Creative Writing Foundations - ENGL3390

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 4 30 (15) Katharine Peddie checkmark-circle


This module will introduce students to essential Creative Writing techniques, practices and strategies, such as journaling, workshopping, and editing and redrafting. Students will be asked to consider the range of approaches, concerns, and sources of material that writers draw upon, and to understand how that material is shaped into creative output. A range of sample texts will be presented to students as models for their own creative practice — they will be encouraged to work across genres, in a variety of short prose and poetic forms. Thematic blocks will focus on, for example, 'form, freedom and constraint'; ‘time, tense and memory’; ‘writing and place’; ‘manifestoes’. The importance of critical responses, and the role of the creative writer as critic, will be emphasised.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 40
Private Study Hours: 260
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Reflective Journal (2,000 words) (30%)
Seminar participation (20%)
Portfolio: A final portfolio, consisting of 3,000 words of prose OR 90 lines of poetry OR a proportional combination of the two (50%)

Reassessment methods
Alternative assessment: 100% Coursework (3,000 words).

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Burroway, Janet. 2014. Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft. Cambridge: Pearson.
Lamott, Anne. 1980. Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Anchor Books.
Riley, Denise (ed.). 1992. Poets on Writing. London: Palgrave Macmillan

A course reader including extracts from, for example, Georges Perec, Marcel Proust, Peter Riley, Virginia Woolf, Frank O'Hara, and a range of creative 'manifestoes'.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 make use of a range of material and sources of inspiration in the writing of creative texts, such as research, memory, observation, place;
2 produce creative writing in a range of forms including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction;
3 understand the role of the creative writer as a critic, and the interplay of creative and critical approaches.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 identify and apply strategies of close reading and writing relevant to the material they encounter;
2 begin to produce ambitious and crafted creative texts;
3 demonstrate their understanding of the fiction and poetry through creative responses;
4 participate in group discussions including creative workshops;
5 begin self-directed research and discuss, evaluate, and creatively deploy secondary critical and theoretical perspectives;
6 reflect critically on their own creative practice and that of their peers, and understand the choices available to them;
7 manage their time and workload effectively.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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