not exist in reality.

2. Emotional Engagement: Creative writing often evokes strong emotions in the reader. It aims to make the reader feel something — whether it’s happiness, sorrow, excitement, or fear.

3. Originality: Creative writing values originality. It’s about presenting familiar things in new ways or exploring ideas that are less conventional.

4. Use of Literary Devices: Creative writing frequently employs literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, and others to enrich the text and convey meanings in a more subtle, layered manner.

5. Focus on Aesthetics: The beauty of language and the way words flow together is important in creative writing. The aim is to create a piece that’s not just interesting to read, but also beautiful to hear when read aloud.

Remember, creative writing is not just about producing a work of art. It’s also a means of self-expression and a way to share your perspective with the world. Whether you’re considering it as a hobby or contemplating a career in it, understanding the nature and characteristics of creative writing can help you hone your skills and create more engaging pieces .

For more insights into creative writing, check out our articles on creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree and is a degree in creative writing worth it .

Styles of Creative Writing

To fully understand creative writing , you must be aware of the various styles involved. Creative writing explores a multitude of genres, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques.

Poetry is a form of creative writing that uses expressive language to evoke emotions and ideas. Poets often employ rhythm, rhyme, and other poetic devices to create pieces that are deeply personal and impactful. Poems can vary greatly in length, style, and subject matter, making this a versatile and dynamic form of creative writing.

Short Stories

Short stories are another common style of creative writing. These are brief narratives that typically revolve around a single event or idea. Despite their length, short stories can provide a powerful punch, using precise language and tight narrative structures to convey a complete story in a limited space.

Novels represent a longer form of narrative creative writing. They usually involve complex plots, multiple characters, and various themes. Writing a novel requires a significant investment of time and effort; however, the result can be a rich and immersive reading experience.

Screenplays

Screenplays are written works intended for the screen, be it television, film, or online platforms. They require a specific format, incorporating dialogue and visual descriptions to guide the production process. Screenwriters must also consider the practical aspects of filmmaking, making this an intricate and specialized form of creative writing.

If you’re interested in this style, understanding creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree can provide useful insights.

Writing for the theater is another specialized form of creative writing. Plays, like screenplays, combine dialogue and action, but they also require an understanding of the unique dynamics of the theatrical stage. Playwrights must think about the live audience and the physical space of the theater when crafting their works.

Each of these styles offers unique opportunities for creativity and expression. Whether you’re drawn to the concise power of poetry, the detailed storytelling of novels, or the visual language of screenplays and plays, there’s a form of creative writing that will suit your artistic voice. The key is to explore, experiment, and find the style that resonates with you.

For those looking to spark their creativity, our article on creative writing prompts offers a wealth of ideas to get you started.

Importance of Creative Writing

Understanding what is creative writing involves recognizing its value and significance. Engaging in creative writing can provide numerous benefits – let’s take a closer look.

Developing Creativity and Imagination

Creative writing serves as a fertile ground for nurturing creativity and imagination. It encourages you to think outside the box, explore different perspectives, and create unique and original content. This leads to improved problem-solving skills and a broader worldview , both of which can be beneficial in various aspects of life.

Through creative writing, one can build entire worlds, create characters, and weave complex narratives, all of which are products of a creative mind and vivid imagination. This can be especially beneficial for those seeking creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Enhancing Communication Skills

Creative writing can also play a crucial role in honing communication skills. It demands clarity, precision, and a strong command of language. This helps to improve your vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, making it easier to express thoughts and ideas effectively .

Moreover, creative writing encourages empathy as you often need to portray a variety of characters from different backgrounds and perspectives. This leads to a better understanding of people and improved interpersonal communication skills.

Exploring Emotions and Ideas

One of the most profound aspects of creative writing is its ability to provide a safe space for exploring emotions and ideas. It serves as an outlet for thoughts and feelings , allowing you to express yourself in ways that might not be possible in everyday conversation.

Writing can be therapeutic, helping you process complex emotions, navigate difficult life events, and gain insight into your own experiences and perceptions. It can also be a means of self-discovery , helping you to understand yourself and the world around you better.

So, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, the benefits of creative writing are vast and varied. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills, check out our articles on creative writing prompts and how to teach creative writing . If you’re considering a career in this field, you might find our article on is a degree in creative writing worth it helpful.

4 Steps to Start Creative Writing

Creative writing can seem daunting to beginners, but with the right approach, anyone can start their journey into this creative field. Here are some steps to help you start creative writing .

1. Finding Inspiration

The first step in creative writing is finding inspiration . Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. Observe the world around you, listen to conversations, explore different cultures, and delve into various topics of interest.

Reading widely can also be a significant source of inspiration. Read different types of books, articles, and blogs. Discover what resonates with you and sparks your imagination.

For structured creative prompts, visit our list of creative writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

Editor’s Note : When something excites or interests you, stop and take note – it could be the inspiration for your next creative writing piece.

2. Planning Your Piece

Once you have an idea, the next step is to plan your piece . Start by outlining:

  • the main points

Remember, this can serve as a roadmap to guide your writing process. A plan doesn’t have to be rigid. It’s a flexible guideline that can be adjusted as you delve deeper into your writing. The primary purpose is to provide direction and prevent writer’s block.

3. Writing Your First Draft

After planning your piece, you can start writing your first draft . This is where you give life to your ideas and breathe life into your characters.

Don’t worry about making it perfect in the first go. The first draft is about getting your ideas down on paper . You can always refine and polish your work later. And if you don’t have a great place to write that first draft, consider a journal for writing .

