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Masters Degrees (Creative Writing For Children)

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This specialist creative writing MA is designed for writers for children, teenagers and young adults who aim to complete a novel, series of picture books or shorter stories for young children. Read more
This specialist creative writing MA is designed for writers for children, teenagers and young adults who aim to complete a novel, series of picture books or shorter stories for young children. It is a practical course, taught by experienced lecturers who are all published children's writers and/or industry professionals.

The course is for writers for children of all ages, from the picture-book age through to young adult (YA). Prose fiction is likely to be the main area studied, but students will have the chance to look at writing in all forms, including poetry, picture book texts and narrative non-fiction for young people.

COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT

The course supports you to create a significant body of writing, with practical plans for its place in the real world of publishing. It is based on the principle that most writers learn and benefit from working closely with their fellow writers, in a disciplined supportive setting, and with tutors who are practising and published writers in their field. Most of our students aim to complete a novel by the end of the MA.

The writing workshop is at the heart of the course. What you’ll do with tutors and your fellow writers in a workshop situation is learn to see your work through objective eyes and to think clearly about the different strategies you might adopt. You learn from each other’s mistakes and successes as well as your own. You will be urged to try things out, take risks and experiment, and reflect on and discuss the writing process. The context modules help you to see your own writing in the wider context of published children’s writing. The course encourages you to read widely and analytically.

MODULES

In the first trimester’s writing workshop you’ll explore a variety of forms of writing, gaining a sense of different age ranges and styles of writing and experimenting with your own writing. The context module is Writing for Young People: Forms, Ages and Stages and it is concerned with the writer’s relationship with their audience, and will help you understand some of the issues raised by writing for young people.

In the second trimester, you'll be asked to choose your area of writing and use the workshop’s feedback and encouragement to explore it in more depth. You will bring short excerpts from your work-in-progress for discussion and feedback in the group. You may continue to experiment with different ideas for other stories.The second trimester's Context Module is Contemporary Children's Publishing, which aims to give a realistic grasp of the choices open to new writers in the field.

In the third trimester, you'll continue to write your work-in-progress, developing a manuscript as near to publishable quality as possible. The manuscript may be a novel, picture book texts, or a collection of stories or poems.

For more information on module and course structure please go to our website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-writing-for-young-people/

TEACHING METHODS

Modules are normally taught via tutor-led writing workshops, with one three-hour session each week for the eleven weeks of each taught trimester, at the Corsham Court campus. We aim to keep the writing workshops small – usually no more than eight students – so that there is sufficient time, support and attention for each person’s work.

ASSESSMENT

The assessed coursework for each Writing Workshop is a folder of creative writing plus a short reflective commentary. The manuscript is 35,000-40,000 words, or the equivalent in poetry or picture book texts.

TUTORS

This course is taught by publishing writers and depending on timetables will include:

• Julia Green: her novels for young adults include Blue Moon, Baby Blue and Hunter’s Heart (Puffin), Breathing Underwater, Drawing with Light and Bringing the Summer (Bloomsbury)and her most recent novel for younger children is Tilly’s Moonlight Fox (Oxford University Press).
• Lucy Chrisopher: prize winning author of Stolen and The Killing Woods for YA readers, and Flyaway for younger teens ( Chicken House).
• Steve Voake: his novels include The Dreamwalker's Child, The Web of Fire, The Starlight Conspiracy, Blood Hunters, Fight Back and Dark Woods (Faber & Faber), plus his Daisy Dawson and Hooey Higgins series for younger readers (Walker Books).

For the full list of our fantastic staff and tutors please visit our website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-writing-for-young-people/

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Graduates have achieved publication deals with a range of different mainstream and smaller publishers, and many more students have secured literary agents. Other students have subsequently taught Creative Writing at university level. Some have combined their writing with subsequent careers in journalism, teaching, publishing, television etc.

ALLUMNI SUCCESS

More than 30 graduates of this MA have achieved publication deals since the course began in 2004, with more novels due to be published in 2016-2017. Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls won the Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year Award and the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award in 2008. Marie-Louise Jensen and Elen Caldecott were shortlisted for the 2009 Waterstones Prize. Elen Caldecott, Clare Furniss, Gill Lewis and Jim Carrington have been long-listed for the Carnegie award. Sally Nicholls was short-listed for the Guardian children’s book prize and won the Independent Booksellers’ award in 2015 for her novel An Island of Our Own. David Hofmeyr was short-listed for the Branford Boase award 2016 for his novel Stone Rider.

