You will learn among a community of writers and scholars, taking a series of structured modules across the discipline. You will study four core taught modules plus a dissertation.
The Writer’s Workshop
The module provides an introduction to technical and conceptual issues encountered by the creative writer, along with research training to facilitate the critical work you will have to complete as part of your studies. The module introduces you to creative writing techniques and genres by analysing other people’s writing and through hands-on practice, as well as introducing you to the procedures and challenges of the creative writing workshop environment. The module also provides guidelines on how to approach agents/editors, along with a grounding in research practices.
Assessment: A 5,000-word portfolio of creative writing, and a 3,000-word portfolio of critical writing
Creative Writing Masterclass: From Workshop to Bookshop
This module builds on the research and professional skills developed in The Writer’s Workshop. It provides a venue for in-depth editorial discussion of your own work, while also providing systematic training in editing and in providing detailed, constructive critiques of other writers’ works. The module will help you to articulate your personal artistic vision in both formal and conceptual terms by studying a range of artistic manifestos and writerly positions.
Assessment: A 5,000-word portfolio of creative writing, and a 3,000-word portfolio of critical/professional writing
Poem as Story – Story as Poem
This module allows for a simultaneous focus on poetry and fiction, allowing you to work in both forms rather than choosing to be a “poet” or “prose writer” at this stage in your development as a writer. There will be weekly writing exercises and the opportunity to critique the work of your peers as well as a weekly set text exploring contemporary poetry and fiction.
Assessment: A 3,000-word poetry and/or short fiction portfolio and a 2,000-word essay
Intertextuality: Story, Genre, Craft
This module encourages you to explore notions of intertextuality, viewed as an integral part of all creative writing, and representing a broad continuum, from one-off textual allusions or verbal echoes on the one hand, to full-length adaptations on the other. 'Story' and 'story-telling’ will be used as a focus for identifying both generic and genre-specific, popular and literary, narrative techniques and conventions (to include a focus on language, character, plot, time and vision). In addition, you will explore ways in which 'reading' in the broadest possible sense can generate ideas, strategies and structures for the developing writer. This will entail an engagement with narratology and with aspects of genre theory and translation theory, key principles of which will be illustrated through case studies of texts that form part of intertextual clusters.
Assessment: A 3,000-word piece of creative writing in any genre, and a 2,000-word analysis of the intertextual relationships between two or more of the literary texts studied, with reference to your own creative writing
In addition to your taught modules, you will complete a dissertation. This will be 75% creative portfolio and 25% critical essay. You will write a 12,000-word portfolio of creative work in the form of a screenplay, excerpt of a novel, a collection of short fiction or a collection of poetry (600 lines). This will be accompanied by a 3,000-word essay placing your work in a critical and creative context, with reference to your development as a writer over the course of the MA. You will receive feedback on dissertation work in progress during one-to-one tutorials and/or in small group work-sharing seminars with peers (groups divided along the lines of genre/form and led by a specialist in this field).