4. Editing and Revising Your Work

The final step in the creative writing process is editing and revising your work . This is where you fine-tune your piece, correct grammatical errors, and improve sentence structure and flow.

Editing is also an opportunity to enhance your storytelling . You can add more descriptive details, develop your characters further, and make sure your plot is engaging and coherent.

Remember, writing is a craft that improves with practice . Don’t be discouraged if your first few pieces don’t meet your expectations. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, enjoy the creative process.

For more insights on creative writing, check out our articles on how to teach creative writing or creative writing activities for kids.

Tips to Improve Creative Writing Skills

Understanding what is creative writing is the first step. But how can one improve their creative writing skills? Here are some tips that can help.

Read Widely

Reading is a vital part of becoming a better writer. By immersing oneself in a variety of genres, styles, and authors, one can gain a richer understanding of language and storytelling techniques . Different authors have unique voices and methods of telling stories, which can serve as inspiration for your own work. So, read widely and frequently!

Practice Regularly

Like any skill, creative writing improves with practice. Consistently writing — whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly — helps develop your writing style and voice . Using creative writing prompts can be a fun way to stimulate your imagination and get the words flowing.

Attend Writing Workshops and Courses

Formal education such as workshops and courses can offer structured learning and expert guidance. These can provide invaluable insights into the world of creative writing, from understanding plot development to character creation. If you’re wondering is a degree in creative writing worth it, these classes can also give you a taste of what studying creative writing at a higher level might look like .

Joining Writing Groups and Communities

Being part of a writing community can provide motivation, constructive feedback, and a sense of camaraderie. These groups often hold regular meetings where members share their work and give each other feedback. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with others who share your passion for writing.

Seeking Feedback on Your Work

Feedback is a crucial part of improving as a writer. It offers a fresh perspective on your work, highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Whether it’s from a writing group, a mentor, or even friends and family, constructive criticism can help refine your writing .

Start Creative Writing Today!

Remember, becoming a proficient writer takes time and patience. So, don’t be discouraged by initial challenges. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep enjoying the process. Who knows, your passion for creative writing might even lead to creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Happy writing!

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

learn about creative writing

Creative Primer  is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We’ll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life.

My name is Brooks. I do a ton of journaling, like to think I’m a creative (jury’s out), and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity. I hope these resources and product recommendations serve you well. Reach out if you ever want to chat or let me know about a journal I need to check out!

Here’s my favorite journal for 2024: 

the five minute journal

Gratitude Journal Prompts Mindfulness Journal Prompts Journal Prompts for Anxiety Reflective Journal Prompts Healing Journal Prompts Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Journal Prompts Mental Health Journal Prompts ASMR Journal Prompts Manifestation Journal Prompts Self-Care Journal Prompts Morning Journal Prompts Evening Journal Prompts Self-Improvement Journal Prompts Creative Writing Journal Prompts Dream Journal Prompts Relationship Journal Prompts "What If" Journal Prompts New Year Journal Prompts Shadow Work Journal Prompts Journal Prompts for Overcoming Fear Journal Prompts for Dealing with Loss Journal Prompts for Discerning and Decision Making Travel Journal Prompts Fun Journal Prompts

Inspiring Ink: Expert Tips on How to Teach Creative Writing

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  • Productivity
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Writers.com

Why learn creative writing? Truthfully, creative writing is one of the most misunderstood disciplines in the 21st century. When people think of a creative writing course, they often imagine a group of lofty, out-of-touch people who wear argyle sweater vests and have unproductive conversations about abstract concepts.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth: the best writing classes remain engaged with the real world, and the skills gained in a creative writing course apply to nearly every facet of daily life.

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth picking up a course in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, we have five reasons to learn creative writing. But first, let’s talk about what actually happens in a creative writing course.

The Basics of a Writing Workshop

Whether you’re enrolled in a poetry, fiction, or nonfiction writing class, you can expect the following writing process – at least in a quality writing course like the ones at Writers.com.

  • Weekly prompts and writing exercises to sharpen the precision and necessity of each word you use.
  • Constructive critiques from a community of writers who are each growing their writing skills alongside you.
  • A creative space to explore new ideas, experiment with language, and arrange words in new and exciting ways.
  • Focused writing instruction from a master of the craft.

The benefits of creative writing come from engaging with the course material, the writing prompts, and the other class members. These elements help you become a better writer, both in creative realms and in everyday life. How? No matter what form of writing, a creative writing class pushes you to connect ideas and create effective narratives using the best words – and that skill translates into real world success.

Check Out Our Online Writing Courses!

30 poems in 30 days

30 Poems in 30 Days

with Ollie Schminkey

April 1st, 2024

This National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), build community and get feedback on your work while writing a poem every day.

the heart remembers writing about loss

The Heart Remembers: Writing About Loss

with Charlotte Maya

April 3rd, 2024

How can we organize grief and loss into language? Honor your feelings and write moving essays in this heart-centered creative nonfiction class. 

learn about creative writing

Let It Rip: The Art of Writing Fiery Prose

with Giulietta Nardone

You'll write prose that gets folks so hot and bothered they won't be able to put it down, even if it isn't about sex.

learn about creative writing

Write Your Novel! The Workshop With Jack

with Jack Smith

Get a good start on a novel in just ten weeks, or revise a novel you’ve already written. Free your imagination, move steadily ahead and count the pages!

embodied writing interview | writing and the body

Writing the Body: A Nonfiction Craft Seminar

with Margo Steines

April 9th, 2024

The weird and wild body is a rich site of exploration in creative nonfiction. Explore the questions, stories, and lessons your body holds in this seminar with Margo Steines.

