This full-time Creative Writing course will help you to bring a novel, book of poems, book of short stories or work of non-fiction as near to publishable quality as possible.
Working with tutors and other writers on the course, you’ll develop your writing and build up a substantial body of work. Weekly workshops are taught by a strong team of published writers, and there are regular visits by literary agents, publishers, magazine editors and broadcasters, as well as other writers.
Admission to the course is based on a portfolio of creative writing, and our estimate of the student´s commitment and potential as a writer and ability to benefit from the course. Most students have an undergraduate degree, but this is not essential if you can demonstrate your ability in the portfolio.
The portfolio should consist of one or more short pieces of creative writing submitted with the application form, such as two chapters of a novel, two short stories, six poems, or the equivalent.
To plan a manuscript (a novel, collection of short stories, collection of poems or book of literary non-fiction) and complete it, or a substantial part of it, brought to publishable quality or as near as possible.
To understand literary form, style and genre, as relevant to your chosen form of writing
To acquire a variety of relevant writing techniques, and research techniques to support writing, and adapt them to your particular creative project.
To understand and respond creatively to questions arising from the subject-matter, themes, genres, traditions and other literary contexts with which your chosen manuscript is engaged.
To receive and give precise and sensitive critical feedback in workshop groups and one-to-one tutorials.
To respond creatively to feedback provided by tutors and other students, adapting that feedback to your particular vision of your book.
To understand choices and opportunities relevant to your chosen manuscript, including questions of how to place your work, and the role of agents, publishers and editors.
The first workshop module, ‘Professional Skills’, taken in trimester one, provides intensive group discussion and some plenary lectures. You’ll bring short pieces of writing to workshop groups consisting of a tutor and not more than seven other students. There are separate groups for prose and poetry. You’ll submit a manuscript proposal halfway through the module. In trimester two, you’ll take a second workshop module in either prose or poetry.
Each context module explores connections between your creative writing and the wider world as represented by a theme or genre. Seminars are divided between considering set texts and workshopping your creative writing. The set texts are examined from the point of view of practical lessons that the writer can learn. You’ll take a context module in trimester one and another in trimester two.
In trimester three, you’ll take ‘The Manuscript’, taught by means of one-to-one tutorials. This is the culmination of the course – the book, or substantial part of a book.
In recent years, several current or former students have been awarded excellent contracts for novels; Two were long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, three for the Orange Prize, one for the Costa Prize and one for the Guardian First Book Award. One received the Betty Trask Prize; another the Manchester Book Award; another a W.H. Smith New Talent Award. One reached the best-seller lists. Student poets have had their poetry accepted for publication in numerous literary journals, including Ambit, Magma, London Magazine, Poetry Wales, PN Review and The Reader, among others, and have been placed in such competitions as the Bridport, the Frogmore, Mslexia, and Writers Inc. Janklow and Nesbit Ltd, a leading literary agency, awards an annual prize for the best novel or novel in progress by a student on the course.
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