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Why Surrey?. The MFA (Master of Fine Arts) Creative Writing programme at the University of Surrey is a two-year, full-time course of study that offers you a unique opportunity to enhance your creative, critical and professional skills as a writer. Read more

Why Surrey?

The MFA (Master of Fine Arts) Creative Writing programme at the University of Surrey is a two-year, full-time course of study that offers you a unique opportunity to enhance your creative, critical and professional skills as a writer.

Teaching is research-led, so you will be mentored by passionate, dynamic writers and academics with multidisciplinary expertise, as well as our Distinguished Writer in Residence and Poet in Residence.

Programme overview

Our MFA Creative Writing programme will expose you to the practical skills and challenges involved in a specific branch of creative practice (such as poetry or screenwriting) and offers the option to gain hands-on experience in a creative industry relevant to your own practice, to better prepare you for a wide variety of careers, including writing, publishing, communications, marketing, advertising, journalism, teaching, or to undertake a PhD.

In your first year, you will study alongside students in the MA programmes in Creative Writing and English Literature, where you will hone your research skills to produce critically informed creative work and deepen your practice as a writer.

To prepare for your second year, an academic advisor will offer guidance on choosing an appropriate form of Situated Professional Practice and your summative creative portfolio proposal.

During your second year you will work on producing an extended creative portfolio and critical commentary, as well as complete the Situated Professional Practice of your choice.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules, a professional placement, a critical commentary module and a creative portfolio project.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

A Creative Writing MFA degree builds on the work of a traditional MA but distinguishes itself in a number of ways:

  • It is intensely craft and practice-based
  • It requires students’ immersion, for a part of their study time, in work environments that offer the opportunity to collaborate with established practitioners
  • It is firmly based on a model of reflection in practice and on practice
  • It requires teaching and learning that consistently balance theory and practice through well honed research skills
  • It aims at enhancing students’ own sense of creativity and professional ambitions in specific artistic fields

For students to achieve an optimum balance between theory, practice and critical reflection, MFAs traditionally last at least two academic years and this is common practice both in the UK and the USA.

The MFA in Creative Writing is designed to assist aspiring writers to:

  • Hone and develop their writing skills in prose fiction and/or poetry
  • Locate their work in historical and cultural context, and to familiarize themselves with the history of literary production
  • Equip themselves with the research and writing skills they will need to produce both critically informed prose or poetry and creative criticism
  • Reflect productively on both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it
  • Gain experience, through the Situated Professional Practice module, of the practical skills and creative challenges involved in a specific branch of creative practice (such as poetry, or writing for the stage) and/or of the workings and structure of a creative industry relevant to the student’s own practice

These educational aims accord neatly with the defining principles of Creative Writing as set out by the QAA’s NAWE Creative Writing Subject Benchmark Statement.

Academics and events

As a student on the MFA Creative Writing, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of academics and published authors.

You will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing. Writers to have recently visited the University of Surrey include the novelist Monica Ali and the poet and critic Rod Mengham.

Each year’s cultural activities begin with a poetry lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.

The annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival – affiliated with the Creative Writing graduate programs at the University of Surrey – aims to engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and involves readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and talks by writers, thinkers, editors and literary agents.

The year’s activities culminate in the annual Morag Morris Poetry Festival, held in Guildford, which combines readings and performances by prominent, innovative and up-and-coming poets with the opportunity for Creative Writing students to present their own work in public.

This event is organised and hosted by our poet-in-residence – a position that is held by a different poet each year. English at Surrey also has a close relationship with English PEN, the charity dedicated to promoting literature and human rights.

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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The MA in Creative Writing and Education has been designed for writers of poetry, fiction and life-writing who are interested in education and learning. Read more

The MA in Creative Writing and Education has been designed for writers of poetry, fiction and life-writing who are interested in education and learning. If you are keen to publish your own writing or you're looking to use your creative writing to help people learn or just developing your skills and knowledge then this programme could be right for you.

