Writing Science Fiction

6 weeks
Start Date
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Writing Science Fiction

Whether you’re mapping out a dystopian trilogy, orchestrating an epic space opera, putting your own twist on the metaverse, or dreaming up the next stage of human evolution, this is the course for you.

Join award-winning author Adam Roberts – Sci-Fi’s most outrageous experimentalist’ (The Times) – for a six-week voyage into the genre with the greatest imaginative potential and capacity.

Learn how to develop your novum (‘new thing’), build a compelling world, people it with extraordinary characters, and write a story that transports your readers to somewhere that’s entirely yours.

Fleshing out your new world and portraying futuristic concepts with style to structuring your narrative and learning how to make your story exciting to readers. This course will be equally helpful to novice writers and to those with lots of experience who want to delve into the realm of SF writing.

The course provided me with some refreshing new insights in the genre.

Francois van de Merwe


Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is a science fiction writer, and Professor of Nineteenth-century Literature and Culture at Royal Holloway University of London. He has published 23 novels, most recently Purgatory Mount (Gollancz 2021; shortlisted for the Prometheus Award) and The This (Gollancz 2022), as well as dozens of short stories and many critical and non-fiction books, on SF and other topics – his It's The End of the World, But What Are We Really Afraid Of? (Elliot & Thompson 2019) won the 2020 BSFA Award for non-fiction. He wrote a History of Science Fiction (Palgrave 2nd edition 2016) and H G Wells: a Literary Life (Palgrave 2018) and he is a Vice-President of the H G Wells Society. He is a FRSL, and was chair of judges for the 2022 Orwell Prize for Fiction.


  • Video modules: Work through six modules comprising teaching videos and substantial notes from Adam, on topics including worldbuilding, narrative structure and navigating beloved tropes of the genre while avoiding clichés.
  • Writing tasks: Weekly writing tasks set by Adam on a range of topics including creating conflict, playing with prose and layering your characters.
  • Resources & notes: You’ll get access to multiple Case Studies, additional resources and teaching notes, including examples from Adam’s work.
  • Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback on several of the students' practical assignments every week, with all students receiving feedback on one of their writing tasks. Students are also given the option to purchase additional end-of-course feedback from our expert editors.
  • Student forum: Find your writing community on our private student forums. Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.


Our online courses are designed for flexible learning. Allocate your own study time and take part from wherever you are in the world. Each week, we recommend spending at least four hours on the course. It’s also important to be working on your SF novel throughout the six weeks.

  • WEEK 1
    The fundamentals of Sci-Fi
  • WEEK 2
    Novum-wrangling & worldbuilding
  • WEEK 3
  • WEEK 4
    Style in Sci-Fi
  • WEEK 5
    Writing character
  • WEEK 6
    What comes next?


All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor.

  • CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our CBC editors.
  • CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our CBC editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.