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Creative Writing: Contemporary Practice - ENG00081H

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Maya Caspari
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module summary

The premise of this module is that the study of literature should include your own writing practice. To understand how stories, poems, or scripts are made, there is no substitute for making some yourself. Building on the critical background and writing skills developed throughout your degree, this will be your chance to work with texts from a creative angle - learning to read like a writer, engaging with formal and genre conventions from a practitioner's perspective, and exploring ways in which 'creative' writing might expand our modes of critical interaction.

The module is structured around key issues in contemporary literary practice, with discussion of texts and peer-feedback on your original writing each week. Readings will include innovative and inspiring examples of recent fiction, poetry, and dramatic writing, each linked to themes and models to inform your own creative development. In this way, the range of texts will frame our engagement with form, while the weekly topics will consider broader possibilities, including: Writing as Play, Writing as Research, Writing as Record, and Writing as Action. Although certain weeks will focus on prose, poetry, or scriptwriting, you will be encouraged to experiment across forms, developing a sense of your own strengths and interests as an author. This module is a chance to explore the relationship between critical and creative practice more generally, approaching the study of literature from a practical perspective, while developing a body of original writing that responds to the demands of genre, form, and audience.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

The purpose of this module is to explore key issues in contemporary fiction, poetry, and dramatic writing, and to support your production of a body of original writing in response to reading. The ultimate aim is to relate a critical understanding of trends in contemporary writing to your own creative approaches.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with key issues in contemporary writing practice.

  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with key techniques in contemporary writing, including an awareness of form, genre, and audience.

  3. Produce a body of original work which evidences creative and critical engagement with contemporary practice in its writing and redrafting process.

  4. Produce independent arguments and ideas which demonstrate an advanced proficiency in critical thinking, research, and writing skills.


Task Length % of module mark
Creative portfolio
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will receive peer and tutor feedback on formative work throughout the module, the work submitted in response to reading and module discussions. Work from these formative workshops will then be developed for the 3000 word summative portfolio submission, which can either include one longer creative piece (e.g. a single short story or short script) or a collection of shorter pieces, in which you are welcome to include different forms. For poetry, there will be an agreed word-equivalent based on length. The summative portfolio may also include a short critical introduction, linking the creative work to module content.


Task Length % of module mark
Creative portfolio
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours
  • For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see the department's Guide to Assessment

Indicative reading

Texts may include the following. Current Students should consult the module VLE site for the reading list:

  • Rachel Cusk, Outline (Vintage, 2014);
  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Penguin, 2015);
  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel (Faber, 2014);
  • Raymond Carver, Beginners (Vintage, 2010).

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.