The MA in Creative Writing and Education offers you the chance to:

  • Work with two leading departments at Goldsmiths: Educational Studies and English and Comparative Literature.
  • Work with professional writers in the English and Comparative Literature Department who include Ros Barber, Maura Dooley, Stephen Knight, Blake Morrison, Ross Raisin, Francis Spufford, Jack Underwood, Ardashir Vakil and Erica Wagner.
  • Collaborate with high-profile organisations to workshop your creative writing and hone your pedagogical skills.
  • Work with Creative Writing educators to develop your skills and knowledge as a teacher of Creative Writing, at all ages, from small children to older people.
  • Develop your awareness and critical understanding of what creative writing means in different societies and social settings.

You may be given the opportunity to contribute to:

Who is the programme aimed at?

You might be a teacher who writes; a writer who works in education; a poet, a novelist, a short story writer or an author of autobiography who wants to learn more about the connections between creative writing and education. 

Spoken Word Education programme

The Spoken Word Education Training Programme is led by Jacob Sam-La Rose (Artistic Director). All Spoken Word Educators need to first apply to the MA in Creative Writing and Education programme and, if they are accepted, they will then be interviewed for the Spoken Word Education Training programme.

Modules & structure

Full-time: you will complete 4 modules in one year plus a dissertation, amounting 180 credits – full details of the modules are in the Overview section below. This can mean committing yourself to attending evening seminars and lectures twice a week in the autumn and spring terms for 10 weeks, and a number of one-to-one tutorials for your dissertation.

Part-time: you can spread your modules for the course over two years. This could mean attending seminars/lectures once a week during the autumn and spring terms for the two years, and then spacing your dissertation tutorials over two terms. 

Overview

You'll have the opportunity to develop your own creative writing practices and explore a range of educational approaches towards creative writing.

You'll work with practising and published creative writing lecturers and education lecturers in collaboration with professionals working in local cultural institutions.

You'll participate in creative and life writing workshops and research creative writing pedagogies in classrooms and educational settings.

You have to complete 180 credits points, made up from:

  • one compulsory core module in the Department of English and Comparative Literature: Workshop in Creative and Life Writing (30 credits)
  • two compulsory core modules in the Department of Educational Studies in association with the British Library, Poetry Society, English and Media Centre, Apples and Snakes, Ministry of Stories, The Complete Works: Contemporary Writer Identity and Education (30 credits) & Research into Writing Practices (30 credits)
  • an option module in the Department of Educational Studies (30 credits)
  • the Dissertation in the Department of Educational Studies and the Department of English and Comparative Literature (60 credits)

Practitioners who already have existing M-level credits may transfer these on to the MA.

Assessment

Assessment for the Workshop in Creative and Life Writing module is by the submission of a piece or pieces of creative or life-writing of 5,000 words plus a critical account of how you have structured and developed your work.

Assessment for the Educational Studies modules is by the submission of assignments.

You'll also be assessed on a project-based dissertation.

Skills

The programme will enable you to develop creative writing skills to a potentially publishable level, participate in local cultural events as writers, and develop advanced theoretical and critical skills in creative writing pedagogy.

Careers

The programme provides and enhances continuing professional development in creative writing for educators and teachers, opening up opportunities to work with local cultural institutions and schools, and enriching current professional practice.

Previous students have helped their careers by doing this MA, going on to work in business, arts organisations, theatre, Spoken Word and diverse educational settings. Previous students include Niall Bourke who won the 2015 Costa Short Story Award, Joshua Seighal shortlisted for the National Literacy Trust Award 2015 and a number of students have published their academic research in prestigious scholarly journals.

Feedback from the students is overwhelmingly positive, with many saying doing the MA has been a life-changing experience.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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This course is subject to validation. The Creative Writing MAs at Canterbury Christ Church offer stimulating courses with a commercial edge, taught by experienced tutors who are successful writers themselves. Read more
This course is subject to validation.