The Benefits of Creative Writing

1. why learn creative writing: improved self-expression.

Improving your writing skills leads to stronger communication. When you practice finding the right word in a story or poem, you engage the same parts of your brain that are active in everyday writing and speaking. A creative writing course subconsciously turns you into a more effective communicator.

The importance of precise language and self-advocacy translates well into both interpersonal relationships and working environments. Take it from this expert on how writing and self-advocacy results in career and leadership success.

2. Why Learn Creative Writing: Job Success

This brings us to our next point: great writing leads to job success. Of course, your boss probably isn’t expecting you to write emails in the form of a short story or a sonnet – though if they are expecting this, you have a pretty cool boss.

In reality, almost every job requires some sort of written work, whether that’s simple written communication or something more elaborate, like publishing data or marketing materials. In a creative writing class, you practice the style and grammar rules necessary for effective writing, both within the realms of literature and in career-related writing. Sharpening your writing and creativity skills might just land you your next promotion.

3. Why Learn Creative Writing: Improved Thinking Skills

Strong writing leads to strong thinking. No matter what type of writing you pursue, learning how to write is another form of learning how to think.

That might seem like a bold claim, so think about it this way. Without language, our thoughts wouldn’t have form. We might not need language to think “I’m hungry” or “I like cats,” but when it comes to more abstract concepts, language is key. How would you think about things like justice, revenge, or equality without the words to express them?

When you hone in on your ability to find choice, specific words, and when you work on the skills of effective storytelling and rhetoric , you improve your ability to think in general. Good writing yields great thinking!

4. Why Learn Creative Writing: Empathy

Reading and writing both rely on empathy, especially when it comes to being an effective workshop participant. When we read and write stories, we situate ourselves in the shoes of other people; when we read and write poetry, we let language navigate us through emotion.

The importance of creative writing relies on empathy. We practice empathy whenever we listen to another person’s life story, when someone tells us about their day, and when we sit down with a client or work partner. When we write, we practice the ability to listen as well as to speak, making us more effective communicators and more compassionate human beings.

5. Why Learn Creative Writing: It’s Fun!

In case you’re not convinced that a writing course is right for you, let’s clarify one more fact: creative writing is fun. Whether you’re in a fiction writing course, starting a memoir, crafting a poem, or writing for the silver screen, you’re creating new worlds and characters. In the sandbox of literature, you’re in control, and when you invest yourself into the craft of writing, something beautiful emerges.

The Importance of Creative Writing

Simply put, creative writing helps us preserve our humanity. What better medium to explore the human experience?

To learn creative writing, like any art form, requires compassion, contemplation, and curiosity. Writers preserve the world as they observe it in stories and poetry, and they imagine a better world by creating it in their works.

Through the decades, literature has explored society’s profound changes. Literary eons like the Naturalist movement and the Beat poets responded to the increase in Western Industrialization. Confessional poets like Virginia Woolf helped transform poetry into a medium for emotional exploration and excavation. And, genre movements like the cyberpunk writers of science fiction helped popularize the idea of an “information economy.”

Thus, the importance of creative writing lies in its ability to describe the world through an honest and unfiltered lens. Anyone who engages in creative writing, no matter the genre or style, helps us explore the human experience, share new ideas, and advocate for a better society. Whether you write your stories for yourself or share them with a wide audience, creative writing makes the world a better place.

Jobs for Creative Writers

Because creative writing isn’t a STEM discipline, many people don’t think that learning it will help their job prospects. Why learn creative writing if it doesn’t make any money?

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Creative writing skills are much sought after on resumes, since both creativity and the ability to write are soft skills in decline. Additionally, if you’re considering a career change—or ready to start one!—these are some popular jobs for creative writers.

  • Average Starting Salary: $51,000
  • Demand: High
  • Skills needed: creativity, grammar, timeliness

Copywriters help companies put their branding into words. A copywriter might write emails, blogs, website content, or ad copy that encompasses the company’s voice and purpose. Copywriting requires you to write in a mix of styles and forms, flexing your writing muscles in new and exciting ways.

Grant Writer

  • Average Starting Salary: $50,000
  • Skills needed: storytelling, research, argumentation

Nonprofits and research facilities rely on local and national grants to fund their projects. Grant writers help secure that funding, writing engaging grants that tell the organization’s story in an engaging, tailored, and convincing way. Creative writers will enjoy the opportunity to tell a meaningful story and create positive community change through this career.

Communications/Public Relations Specialist

  • Skills needed: creativity, communications, social media

A communications specialist helps drive a company’s image through various social channels. They may help create a positive narrative for their company through blogs, journalist outreach, social media, and other public-facing avenues. Much like copywriting, a PR specialist helps weave an effective story for a company.

  • Average Starting Salary: $55,000
  • Demand: Medium/High
  • Skills needed: creativity, storytelling, organization, self-reliance

The dream job for many writers is to write and sell books. Being a novelist is an admirable career choice—and also requires the most work. Not only do you have to write your stories, but you also have to market yourself in the literary industry and maintain a social presence so that publishers and readers actually read your work. It’s a tough business, but also incredibly rewarding!

Reasons to Learn Creative Writing: Finding a Writing Community

Finally, creative writing communities make the writing struggle worth it. The relationships you foster with other creative writers can last a lifetime, as no other group of people has the same appreciation for the written word. Creative writing communities create transformative experiences and encourage growth in your writing; if there’s one reason to study creative writing craft, it’s the friendships you make in the process.

You don’t need a class to start writing, but it’s never a waste of time to learn the tools of the trade. Creative writing requires the skills that can help you in everyday life, and a creative writing course can help.

