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Creative Writing


Creative Writing


This is a senior creative writing course intended for students with a serious interest in writing and in reading as creative writers. Don’t expect to knock off work and scrape by. Entrance to the course is subject to the submission of creative work, in progress or completed, for the consideration of the department. The Postgraduate Creative Writing course is taught by means of seminars and individual consultations. For all seminars there will be both reading tasks and writing tasks. While there is some flexibility in course structure in order to accommodate the needs and interests of students, the course aims to cover the following:

1. The workshop seminar – whys and wherefores
2. Reading as a write
3. Writers on writing (and reading)
4. Short Fiction
5. Poetry
6. Creative Non-Fiction
7. Shaping the writing project and the critical essay
8 – 12: student presentations and structured critiques


A list of a few general readings is given below. Except for the online materials, students will be provided with the general readings. It is compulsory to come to class having done the specified preparation.

Course Readings may include the following, along with many extracts from books:

Raymond Carver, “A Small, Good Thing”

Olufemi Terry, “Stick Fighting Days”

Wells Tower, “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned”

Anne Carson, “The Glass Essay”

Tasks and Marks

  1. Students must submit a piece of creative-critical work in response to the primary and secondary reading material covered in seminars 1 – 6. (This represents the class mark and is 20% of the overall course mark.)
  2. By the end of the course, all participants must have produced a substantial piece of creative writing – a collection of poems, for example, or approximately four stories or four non-fiction pieces. (This will represent 50% of the overall course mark.)
  3. Finally, there is the 4-hour controlled writing exercise which is written in the exam period at the end of term. Here, with reference to both core readings (seminars 1 – 6) and individual reading lists compiled by supervisors (seminars 7 – 12), candidates must discuss the processes of reading, thinking, composition and revision involved in producing their final creative text. (This will represent 30% of the course mark.)


All Honours students will be expected to participate in Research Seminars, normally held on a Thursday afternoon at CALS (the Centre for African Literary Studies), at which English Studies staff present work in progress and visiting scholars give papers.

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