The Creative Writing MAs at Canterbury Christ Church offer stimulating courses with a commercial edge, taught by experienced tutors who are successful writers themselves. We believe that all writers need a core toolkit of skills, but we also understand that our students often want to specialise in an area of writing about which they’re passionate; that’s why we offer pathways in Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror, Commercial Fiction, Writing for Children and Creative Non-Fiction. Our courses are designed with busy lives in mind, and are taught through a combination of intensive weekends, high-quality distance learning and one-to-one tutorials, either in person or via Skype. We also offer a strong focus on developing professional practice in writers, looking at skills such as self-presentation, pitching and understanding the publishing industry.

Our Pathways

Commercial Fiction:
Students selecting this pathway will explore literary and more commercial forms of creative writing, fiction, poetry and non-fiction. This degree will appeal to students who wish to generally enrich their writing skills, or whose practice falls broadly into these areas.

Fantasy, Science-Fiction and Horror:
This pathway is aimed at students who wish to specialise in speculative fiction genres. You will develop a detailed understanding of the history and diversity of these literary forms, and work on techniques such as world-building, metaphor and narrative structure.

Creative Non-Fiction:
This pathway allows students to explore the creative aspects of non-fiction writing, including memoir, features journalism and travel/nature writing. Students will explore the creative tension between fact and fiction, and will develop practical skills in pitching and selling their work.

Writing for Children:
An ideal choice for those who want to develop a career in writing novels, picture books or children’s non-fiction, this pathway will develop the specific writing skills needed for writing for under-12s, and give students a practical understanding of issues such as the specific publishing environment for this practice, working with illustrators and interfacing with school curricula.

Steeped in literary history, Canterbury is an excellent setting for the next chapter of your Creative Writing story. Canterbury Christ Church University is a young, dynamic university, and the degree is run by a team of writers who have live experience of the publishing market. We pride ourselves in taking innovative approaches to the way our students learn, offering flexible options that help you to fit an MA into your life. We also have strong links to publishers, agents and literary festivals, and work hard to create opportunities for our students to develop their writing practice and career.

The MA Creative Writing includes core modules in The Craft of Writing, Professional Practice and Research Skills, which develop a toolkit for great writing across all genres. In all other modules, you will specialise in your chosen pathway of either Commercial Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Writing for Children or Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Horror. You will study in guided reading groups to develop a critical understanding (and warm appreciation) of your specialised area of writing, and will work intensively to develop your practice in termly residential weekends. Finally, every student submits a 15,000 word piece of extended writing, working closely with a prominent writer from their chosen area of specialism.

Who Is The Course For?

The programme is aimed at adults who are passionate about writing, and want to hone their craft while developing an understanding of the publishing market and how to access it. Unlike traditional MAs, we ensure that our teaching falls outside of office hours, which allows students to learn at times that suit them. It may appeal to recent graduates who wish to specialise further in their chosen writing practice, or to adult learners who have been writing independently for a while, and are now ready to take the next steps towards a writing career. We are proud to work with many mature students, and aim to continue to do so in the future.

Students completing this MA could go on to a Creative Writing PhD, or could undertake a teaching qualification to take their practice into a school, FE or HE setting.

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Why study at Roehampton. Develop professional-standard writing skills, and learn to formulate and address advanced research questions. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • Develop professional-standard writing skills, and learn to formulate and address advanced research questions.
  • Suited to students that have a clear idea of what they want to work on, and with some experience of writing in their chosen form.
  • The Department is ranked in the top three in London and top 20 in the UK for English and Creative Writing (Guardian University Guide 2016).
  • Roehampton is ranked the most research-intensive modern university in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Course summary

This MA Creative Writing (specialist pathway) provides an intensive opportunity for you to focus on a single writing form: Fiction, Fiction for Young Readers or Poetry.

This programme is designed for ambitious, committed writers who are developing their independent writing practice. Taught by published, working writers including acclaimed poets, novelists, journalists and screenwriters, this programme provides you with the opportunity to focus on your passion, whether that’s Fiction, Poetry or Fiction for Young Readers.

Every module on this course has a strong focus on the writing industry, which means that it will prepare you for working in this competitive sector or for further academic study. Topics include the specifics of manuscript preparation; editing and redrafting; getting published and performance opportunities. Our strong links with the writing industry give you the chance to attend events and seminars with agents, editors and publishers from across the field of writing. These provide opportunities to network and get your work in front of the people who matter in the literary world. 