At Writers.com, we believe that creative writing can transform both individual lives and the world at large. See the importance of creative writing for yourself: check out what makes our creative writing courses different , then take a look at our upcoming course calendar today.

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Sean Glatch

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Would like to apply for a course to write a novel.

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I’d be happy to help! Please email [email protected] with any questions, and we’ll find the right course for your writing.

[…] Sean. “Why Learn Creative Writing.” writers.com. June 7, 2020. https://writers.com/why-learn-creative-writing . Accessed November 7, […]

[…] And last of all it’s fun! I hope to live my life doing the things I love, with like-minded creative people who I love. I have many exciting things upcoming as I continue with the process of completing my first novel, Les Année Folles, such as publishing to my first magazine, journal, and working on the millions of short story ideas I have stored in my head. Stay tuned! References: Glatch, S. (2020, June 7). WHY LEARN CREATIVE WRITING? Retrieved from Writers.com: https://writers.com/why-learn-creative-writing […]

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How to Learn Creative Writing

Last Updated: October 21, 2021 References

This article was co-authored by Melessa Sargent . Melessa Sargent is the President of Scriptwriters Network, a non-profit organization that brings in entertainment professionals to teach the art and business of script writing for TV, features and new media. The Network serves its members by providing educational programming, developing access and opportunity through alliances with industry professionals, and furthering the cause and quality of writing in the entertainment industry. Under Melessa's leadership, SWN has won numbers awards including the Los Angeles Award from 2014 through 2021, and the Innovation & Excellence award in 2020. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 50,455 times.

Creative writing is any form of writing intended for entertainment, although it may also inform or persuade. It encompasses fiction, poetry, song lyrics, scripts, biographies, and anything that combines these elements. Although creative writing is an innate skill, it can be taught, and its techniques must be learned in order to develop as a writer. There are a number of ways to learn creative writing; the steps below cover some of these ways.

Step 1 Decide what form of creative writing interests you most.

  • To determine where to start, consider what interests you most. If you enjoy a particular genre of fiction, such as science fiction, and imagine how you would write the story differently, you may want to begin by learning to write in that genre. If you find yourself paying particular attention to the choice of words in your favorite songs, you may want to learn how to write song lyrics.
  • You may also wish to tackle a smaller project within the form of writing that interests you most, such as a short story or novella instead of an epic trilogy, or a few good songs instead of a concept album, for example.

Step 2 Take creative writing classes.

  • College campuses. Many colleges and universities offer the opportunity to major or minor in creative writing as part of a fine arts degree, or as an elective class for credits to count toward a degree in something else. These classes are usually taught by tenured or adjunct professors, with classes lasting an entire semester.
  • Community colleges. Many community colleges offer a variety of non-credit, continuing education classes for those who want to learn new things. Writing classes are often among their most popular offerings. Some community college writing classes may last a full semester, while others run only a few weeks. These classes may be taught by professors at the college or by experienced writers in the community.
  • Seminars. These are short, one- or two-day classes that may be held at a community center, a civic organization, a writer's retreat, or at a convention devoted to a particular genre. These classes are usually taught by experienced writers.
  • Online. Online creative writing classes may be offered by four-year or community colleges as an outreach program or by organizations geared solely to teaching writing online. Some classes may be offered for free, while others have charges ranging from nominal to substantial.

Step 3 Read books on creative writing.

  • General how-to books teach the basics of creative writing. These books may include techniques on how to stimulate your creativity, provide suggestions on how to structure your writing time, or offer advice on dealing with agents and publishers.
  • Technique-specific how-to books teach particular writing methods that can be applied across a number of writing genres. Dwight Swain's "Techniques of the Selling Writer," for example, teaches how to structure stories to build tension.
  • Genre-specific how-to books teach how to write in a specific genre, such as mysteries, science fiction, or romance.
  • Genre-specific reference books provide information that writers need to know to create realistic settings for their stories in that genre. There are books covering life in the Middle Ages for historical fiction and fantasy writers, books on forensics for mystery writers, and books of age-appropriate words for children's book writers.

Step 4 Attend writing workshops.

  • Most writing workshops will require you to have a piece of writing to share with the other writers attending the workshop.

Step 5 Follow writing blogs and podcasts.

  • You can find writers' groups in your area by using an Internet search engine or through Meetup.com.

Step 7 Practice.

  • If you write fiction, one way to practice is to take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWiMo), held informally during the month of November. The goal is to start and finish a writing a novel during those 30 days.

Expert Q&A

Melessa Sargent

  • As you learn more about how to write, you'll find yourself looking at published writing with a more critical eye to see how other writers apply a given technique to bring their stories to life. When you do this, read as widely in your chosen area as you can to expose yourself to a number of different styles to help you develop your own individual style. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
  • Be aware that some online writing programs are not on the up-and-up. This is usually not a problem with programs affiliated with a recognized institution of higher education but may be with a private organization. If you're not familiar with the organization behind a writing program, take the time to investigate that organization before committing your time and money. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 1

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  • ↑ Melessa Sargent. Professional Writer. Expert Interview. 14 August 2019.
  • http://www.dailywritingtips.com/creative-writing-101/
  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/18/what-creative-writing-course-taught-me
  • http://www.writersbureau.com/
  • http://learn.utoronto.ca/courses-programs/creative-writing
  • http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=770&cw_xml=details.php
  • Rodney Ruff, Omaha, NE; experienced writer and editor

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Home › Study Tips › Creative Writing Resources For Secondary School Students

What Is Creative Writing? Is It Worth Studying?

