I have a question about your Beginning to Write courses
We’ve compiled a separate FAQ for questions relating to our Beginning To Write courses.
How can I be added to the Big Smoke newsletter?
Sign up for our newsletter here to be kept up to date with upcoming courses, workshops, events and special deals.
Does Big Smoke offer a discount for students or the unemployed?
In 2009, when Big Smoke opened, we had the following to say about this: Our recession/unemployment discount is already folded into our price for our courses. We offer a high quality of teaching and student support at Big Smoke, while at the same time keeping our operational costs low in order to keep our courses prices reasonable for our students. Our prices have been set deliberately to accommodate the current economic climate; unfortunately any further discount would render us non-operational. We have maintained these prices into 2018 and hope to be able to continue to do so. Please contact us with any queries relating to this matter.
Does Big Smoke offer courses for children or teenagers?
Most of our courses are designed for adults. Courses specifically for young people, when offered, will be labelled as such (e.g. ‘Creative Writing – workshop for teens’, or our Dublin Young Authors programme.)
Does Big Smoke offer other courses apart from those on-site?
How can I be sure if a course is right for me?
The first thing we suggest is reading the course descriptions carefully. Please feel free to get in touch with a member of the Big Smoke team, or come along to one of our open days (upcoming days will be advertised on our website and in our newsletter) to discuss your options.
As a general rule of thumb, our classes are open to all adults interested in creative writing; where there are prerequisites (e.g having taken a class before, having a project in mind to work on) these will be noted in the course description.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to allow participants to ‘try out’ a course to see if they like it.
What's the difference between a class and a workshop?
Broadly speaking, a class is more ‘taught’ – the focus will be on your facilitator exploring particular topics with you and suggesting writing exercises. A workshop typically includes participants sharing their work with the group to receive constructive criticism from their fellow students and the facilitator. In practice, most of our courses (particularly those that run over a number of weeks) have a workshop element, but for beginner-level classes this is a smaller component of the course.
If you need more information about the format of a particular course, do get in touch.
How can I register and pay for a course?
Firstly, please take a look at our class/workshop policies.
Payment may be made in four ways:
- Cash (only at Big Smoke open registration days)
- Paypal (links for each time/date a course is running follow the particular course description)
- Cheque or money order sent through the post (to be postmarked at least 1 week before course start date), accompanied by a registration form
- Bank transfer (see here for more details), accompanied by a registration form
Within 10 working days of receipt of payment, Big Smoke will email you with confirmation of payment and enrollment. If we haven’t been in touch by then, please email us.
Are your classes wheelchair-accessible?
Unfortunately, like many buildings in Dublin city centre, the building we work from is an old Georgian building and cannot be accessed via wheelchair. There are also no classrooms or bathrooms on the ground floor. Do note that we often provide workshops for/in association with other venues and would be happy to liaise with individuals or organisations on this matter.
How do your online courses work?
Our online courses are conducted through an online classroom, which participants will be sent an invitation to a few days before the course begins. New modules are posted every Monday morning and work is submitted directly to your tutor via the classroom. There are also discussion threads etc for everyone taking the class, but no live chats – the courses are designed to suit people who want to be able to access the material on their own schedules. In terms of time commitment, we suggest dedicating a minimum of two sessions of 1-2 hours per week to our online courses.