MA Creative Writing

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Creative Non-Fiction Workshop

Unit code ENGL71742
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by English and American Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No


Taught by workshop, with each class looking at different ways in which techniques from fiction, poetry and the essay may be used to develop student work.


'To develop students' critical reading skills, so they are able to offer clear and constructive feedback on work-in-progress
-To explore at the practical level the particular demands and difficulties of writing creative non-fiction.
-To develop students' ability to present their own work in a form which accords with generally recognised conventions within the publishing industry.
-To encourage students to improve their own writing by responding intelligently and selectively to a variety of feedback.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
-Make clear and useful suggestions as to how to revise the early draft of a work-in-progress

Intellectual skills
-Recognise some of the particular challenges and requirements of writing creative non-fiction.

Practical skills
-Effectively revise and improve their own writing in response to feedback

Transferable skills and personal qualities
-Present their own work in a form which accords with generally accepted conventions.

Assessment methods

Creative non-fiction piece 100%


Recommended reading

Course reader featuring work by Michel de Montaigne, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Edward Hoagland, Oliver Sacks, Ali Smith, Colm Toibin, Kathleen Jamie, Martin Amis, Annie Dillard, Geoff Dyer, Leanne Shapton and Tim Robinson in addition to books by Joan Didion, Edward de Waal, Jeanette Winterson

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 267

Additional notes

This team-taught course unit is designed to develop students' work in the area of non-fiction, a genre which is a valuable element in any professional writer's working life.  Looking at the essay, biography, reviews and memoir, the workshop aims to hone awareness of how different formal choices and approaches affect the treatment of content. The course unit will further sharpen students' understanding of craft, form and genre, and aims both to refine the practice of reading as a writer, and to introduce students to new ways of framing and developing their material.


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