  • Published October 31, 2022

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As loose as the definition of Creative Writing is, it’s not always easy to understand. Sure, writing a story is Creative Writing. What about poems or personal essays?

Also, how does Creative Writing even help one succeed in university and career life? We empower our Creative Writing summer school students to grasp the power of creative writing and how to use it.

How? By giving them access to personalised tutorials with expert Creative Writing tutors from prestigious universities such as the University of Oxford and Cambridge.

Creative Writing doesn’t have to be confusing or intimidating. In this article, we’ll take you through a simple explanation of what Creative Writing is and why it’s helpful and relevant.

What is Creative Writing? 

The simplest description of Creative Writing is what it’s not: it doesn’t revolve around facts like technical writing.

Technical Writing vs Creative Writing

You encounter technical writing in your daily life. You’ll find it in newspapers, journal articles, and textbooks. Do you notice how the presentation of accurate information is necessary in each of these mediums? 

Because the goal of technical writing is to explain or relay information as it is .  

But in creative writing, such is not the case. The primary goal of Creative Writing is not to present complex information for the sake of educating the audience. 

Instead, the goal is to express yourself. Should you want to share information via Creative Writing, the objective becomes persuading your readers to think about it as you do.

Hence, if you contrast Technical Writing and Creative Writing within this context,

  • Technical Writing: share information without biases
  • Creative Writing: self-expression of how one feels or thinks about said information.

If reducing personal opinion in Technical Writing is virtuous, in creative writing, it is criminal .

Self-Expression in Creative Writing

One must express oneself in Creative Writing to entertain, captivate, or persuade readers. Since Creative Writing involves one’s imagination and self-expression, it’s common for Creative Writers to say that they “poured a part of themselves” into their work. 

What are the different ways you can express yourself in Creative Writing?

Types of Creative Writing: 2 Major Types

The two major umbrellas of Creative Writing are Creative Nonfiction and Creative Fiction.

1. Creative Nonfiction

“Nonfiction” means writing based on actual events, persons, and experiences. Some forms of creative nonfiction include:

  • Personal Essay – here, the writer shares their personal thoughts, beliefs, or experiences.
  • Memoir – captures the writer’s memories and experiences of a life-changing past event.
  • Narrative Nonfiction – a factual event written in a story format.

2. Creative Fiction

The bulk of Creative Writing literature is found under the Creative Fiction category, such as:

  • Short Story – shorter than a novel, containing only a few scenes and characters.
  • Novel – a full-blown plot line with multiple scenes, characters, and subplots.
  • Poem – uses specific rhythm and style to express ideas or feelings
  • Play – contains dialogue and stage directions for theatre performances.
  • Screenplay – script to be used for film production (e.g. movies, video games.)

In short, Creative Fiction involves stories . Do you want more specific examples of Creative Writing? Then, you may want to read this article called “Creative Writing Examples.”

Why Is It Important to Learn Creative Writing? 

It’s essential to learn Creative Writing because of the following reasons:

1. Creative Writing is a valuable skill in school and work

As a student, you know well why Creative Writing is important. You submit written work in various situations, such as writing essays for assignments and exams. Or when you have to write a Personal Statement to apply for University. 

In these situations, your chances of getting higher grades depend on your ability to write creatively. (Even your chances of getting accepted into a top ranked creative writing university of your dreams!)

What about when you graduate? Do you use Creative Writing in your career? Convincing a recruiter to hire you via cover letters is an example of creative writing.

Once you’re hired, you’ll find that you need to write something up. It depends on your line of work and how often and complex your writing should be.

But mundane tasks such as writing an email response, coming up with a newsletter, or making a PowerPoint presentation involve creative writing.

So when you’ve practised your Creative Writing skills, you’ll find these tasks manageable. Even enjoyable! If you want to study creative writing at university, we put together what a-levels you need for creative writing .

2. Creative Writing enhances several essential skills.

Do you know that writing is thinking? At least that’s what the American Historian and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, David McCullough said.

Many people find Creative Writing challenging because it requires a combination of the following skills:

  • Observation
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Reasoning skills
  • Communication

Many of these skills make you a valuable employee in many industries. In fact, Forbes reports that:

  • Critical Thinking
  • and Emotional Intelligence

are three of the Top 10 most in-demand skills for the next decade. That’s why Creative Writing is a valuable endeavour and if you take it at university there are some great creative writing degree career prospects .

3. Creative Writing Is Therapeutic 

Do you know that Creative Writing has a significant beneficial effect on your mental and emotional health? 

A 2021 study in the Counselling & Psychotherapy Research reports that Creative Writing brought significant health benefits to nine people who worked in creative industries. Writing helped them in their cognitive processing of emotional difficulty. 

Result? Improved mood and mental well-being. 

A plethora of studies over the decades found the same results. Expressing yourself via creative writing, especially by writing in your daily journal, is beneficial for your mental and emotional health. 

4. You may want to work in a Creative Writing-related Career

Creative employment in the UK grows 2x faster than the rest of the economy. In fact, did you know that jobs in the creative industry grew by 30.6% from 2011 to 2018? 

Compare that to the average UK growth of 10.1% during the same period, and you can see the potential. 

How about in the US? The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 4% increase in employment for authors and writers from 2021 to 2031. Resulting in about 15,200 job openings yearly over the next 10 years.

The median yearly salary? It was at $69,510 as of May 2021. 

So if you’re considering a Creative Writing career, now would be a great time to do so!

How To Be A Creative Writer? 

You want to be a Creative Writer but don’t know where to start. Don’t worry! The best way to start is to learn from Creative Writing experts .

That’s why we ensure our Creative Writing summer school students have access to 1:1 personalised tutorials with expert Creative Writing tutors. 