The department has thriving partnerships with Wimbledon Bookfest, Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, and local schools, giving you the chance to volunteer or undertake paid work experience during your time at Roehampton. Our in-house publishing imprint, Fincham Press, means you could see your work published or be involved in publishing other people’s work. 

You’ll be part of a department that combines tradition and innovation, excellent teaching and world-class research - 80% of our research publications are ranked as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” for their impact. Plus, we are home to the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature, which is regarded as the premier institution for children’s literature research in the UK. We also house the Roehampton Poetry Centre, which places the department at the forefront of the UK poetry scene.

Content

Fiction pathway

This pathway is ideal for people who are committed to producing fiction of the highest professional calibre. You will examine two primary forms: the short story and the novel to produce a portfolio of fiction. The emphasis is on craft, technique and practical guidance, and you will engage with a variety of storytelling tools and models. You will learn how to make your writing practice more effective, how to break bad habits and how to professionally assess your work in progress. 

Fiction for Young Readers pathway

On the Fiction for Young Readers pathway, you will focus on the practice and theory of writing fiction for children. You will read a wide range of theoretical texts exploring definitions and concepts of children’s literature concerning picture-books, fiction for young readers (6-12 years old) and texts for Young Adults (YAs), enabling you to contextualise your own creative practice. 

Poetry pathway

On the Poetry pathway, you will explore the contemporary context of poetry and poetics, with a special focus on writing formally innovative work. You will have the opportunity to engage with topics including poetry as process; the materiality of language; literary affiliations and schools of poetry; intertextuality and found text; the contemporary long poem; non-narrative poetry.

The compulsory module, Creative Contexts, introduces you to theoretical and research-based issues faced by creative writers, investigates “critical” writing as a form in its own right, and provides guidance on study skills.

Your seminars, workshops and tutorials will be complemented by guest lectures from industry specialists and off-site visits. Recent guest lectures have been given by Hellie Ogden at Literary Agency Janklow and Nesbitt, and trips have been organised to Tate Modern, the London Bookfair and Apiary Studios. Each pathway will prepare you for writing your extended portfolio and self-critical analysis, which you will undertake during the final section of the programme year.

Career options

Students go on to employment as professional writers or in media-related occupations such as journalists, archivists, librarians, editors, copywriters and arts managers. Additionally, the programme provides essential preparation for advanced academic study of Creative Writing at PhD level or for teaching Creative Writing.

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Why study at Roehampton. Work with internationally-renowned scholars at the NCRCL and Roehampton's Chancellor, Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • Work with internationally-renowned scholars at the NCRCL and Roehampton's Chancellor, Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
  • Option to specialise in creative writing on the MA/PGDip by taking a creative pathway.
  • The Department is ranked in the top three in London and top 20 in the UK for English and Creative Writing (Guardian University Guide 2016).

Course summary

Now running for over twenty five years, the MA in Children’s Literature is recognised internationally as a benchmark programme in the field and is delivered by the award-winning National Centre of Research in Children’s Literature.

On this acclaimed MA/PG Dip in Children’s Literature you will explore landmark books such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Railway Children, alongside the contemporary innovations of Patrick Ness or Emily Gravett. 

You will work alongside staff with international reputations in areas such as adolescence, critical theory, landscape, and philosophy. Plus, many of you will have the chance of working with Roehampton's Chancellor and renowned author Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

As a Children’s Literature student you will become a member of the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL), regarded as the premier institution for children’s literature research in Britain. NCRCL has close links with organisations that work to further the study and teaching of children's literature, including The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Seven Stories (The National Centre for Children’s Books) and Booktrust. The centre also hosts and co-organises an annual one-day British IBBY/NCRCL MA Conference and runs a biennial NCRCL Conference, showcasing themes from members' research interests. Keynote speakers have included Michael Rosen, Matthew Grenby, Emer O’Sullivan, Neil Gaiman, and Julia Eccleshare. 

The University is the exclusive Creative Partner of Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, London’s largest event dedicated to children’s writing. The partnership provides paid and voluntary work experience opportunities for students at the festival, as well as opportunities to attend events for free. 

