Developing Writing 1: Craft, Form and Genre / Exploratory Writing
This module aims to develop students’ writing practice and craft skills in their chosen genre(s). It will also encourage experimentation with writing, both in terms of pushing students’ current practice in new directions, and in trying new forms and ideas. Module teaching will involve workshops, discussions, exploratory exercises, example case studies and writer talks. There will be a focus on craft skills, as well as philosophical discussion around established conventions and the current received wisdom about what makes ‘good writing’ in an international context. It is envisaged that, in this module, students will be able to pursue their chosen writing pathways but also have the space to experiment and try new things. Subject areas covered will include fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, new media writing and experimental forms.
The Writing Ecosystem 1: Navigating networks
This module will focus on markets for creative writing in terms of publishing and production of written work. It will also investigate local, national and international ecosystems that provide paid commissions, professional development and support for writers. We will look at submitting work for publication, applying for grants, writing as a business and the publishing/production industries. We will also explore the avenue of producing your own work independently, both in terms of self-publishing and indie filmmaking via crowdfunding etc. The module will be taught by Creative Writing staff members but enhanced by visits from writing and publishing professionals.
Researching as a Writer 1: Icebergs and Audience
This is one of two creative writing research modules and takes as its focus Hemingway’s model of the iceberg; the idea that only an eighth of what the writer knows is visible to the reader. Students will understand, through practice, what the other seven-eighths consists of in terms of the practical, historical, and speculative research necessary to bring a piece of creative writing to life for a reader. It will involve looking at how writers build worlds, characters and stories, how they research settings, time periods and ideas. We will consider the use of archives, mood boards, video resources, images, paintings, newspapers, other fictional texts, websites, wider reading and experiences to aid them in creation of believable worlds, characters and stories, imagery, voice, or supplementary knowledge in poetry/experimental work. It will also look at the ways writers work to find creativity and ideas, and habits they use to enhance their practice.
The Writing Ecosystem 2: Performance, Presentation, Pedagogy
In the current professional landscape, it is imperative that writers are able to present themselves and their work, as they will need to be involved in events and promote their work and profile. This module prepares students for this aspect of writing life. Most writers also end up talking about their process and answering questions, running workshops or even teaching creative writing as part of a portfolio career. So, in addition to the presentational and networking skills, we will also consider teaching creative writing and pedagogy.
Developing Writing 2: Case Study / Negotiated Module
This module allows students to investigate other subjects that will feed into the final dissertation. Possibilities for this module may include: auditing a course elsewhere (for example, forensic science, or an undergraduate writing module); learning a language; a work placement; or experimenting in creative writing pedagogy. This module will be supported by collective sessions, and will be assessed by a creative or critical assignment, individually negotiated.
Researching as a Writer 2: Practising ideas, articulating practice
The second research module tackles how students approach understanding and articulating the research issues and questions that underpin specific projects, and their emerging sense of their wider writing practice. It gives students the opportunity to situate their writing, and thinking, amongst contemporary issues and ideas. These concerns may range across considerations of creativity, play, knowledge, gender, identity, sexuality, class, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Students will also explore the tradition of manifestoes, and the rich international heritage of ‘poetics’ as a speculative hybrid discourse, a mid-point between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. They will experience leading a workshop discussion of reading they may select, and write an extended ‘essay’ that might itself be formally experimental, or contain aspects of manifesto and poetics.
The final dissertation module is an extended creative project. This might be a collection of poems or short stories, a novel extract, a creative non-fiction piece, or an experimental cross-platform/genre piece, supported by a critical or reflective commentary. The module gives students the chance to develop extensive work in their chosen genre and form with the expert help of a supervisor. The word count is usually 20,000-25,000 words, although extent is more important than count; thus a poetry collection might have the appropriate extent, even though the word count is significantly lower.
Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.