Our Creative Writing tutors come from world-renowned universities such as the University of Cambridge and Oxford. So you’re in excellent hands!

Here you’ll learn creative writing tips and techniques , such as character creation and plot mapping. But the best part is, you’ll come out of the course having experienced what a Creative Writer is like!

Because by then, you’ll have a Written Portfolio to show for your efforts. Which you presented to your tutor and peers for receiving constructive feedback.

Another surefire way to start becoming a Creative Writer is by practising. Check out this article called “ Creative Writing Exercises .” You’ll begin building a writing routine if you practice these exercises daily. 

And trust us, every great writer has a solid writing routine!

Creative Writing is a form of self-expression that allows you to use your imagination and creativity. It can be in the form of personal essays, short stories, or poems. It is often used as an outlet for emotions and experiences. Start with creative writing by reading through creative writing examples to help get you in the mood. Then, just let the words flow daily, and you’re on the road to becoming an excellent Creative Writer!

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We’ve got you covered on all these topics and more. Each 10-part course is delivered to your inbox, making these the most convenient creative writing courses on the internet. By saving both time and money, you’ll be able to reinvest in your dreams and get one step closer toward making them a reality.

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Creative Writing: What It Is and Why It Matters

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on Published: January 13, 2023  - Last updated: January 15, 2023

Categories Writing

Writing can be intimidating for many people, but creative writing doesn’t have to be. Creative writing is a form of self-expression that allows writers to create stories, characters, and unique settings. But what exactly is creative writing? And why is it important in today’s society? Let’s explore this further.

How We Define Creative Writing

Creative writing is any form where writers can express their thoughts and feelings imaginatively. This type of writing allows authors to draw on their imagination when creating stories and characters and play with language and structure. While there are no boundaries in creative writing, most pieces will contain dialogue, description, and narrative elements.

The Importance of Creative Writing

Creative writing is important because:

  • It helps us express ourselves in ways we may not be able to do with other forms of communication.
  • It allows us to explore our creativity and think outside the box.
  • It can help us better understand our emotions by exploring them through storytelling or poetry.
  • Writing creatively can also provide much-needed escapism from everyday life, allowing us to escape into a world of our creation.
  • Creative writing helps us connect with others by sharing our experiences through stories or poems they can relate to. This way, we can gain insight into other people’s lives while giving them insight into ours.

Creative Writing: A Path to Mental and Emotional Wellness

Writing is more than just a way to express your thoughts on paper. It’s a powerful tool that can be used as a form of therapy. Creative writing has been shown to improve emotional and mental well-being.

Through creative writing, we can gain insight into our emotions, develop self-expression and communication skills, cultivate empathy and understanding of others, and boost our imagination and creativity.

Let’s examine how creative writing can relieve stress and emotional catharsis.

Stress Relief and Emotional Catharsis

Writing has the power to reduce stress levels significantly. Writing about our experiences or about things that are causing us anxiety or distress helps us to release those complicated feelings constructively. By expressing ourselves through creative writing, we can work through the emotions associated with stressful situations without having to confront them directly.

This is especially helpful for people who struggle to share their emotions verbally or in person.

Improved Communication and Self-Expression

Creative writing is also beneficial for improving communication skills. Through creative writing, we can explore our thoughts and feelings more intensely than by speaking them aloud. This allows us to think more clearly about what we want to say before actually saying it out loud or in written form, which leads to improved self-expression overall.

Additionally, writing out our thoughts before speaking aloud allows us to articulate ourselves better when communicating with others—which is essential for healthy personal and professional relationships.

Increased Empathy and Understanding of Others

Through creative writing, we can also increase our empathy towards others by exploring different perspectives on various topics that may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable for us—such as racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.—and allowing ourselves the opportunity to see the situation from someone else’s point of view without judgment or bias. This helps us become better communicators and more understanding individuals overall.

The Professional Benefits of Creative Writing

Creative writing is a powerful tool that can help you communicate better and more effectively in the professional world. It can also help you develop various skills that prove invaluable in many industries. Whether you’re looking to build your résumé or improve your communication, creative writing can effectively achieve both.

Let’s take a closer look at how creative writing can benefit your career.

Preparing Students for Careers in Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Creative writing is the perfect foundation for anyone interested in pursuing a career in writing, editing, or publishing. It teaches students the basics of grammar and composition while allowing them to express their ideas in imaginative ways.

Creative writing classes also allow students to learn from professionals who have experience as editors, agents, and publishers. They can use this knowledge to learn creative writing, refine their craft and gain valuable experience before entering the job market.

Improving Skills in Storytelling and Marketing for Various Careers

Creative writing teaches students to think critically about stories and craft compelling narratives that draw readers in. This skill is precious for those who wish to pursue careers outside traditional writing roles—such as marketing or advertising—where storytelling is key.

People who understand the fundamentals of creative writing will be able to create persuasive copy that resonates with readers and effectively conveys a message.

Enhancing Team Collaboration and Leadership Skills

Creative writing isn’t just about expressing yourself through words; it also provides an opportunity to practice working collaboratively with others on projects. Many creative writing classes require students to work together on group projects, which helps them develop essential teamwork skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

As they work together on these projects, they will also gain confidence in their ability to lead teams effectively—an invaluable asset no matter what industry they pursue after graduation.

Uncovering the Power of Creative Writing

Creative writing has become an increasingly powerful force in shaping our society. Creative writing has many uses, from preserving cultural heritage to promoting social change.