Roehampton also hosts a number of Children’s' Literature collections in our library containing 3,000 critical, theoretical, bibliographical and reference works and approximately 40 specialist children's literature journals. We are also home to the Richmal Crompton Collection. This includes her personal library, editions and translations of her famous Just William stories and scripts including short stories and radio plays.

Content

This stimulating programme allows for the exploration of a range of literary texts from medieval learning materials, through landmark books such as Treasure IslandThe Tale of Peter Rabbit or The Eagle of the Ninth, to the contemporary innovations of Mark Haddon, Shaun Tan or Jackie Kay.

Although this is a literature programme, study is not limited to children’s books. You will also examine the relationship (both historical and ongoing) between children’s books and social constructions of childhood. 

The creative writing modules, which currently include ‘Writing for a Child Audience’ and ‘Creative Dissertation’, represent exciting additions to the programme, recognising the fact that many of our students have ambitions to write for children.

MA students will complete the course by undertaking either a dissertation or creative dissertation. The dissertation is a supervised research project involving an in-depth study of an aspect of children’s literature that interests you. For the creative dissertation, you will produce a creative portfolio that could include short stories, picturebook scripts, poems, or a novella, alongside a critical reflections of your work.

Modules

Here is some of the varied range of modules we currently offer:

  • Critical and Theoretical Perspectives
  • Visual Texts
  • Origins and Development of Children's Literature
  • British Children's Literature 1960 to the Present Day
  • Time and History in Children’s Literature
  • Travels in Children's Literature
  • Verse and Voice
  • Writing for a Child Audience
  • Screening the Child
  • Creative Arts in the Community: Literature in Action
  • Research Methods
  • Fiction for Young Readers

Career options

Teaching, children’s publishing and arts management.

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Why Surrey?. Our programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and/or poetry, while deepening your critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and/or poetry, while deepening your critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production.

Teaching is research-led, so you benefit from the individual expertise and passion of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published authors and academics, including our Poet in Residence and Distinguished Writer in Residence.

Programme overview

The MA Creative Writing programme will hone your research and writing skills to produce critically informed prose or poetry, and creative criticism. We will help you to locate your work in its literary and cultural context, and you will have the chance to reflect on your creative process and the finished work.

You will have access to a yearly calendar of events hosted at the University created to broaden your thinking, and develop your writing skills such as the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and the Surrey Poetry Festival.

The MA in Creative Writing provides a strong foundation to embark upon a career in writing, communications, publishing, marketing, advertising, journalism or teaching, or to undertake a PhD.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and an extended portfolio.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

The MA Programme in Creative Writing will prepare graduates to undertake a PhD programme in the relevant field.

It will also provide students with the transferable skills of creative writing, critical thinking, textual analysis and communication that are attractive to a wide range of employers, from the cultural industries to marketing and advertising to tourism and leisure to the civil service and public/private partnerships.

It is designed to build confidence and technical ability in a variety of modes of imaginative writing, and to provide students with a clear-eyed grounding in contemporary and historical contexts of text production and circulation, including practical advice on the workings of the publishing industry.

Devoted to assisting students to understand and meet the challenges of producing high quality creative writing in poetry and prose, the programme also provides advanced understanding of the contexts, theoretical paradigms, methodologies and modes of interpretation that are vital in a full understanding of literary production.

The main aims are to:

  • Produce work that reflects a high level of technical ability and engages productively with its historical, cultural and literary contexts
  • Acquire sound knowledge of the major principles of literary criticism
  • Reflect on their own practice as literary critics and how this can help to improve their own creative practice

As a Master’s level programme, it also aims to instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research.

Academics and events

As a student on this Masters, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published academics and authors.

You will have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing.

Writers to have recently visited the University of Surrey include:

Novelists

  • Iain Sinclair
  • Monica Ali
  • Jaspreet Singh
  • Nikita Lalwani

Poets

  • J.H. Prynne
  • Robert Fitterman
  • Allen Fisher
  • Gilbert Adair

Critics

  • Rod Mengham
  • Bernard O’Donoghue
  • Barbara Hardy

Each year’s cultural activities begin with the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.

The annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and Surrey Poetry Festival – both affiliated with the Creative Writing programmes at the University of Surrey – aim to engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and involve readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and more.

