Search our site
Search our site

Independent Creative Writing

  • Module code: CW5002
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 5
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Completion of Level 4 CW or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This is a dissertation-style module, taught through a combination of small-group sessions and individual tutorials, in which students will have the opportunity to work on a sustained creative writing project of their choosing. They will produce a substantial piece of writing in a chosen form, having undertaken contextual reading in that form and engaged in other research as appropriate, such as location scouting, conducting interviews, or visiting archives and specialist collections. Through group workshops and presentations, as well as one-on-one tutorials, students will receive constructive feedback and guidance on how to plan, structure, write, revise, and edit their projects, and gain advice in developing the skills and habits necessary to working independently. In addition, students will learn how to plan strategies for the possible dissemination and promotion of their projects in the world outside the university, as professional authors would, such as through various methods of publication or performance. By learning to work independently and by planning the dissemination and promotion of their projects, students will acquire the entrepreneurial skills and abilities necessary for success in self-employment and in other professions.

Aims

This module aims to:

  • Enable students to acquire confidence in their ability to communicate their creative ideas effectively in a sustained manner
  • Encourage students towards the further development of the crucial skills of research, drafting and revision which are necessary to working independently
  • Nurture the habits of concentration, self-motivation, and discipline, which are central to the success of creative writers
  • Develop students’ awareness of avenues for disseminating and promoting their work to a wider audience outside the university

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Produce a sustained piece of creative writing, which has been researched, drafted, and revised carefully and repeatedly.
  • Employ the working and research habits necessary to successful creative writing and revision
  • Demonstrate a growing confidence in their ability to express themselves clearly and creatively, both in writing and orally
  • Display critical awareness of the skills and techniques developed and used in their writing
  • Show an understanding of how their work can be distributed, published and/or performed, and promoted in the world outside the university

Curriculum content

  • Planning, and proposing for approval, a substantial piece of writing in a chosen form
  • Discussion of research methods and strategies appropriate to creative writers, including but not limited to contextual reading, field trips, note taking, and interviewing
  • Tutor- and peer-led workshopping of students’ draft pieces, giving students the opportunity to offer and receive constructive feedback
  • Individual tutorials and visits to CASE for additional feedback and advice
  • Planning how to disseminate and promote a piece of creative writing in the world outside the university, as a professional author would, such as through various avenues of publication (for instance, literary magazines, competitions, websites, blogs, anthologies, pamphlets, e-books, self-publishing) or performance (such as readings, open-mike nights, festivals, conference presentations, multimedia installations, outreach events)

Teaching and learning strategy

The module will be taught wholly by means of group seminars and individual tutorials. The seminars will serve as a forum for the presentation and workshopping of draft writing and the discussion of topics such as research methods, how to devise and sustain a creative writing project, editing and revising strategies, and avenues of dissemination. Periodically scheduled individual tutorials will provide students with detailed, personalised feedback and guidance. Students will also be expected to work more independently in weeks when individual tutorials are held, for instance by organising peer-led workshops or participating in e-workshopping. 

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 11 two-hr seminars 22
Scheduled learning and teaching 11 two-hr tutorial blocks 22
Guided independent study 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment is through: a creative writing project worth 70%, designed to test students’ skills in expression in a sustained piece of writing in a particular genre, as well as their ability to research and revise successfully; and a critical commentary worth 30%, designed to test students’ ability to comment analytically on the skills and techniques used in their writing, as well as their understanding of how their work can be disseminated in the wider world. 

 A range of formative assessments in the form of assignments determined by the module leader, such as developing and presenting a project proposal and research plan, will be set. These will be undertaken both in class and during independent study. Other formative assessments will take the form of draft pieces of creative writing examined in individual tutorials and in seminars, where the workshopping of these pieces will provide further feedback to students. All of these formative assessments will provide regular feedback to students so that they can develop an awareness of their level of progress and of their strengths and weaknesses. Students’ discussions with their seminar tutors, peers, and CASE staff will assist in the development of strategies for improvement and enhancement.

Preliminary drafts of the creative writing project and  the critical commentary are to be submitted for formative assessment at the end of Teaching Block One. This will provide detailed written feedback to students midway through the module.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Produce a sustained piece of creative writing, which has been researched, drafted, and revised carefully and repeatedly Summatively by Creative Project (70%); Formatively through discussions, peer review and exercises, and submission of half the project for feedback at the end of Teaching Block One.
Employ the working and research habits necessary to successful creative writing and revision Summatively by Creative Project (70%); Formatively through discussions, peer review and exercises, and submission of half the project for feedback at the end of Teaching Block One.
Demonstrate a growing confidence in their ability to express themselves clearly and creatively, both in writing and orally Summatively by Creative Project (70%); Formatively through discussions, peer review and exercises, and submission of half the project for feedback at the end of Teaching Block One.
Display critical awareness of the skills and techniques developed and used in their writing Summatively by Critical commentary (30%); Formatively through discussions, exercises, and workshopping, and submission of half the critical commentary at the end of Teaching Block One.
Show an understanding of how their work can be distributed, published and/or performed, and promoted in the world outside the university Critical commentary (30%); formative assessment through discussions, exercises, and workshopping, and submission of half the critical commentary after teaching week 12

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Creative Portfolio 70
CWK Critical Commentary 30
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Burroway, Janet, Imaginative Writing: the Elements of Craft, 3rd ed. (New York: Longman, 2010)

Dillard, Annie, The Writing Life (London: HarperPerennial, 1990)

Hoffmann, Ann, Research for Writers (London: A&C Black, 1999)

King, Stephen, On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft (London: New English Library, 2001)

Lamott, Anne, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (New York: Pantheon, 1994)

Lukeman, Noah, The First Five Pages (London: IBD, 2000)

Strunk Jr, William and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, 4th ed. (New York: Longman, 1999)

Bibliography recommended reading

Behn, Robin and Chase Twichell, eds., The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach (London: HarperResource, 1992)

Bly, Carol, Beyond the Writer's Workshop: New Ways to Write Creative Non-fiction (New York: Bantam, 2001)

Burnett, Hallie and White Burnett, Fiction Writer’s Handbook: the Classic Book of Practical Advice on Every Aspect of Writing Novels and Short Stories (London: HarperCollins, 1993)

Cline, Sally and Carole Angier, The Arvon Book of Life Writing: Writing Biography, Autobiography and Memoir (London: Methuen Drama, 2010)

Cline, Sally, The Arvon Book of Literary Non-fiction (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2012)

Eco, Umberto, Six Walks in the Fictional Woods (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994)

Gardner, John, The Art of Fiction: Notes on the Craft for Young Writers (New York: Vintage, 1991)

Haslam, Sara and Derek Neale, Life Writing (London: Routledge, 2008)

Hugo, Richard, The Triggering Town (New York: WW Norton, 1993)

Lodge, David, The Art of Fiction: Illustrated From Classic and Modern Texts. London: Penguin, 1994

Lopate, Phillip,The Art of the Personal Essay: an Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present (New York: Anchor, 1995)

Moore, Dinty W., Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Non-fiction (New York: Writer’s Digest Books, 2010)

Oke, Michael, Write Your Life Story, 4th ed. (New York: How To Books, 2010)

Redmond, John, How To Write a Poem (London: Blackwell, 2005)

Sampson, Fiona, Poetry Writing: the Expert Guide (London: Robert Hale, 2009)

The Writers' and Artists’ Yearbook 2013 (London: A&C Black, 2012)

Find a course

Course finder

>
Undergraduate study
Site menu