Preserving Cultural Heritage with Creative Writing

Creative writing has long been used to preserve and share cultural heritage stories. This is done through fictional stories or poetry that explore a particular culture or group’s history, values, and beliefs. By weaving these stories in an engaging way, writers can bring a culture’s history and traditions to life for readers worldwide. This helps bridge cultural gaps by providing insight into what makes each culture unique.

Promoting Social Change & Activism with Creative Writing

Creative writing can also be used for activism and social change. Writers can craft stories that help promote awareness about important issues such as poverty, race relations, gender equality, climate change, and more.

With the power of words, writers can inspire readers to take action on these issues and work towards creating positive change in their communities.

Through creative writing, writers can raise awareness about important topics while fostering empathy toward individuals who may be facing difficult or challenging situations.

Fostering Creativity & Innovation with Creative Writing

Finally, creative writing can foster creativity and innovation in various fields. For example, businesses can use creative copywriting techniques to create compelling content that captures the attention of customers or potential investors.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can use storytelling techniques when pitching their ideas or products to potential partners or investors to make their cases more persuasive and memorable.

By harnessing the power of words through creative writing techniques, businesses can create content that resonates with their target audience while inspiring them to take action on whatever message they’re trying to convey. It often aids the overall creative process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of creative writing.

Creative writing has many benefits, both for the writer and the reader. For the writer, it can be therapeutic, helping them to explore their emotions and better understand themselves. It can also be used as entertainment or communication, allowing them to share their ideas with the world. For the reader, creative writing can provide enjoyment, escapism, and insights into the human condition.

How can I improve my creative writing skills?

There are several ways you can improve your creative writing skills. Firstly, make sure you allow yourself time to write regularly. Use a writing prompt to inspire a short story. Secondly, read as much as you can; great writers are also great readers. Thirdly, experiment with different styles and genres to find one that suits you best. Fourthly, join a writers’ group, writing workshop, or creative writing program to get feedback from other writers. Finally, keep a journal to track your progress and reflect on your work as a creative writer.

What is the importance of imagery in creative writing?

Imagery is an important element of creative writing, as it helps to create a more vivid picture for the reader. By using sensory and descriptive language, writers can transport readers into their stories and help them relate to their characters or themes. Imagery can bring a scene alive with detail and evoke emotion by helping readers create strong visual images in their minds. Furthermore, imagery can help make stories more memorable by giving readers a deeper connection with the characters or setting.

What are the elements of creative writing?

The elements of creative writing include plot, character, dialogue, setting, theme, and point of view. The plot is the structure or main storyline, while the character is the personage involved in this story. Dialogue includes conversations between characters to give insight into their emotions and relationships. Setting refers to the place or time in which a story takes place, while theme explores deeper meanings behind a story’s narrative. Finally, point of view defines how readers experience a story through first-person or third-person omniscient narration.

What’s the difference between creative writing and other types of writing?

The main difference between creative writing and other types of writing is that it allows the writer to create their own story, characters, settings, and themes. Creative writing also encourages writers to be inventive with their style and use descriptive language to evoke emotion or bring stories alive in readers’ minds. Other academic or technical writing types typically involve more research-based information and are usually more objective in their presentation. Additionally, most forms of non-creative writing will have stricter rules regarding grammar, structure, and syntax.

What is the golden rule of creative writing?

The golden rule of creative writing is to show, not tell. It’s the core creative writing skill. When it comes to creative writing, it’s essential to use descriptive language that immerses readers in the story and allows them to experience the events through their emotions and imaginations. This can be done through metaphors, similes, sensory language, and vivid imagery.

How important is creativity in writing?

Creativity is essential in writing as it allows writers to craft a unique story and evoke emotion from the reader. Creativity can bring stories alive with fresh perspectives and exciting plot lines while creating an escape for readers and giving them more profound insights into the human condition. Writers who combine creativity with technical aspects such as grammar, structure, language usage, and flow will create pieces that capture their audience’s attention and provide an enjoyable reading experience.

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > How you can use AI to help you learn more about poetry

How you can use AI to help you learn more about poetry

Whether you’re a beginning writer, a literary award winner, or a curious reader, there’s always something more to learn about poetry—a writing genre that encompasses thousands of cultures and years. See how AI tools can generate writing prompts that can spark creativity, analyze existing works for powerful metaphors and themes, or generate comparable works in different poetic styles.

A fountain pen

Ask AI for creative writing prompts

The beauty of creative writing is that anything can be used as a jumping-off point for a beautiful work. Use AI-powered tools to generate creative writing prompts such as a random phrase, a full line of poetry, or a set of words that can be connected into a unified work. All of these can be used as a starting point for writing poetry: you can challenge students to flex their creative muscles and see what kind of interesting and unusual angles that this work can lead to.

AI for poetry analysis

AI can be used for poetry analysis, no matter what style you’re exploring. The lengthy narratives of epic poetry , for example, can seem dense and daunting at first. But by asking AI to analyze a work for theme, tone, imagery, and other literary devices, you can discover meanings and clues to what a line might hold, how effective the work is at conveying its themes, and gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics of poetry.

If you’re looking to analyze your own work, AI tools can provide feedback on areas like grammar, syntax, and the voice of your narrator. This can help you discover hidden or subtle meanings that you may have never thought of before! Once you put another perspective on your own creative work, you might even wind up with a breakthrough in your own themes and message.

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Understand different poetic forms with AI-generated examples

You can easily explore poetic forms with AI by drawing upon it to provide examples of various forms. Many writers know what a haiku is, for example, but do you know what a ghazal or pantoum is?