This graduate program is delivered by the University's Creative Writing team, all of whom are published authors and poets:

  • Dr Paul Vlitos, Lecturer in Creative Writing
  • Dr Holly Luhning, Lecturer in Creative Writing
  • Dr Stephen Mooney, Lecturer in Creative Writing and former Poet in Residence
  • Dr Angela Szczepaniak, Lecturer in Creative Writing

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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This exciting new programme is ideal if you have an interest in the academic study of children’s literature, or work in education (e.g. Read more

This exciting new programme is ideal if you have an interest in the academic study of children’s literature, or work in education (e.g. as a teacher or librarian), publishing or children's media. It's also aimed at authors who want to create texts for children.

Award-winning author Michael Rosen is just one of the leading teaching staff on this programme, which is taught mainly in the Department of Educational Studies at Goldsmiths, although those pursuing the Creative Writing pathway will also study modules in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

From classic works to contemporary texts

You will deepen your familiarity with the range and diversity of genres for children from ‘classic’ works to contemporary texts and develop detailed knowledge and critical understanding of issues and debates in the field. Studying children’s literature at Goldsmiths will also involve examining how texts for children reflect contested constructions of childhood.

Creative writing opportunities

If you are already a committed writer, although you may not have experience of writing for children/young adults, the MA in Children's Literature offers a Creative Writing pathway which is taught in partnership with the Department of English and Comparative Literature. You can select modules that will support creative writing practices and enable you to work with practising and published creative writing lecturers and education lecturers to study and explore the nature of writing for children/young adults, creating original texts in the genres of short story, novel and poetry (but not script/screen writing or picture books/graphic novels).

The sociopolitical contexts of children's literature

Goldsmiths' MA in Children’s Literature is unique in its focus on inclusive practices and social justice. We will question the sociopolitical contexts in which texts are produced and interpreted and you will be encouraged to explore how texts for children can challenge or reinforce dominant ideological constructions. We interrogate the power relations that determine what is published, distributed and selected to be read by children in schools.

You will explore the relationship between reader, writer, text and context, and consider the processes that underpin those interactions. We will also examine the inherent paradox that studying children’s literature will involve adults' writing, selecting and responding to texts that are normally intended for children.

Modules & structure

Core modules

  • Children’s Literature: Theory and Reading Practice
  • Children’s Literature and Cultural Diversity

Dissertation

  • Research Methods
  • Researching Culture, Language and Identity in Education

Optional modules

  • Children’s Literature in Action (project-based module)
  • An optional module in the Department of Educational Studies

Creative writing pathway

  • Workshop in Creative and Life Writing
  • Writing for Children/Young Adults

Assessment

Coursework, essays, project, dissertation, creative writing (optional).

Careers

Graduates will be well placed to specialise in children’s literature in a range of careers:

  • Teaching
  • Publishing
  • Children’s media
  • Writing texts for children
  • Librarianship
  • Academic study
  • Youth and community work

Skills

You will acquire a wide-ranging understanding of the field of children’s literature and the social, political cultural processes that surround it. You will also develop your critical thinking, communication and research skills.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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Why study at Roehampton. Benefit from the department’s strong contacts with agents, editors and publishers across the field of writing. . Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • Benefit from the department’s strong contacts with agents, editors and publishers across the field of writing. 
  • Our in-house Fincham Press, provides opportunities for you to see your writing published.
  • One of the very few universities in the UK to offer modules in the areas of formally innovative poetry.
  • You can choose your preferred route through the programme, either practicing different forms of writing or specialising in one.
  • The Department is ranked in the top three in London and top 20 in the UK for English and Creative Writing (Guardian University Guide 2016).

Course summary

This MA in Creative Writing degree is designed for ambitious, committed writers who are developing their independent writing practice. You'll be supported throughout your postgraduate studies by academic staff engaged in world-leading research.

Taught by published, working writers including acclaimed poets, novelists, journalists and screenwriters, this programme will focus on three main forms of writing: Fiction, Poetry and Fiction for Young Readers.

You will be supported to develop your personal writing style, learn how to make your writing more effective, how to break bad habits and how to professionally assess your work. You will graduate with the skills needed for professional practice in the creative writing industry, and with an understanding of the professional context in which those skills are marketed. 

