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Introduction to Creative and Life Writing

Module information>

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

This course introduces students to some of the key concepts involved in creative writing, especially for those beginning to write.

Students are introduced to a writing practice in three different styles of writing (writing fiction; writing poetry and writing for the stage), and will explore how to differentiate between the approaches needed for each style. The course will help students to develop an awareness of not only of the contexts into which they write, but some of the different techniques that can be used to grow their writing.

The course further aims to develop understanding of Creative Writing in its literary contexts, using texts students may study elsewhere on their programme as examples. As such, this course ties students’ writing practice very closely to their reading practice, which they may find helpful in subsequent study in the wider field of English.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should:

  • understand some of the skills and techniques required when beginning to write creatively.
  • understand three different kinds of writing (fiction, prose, and writing for the stage), and some of their literary contexts.
  • be able to practise writing a short piece of fiction, poetry, and a piece for the stage.
  • be able to develop an extended writing project in one of these three kinds of writing.
  • be able to make connections between the literary texts studied on your programme and the writing you undertake.
  • be able to reflect critically on your own writing practice.
  • understand more fully the kind of writing you wish to undertake in the future.

Essential reading

Essential literary texts

  • Beckett, Samuel Collected Shorter Plays. (London: Faber and Faber, 2006) [ISBN 9780571229147].
  • Heaney, Seamus North. (London: Faber and Faber, 2001) [ISBN 9780571108138].
  • Woolf, Virginia Mrs Dalloway. (London: Penguin, 2000) [ISBN 9780141182490]

Essential critical texts

  • J. Bell and P. Magrs. The Creative Writing Coursebook: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry, (London: Macmillan, 2001)
  • Anderson, L. and D. Neale Writing Fiction. (London: Routledge, 2009) [ISBN 9780415461559].
  • Strand, M. and E. Boland The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. (New York: Norton, 2001) [ISBN 9780393321784].
  • Taylor, V. Stage Writing: A Practical Guide. (Marlborough: The Crowood Press, 2002) [ISBN 9781861264527]