In a ghazal, each couplet ends on the same word or phrase, and is preceded by the couplet’s rhyming word—notice how the couplets end with the first few lines of Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s “Red Ghazal:”

I’ve noticed after a few sips of tea, the tip of her tongue, thin and red with heat, quickens when she describes her cuts and bruises—deep violets and red.

The little girl I baby-sit, hair orange and wild, sits splayed and upside down on a couch, insists her giant book of dinosaurs is the only one she’ll ever read.

The night before I left him, I could not sleep, my eyes fixed on the freckles of his shoulder, the glow of the clock, my chest heavy with dread.

And in a pantoum, the second and fourth lines of each stanza are used as the first and third lines of the next one, and poems usually have four to five stanzas—such as in A.E. Stallings’ “Another Lullaby for Insomniacs:”

Sleep, she will not linger: She turns her moon-cold shoulder. With no ring on her finger, You cannot hope to hold her. She turns her moon-cold shoulder And tosses off the cover. You cannot hope to hold her: She has another lover. She tosses off the cover And lays the darkness bare. She has another lover. Her heart is otherwhere. She lays the darkness bare. You slowly realize Her heart is otherwhere. There’s distance in her eyes. You slowly realize That she will never linger, With distance in her eyes And no ring on her finger.

Asking AI what either of these forms is, and providing examples, can help you unlock new and unusual poetic forms. And when you ask AI to rewrite an existing work into a new poetic form, you might gain insight into how these phrasings, stanzas, and couplets work. These tools can enhance and supplement your creative writing process.

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Craft the perfect creative writing prompt from Microsoft Designer's AI images

march 22, 2024

A headshot of Monica Jayasighe, who is wearing a black floral shirt and smiling in front of an off-white background.

by Monica Jayasinghe

Hello, fellow educators! I recently discovered an exciting way to create engaging writing prompts for my students using AI and Microsoft Designer . The results were amazing, and I can't wait to share this fun and innovative approach with you!

Describing the Vision:

To get started, head over to Microsoft Designer . We'll use the power of AI to generate an image that will serve as the foundation for our writing prompt.

We'll use Image Creator , where you can describe the image you want to create. The goal is to generate an image that will capture your students' imagination and inspire them to write.

For this example, I entered the prompt, A spacecraft landing near a house, futuristic, mysterious.

The results of the prompt "A spacecraft landing near a house, futuristic, mysterious."

Choose the image you want to work with

Once you select Generate , Microsoft Designer will provide you with a variety of AI-generated images. Since we're creating a writing prompt, look for an image that has space for adding instructions and is easy to read.

You'll be amazed by the number of options available! When you find an image you like, click on it and select Edit image .

Customize the image

After selecting your preferred image, it's time to customize it.

  • Click on Resize in the top panel and adjust the dimensions to match a PowerPoint slide. This will ensure that the image fits perfectly when you're ready to present it to your students. You can also align the image anywhere on the page to create the perfect composition.
  • In the box labeled AI tools , you'll see additional customization options. Consider playing with the filters to update the mood and color scheme of your image.

Add instructions and text

To make the writing prompt clear and easy to read, click on the existing text and customize it. To add a heading, click on Text in the left panel. The right panel will populate with even more ideas you can use.

Designer's text suggestions for the image

In this example, I changed the color to white and added a story starter.

The spaceship image with the words "A visitor arrives"

Engage your students

The possibilities for using AI-generated images as writing prompts are endless! Here are a few options:

Get inspired by the artwork

The most obvious way to use these images is as direct inspiration for student writing. Generate a bold, fantastical, emotional, or silly image and have students write a story about what's happening in the image.

Try this prompt: A whimsical classroom under the sea. The teacher is a wise old octopus. The classroom is decorated with shell desks and seaweed streamers .

The results of the prompt "  https://designer.microsoft.com/image-creator?p=A+whimsical+classroom+%5Bin%2Funder%5D+%5Bthe+sea%5D.+The+teacher+is+a+wise+old+%5Boctopus%5D.+The+classroom+is+decorated+with+%5Bshell%5D+desks+and+%5Bseaweed+streamers%5D.+&referrer=PromptTemplate Edit Edit   Remove Remove       A whimsical classroom under the sea. The teacher is a wise old octopus. The classroom is decorated with shell desks and seaweed streamers."

Bring stories to life

Another great idea is to take an excerpt from a story you're reading in class and use the AI to generate an image that matches that specific part of the story. This will spark engaging discussions among your students and bring the story to life in a whole new way.

Bring units to life

Why stop at a story? You can also generate images that fit the theme of a unit you're working on, whether you're exploring weather patterns or reliving life on the Oregon Trail.

Consider setting aside some time each day or week for students to free write or journal. Kick off the writing session with an AI-generated image, then throw on some light classical music and let them write. Mix up the kind of images you show them, from lush landscapes to abstract pop art, and see what it inspires.

Try this prompt: An abstract painting in vivid colors

The results of the prompt "An abstract painting in vivid colors"

You can even include animated options. After you generate your image in Microsoft Designer, select the image and Create Design . In the right-hand panel that appears, you'll see several design options. Usually, one or more of these options will be animated. Select the animated option and add it to your PowerPoint!

Accessing your AI-generated images

One of the best features of Microsoft Designer is that all the images you create using AI are saved in the My Media section. This means you'll never lose your creations and can easily access them whenever you need them.

This feature enables educators to curate a collection of visuals for various writing themes, be it aliens, dragons, or any other imaginative scenario.

Wrapping up

Microsoft Designer is a game-changer for educators looking to inspire their students' creativity. The AI-generated images, customization options, and easy access to your creations make this a powerful tool for any classroom.

Head over to designer.microsoft.com today and start creating unforgettable writing prompts!

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