Accessibility statement

Writing in the Marketplace - ENG00080H

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jt Welsch
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

On this module, we'll examine the production and consumption of literature in the global marketplace, exploring the ever-changing ways contemporary writing is being made, packaged, sold, and valued.

The module combines a critical approach to key issues in contemporary publishing with practical experience organising literary events and producing the department's new literary magazine, with all of the editing, design, and marketing roles these involve. Following the life-cycle of literary products within the contemporary marketplace, we will consider the changing roles of the publisher, author, and book, in relation to emerging technologies, categories and means of circulation, and the function of critics and reader-consumers. Seminars will respond to critical and creative texts that engage with the market conditions discussed, raising key questions about attitudes toward book commerce and the relationship between the UK’s literary economy and wider economic forces. Weekly topics might include: Networks, Production, Anthologies, Prizes, and Politics.

These discussions will be supplemented by the group’s running and editing of the department’s flagship literary magazine, offering those who might be interested in careers in publishing or the creative industries a practical sense of those fields and skills involved.

Professional requirements


Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module will:

  • explore key issues within contemporary literary markets
  • explore professional roles within that marketplace
  • relate a critical understanding of literature to the business of modern literary production.

Module learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with modern book production;
  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with historical and economic contexts shaping the literary market;
  3. Evaluate key debates and critical approaches to the literary industry;
  4. Produce writing which demonstrates critical thinking, research, and professional skills.


Task Length % of module mark
3500 word portfolio: Including 2500-word essay and magazine contributions
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The portfolio assessment will typically include:

  • Two 500-word contributions to the online literary magazine, which might include articles, reviews, or other published content.
  • 2500-word essay on a current issue in the literary marketplace, based on module reading and discussion.

Both of these will be based on formative writing activities, peer and tutor feedback, and seminar discussion.


Task Length % of module mark
3500 word portfolio: Including 2500-word essay and magazine contributions
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative peer and tutor feedback will be provided before submission of the magazine contributions, and summative feedback will be provided electronically following submission in the Spring Term. If you would like to discuss your feedback, please consult your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours.

Indicative reading

Texts may include:

  • John Thompson, Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century (Polity, 2012 ed.).
  • Sarah Broulliette, Literature and the Creative Economy (Stanford UP, 2014)
  • Ben Lerner, 10:04 (Faber, 2014).
  • Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary (Picador, 1996).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.