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Advanced Creative and Life Writing

Module information>

Academic Direction
Goldsmiths, University of London
Also part of
BA English
Modes of Study

This course is designed as a progression of the concepts and practices introduced in Level 4 ‘Introduction to Creative and Life Writing’ and Level 5 ‘Creative and Life Writing’, with additional emphasis on gaining a practical understanding of the publishing industry.

The course examines creative writing in its literary contexts, using texts that serve to best represent the fields of short fiction, poetry and life writing, providing you with the opportunity to survey and understand the contemporary canon.

This course not only ties your writing practice very closely to the act of reading, specifically the nuanced and strategic skills of close reading for writing, but also introduces a more detailed consideration of the creative process, including the productive benefits of crafting a manifesto.

Mode of assessment: Coursework submitted through the VLE.

Prerequisite: The course Creative and Life Writing [EN2020] is a prerequisite for this course.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should:

  • develop your creative writing skills commensurate with Level 6 (third year) benchmarks
  • objectively and critically analyse literary aims and practice, involving the crafting of a writer’s manifesto
  • engage critically with questions of literary technique, at an advanced level
  • situate creative writing within the broader literary context, including best practice when approaching the world of publishing
  • demonstrate effective control of language, structure and form appropriate to a sustained creative piece of your own development at Level 6
  • show analytic understanding of your individual engagement with the writing process
  • present awareness of the role of critical feedback on your own emergent writing.

Essential reading

Among texts and authors which students may choose to study are:

Essential literary texts

  • Alexis, A. ‘Houyhnhnm’, The New Yorker (13 June 2022).
  • Lowe, H. The Kids. (Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books, 2021) [ISBN 9781780375793].
  • Zauner, M. Crying in H Mart. (New York: Picador, 2021) [ISBN 9781529033793] or The New Yorker (20 August 2018).

Essential critical texts

Please note: The list below includes the core reading for Levels 6. Students are advised to keep their books from Levels 4 and 5 for reference.

  • Dillard, A. The Writing Life. (New York: Harper Collins, 1989) [ISBN 9780060919887].
  • Hirsch, E. How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love With Poetry. (Orlando, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999) [ISBN 0151004196]
  • King, S. On Writing. (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2012) [ISBN 9781444723250].
  • Prose, F. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. (London: Union Books, 2012) [ISBN 9781908526076].