Every module on our MA Creative Writing degree has a strong focus on the writing industry, which means that it will prepare you for working in this competitive sector or for further academic study. Topics include the specifics of manuscript preparation; editing and redrafting; getting published and performance opportunities.

The department has thriving partnerships with Wimbledon Bookfest, Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, as well as with local schools, providing you with the chance to volunteer or undertake paid work experience during your time at Roehampton. Our in-house publishing imprint, Fincham Press, means you could see your work published or be involved in publishing other people’s work. 

You’ll be part of a department that combines tradition and innovation, excellent teaching and world-class research - 80% of our research publications are ranked as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” for their impact. Plus, we are home to the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature, which is regarded as the premier institution for children’s literature research in the UK. We also house the Roehampton Poetry Centre, which places the department at the forefront of the UK poetry scene.

Content

This MA focuses on three main forms of writing: Fiction, Poetry or Fiction for Young Readers. 

In Fiction, you will explore two primary forms: the short story and the novel. Emphasis will be placed on structure and craft, and you will have the opportunity to engage with a variety of storytelling tools and models. 

In Poetry, you will have the opportunity to explore the contemporary context of poetry and poetics, with a special focus on writing formally innovative work. You will question assumptions about language and the function of poetry and engage with diverse topics, including poetry as process; the materiality of language; literary affiliations and schools of poetry; intertextuality and found text; the contemporary long poem and non-narrative poetry. 

In Fiction for Young Readers, you will explore a wide range of theoretical texts exploring definitions and concepts of children’s literature, from picture-books, fiction for young readers (6-12 years old) to texts for Young Adults (YAs), enabling you to contextualise and extend your own creative practice. 

The compulsory module, Creative Contexts, introduces you to theoretical and research-based issues faced by creative writers, investigates “critical” writing as a form in its own right, and provides guidance on study skills.

Your seminars, workshops and tutorials will be complemented by guest lectures from industry specialists and off-site visits. Recent guest lectures have been given by Hellie Ogden at Literary Agency Janklow and Nesbitt, and trips have been organised to Tate Modern, the London Bookfair and Apiary Studios.

Modules:

Compulsory modules

  • Creative Contexts
  • Dissertation

Optional modules (choose two of the following)

  • Fiction
  • Fiction for Young Readers
  • Poetry

Career options

Careers such as journalism, copywriting and arts management are possible on completion of this course.

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Why study at Roehampton. This MA is taught by children’s literature specialists from the award-winning National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • This MA is taught by children’s literature specialists from the award-winning National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature.
  • A Creative Writing Pathway allows you to study writing for a child audience from a practitioner’s perspective.
  • We provide a supportive online learning environment, within a flexible study format.
  • Roehampton is ranked in the top three in London and top 20 in the UK for English and Creative Writing (Guardian University Guide 2016).

Course summary

This unique course allows you to study children’s literature in a flexible, part-time format. You’ll engage with staff working in the UK’s leading centre in the field and explore a range of landmark texts for young people, from fairy tales and picturebooks to classics and graphic novels.

This programme invites you to explore the exciting and varied world of children’s literature, and to examine how texts aimed at young people convey and challenge ideas about childhood. You will be taught by a team of staff with international reputations and expertise in areas such as philosophy, popular fiction, adolescence, critical theory, landscape, and memory. 

As a distance learner you will have access to specialist services, and a wide range of e-books and digitised items from the Children’s Literature Collection at the University Library which contains 3,000 critical, theoretical, bibliographical and reference works and approximately 40 specialist children's literature journals. 

As a Children’s Literature student, you will become a member of the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL), regarded as the premier institution for children’s literature research in Britain. The NCRCL has close links with organisations that work to further the study and teaching of children's literature, including The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Seven Stories (The National Centre for Children’s Books), and Booktrust. The University is also the exclusive Creative Partner of Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, London’s largest event dedicated to children’s writing. You can stay up-to-date with the NCRCL by following their blog.

Content

This programme asks you to think about children’s literature in new ways. In your first year you will be introduced to essential critical approaches, from feminist theory, psychoanalysis, and reader-response criticism, to new ideas about the child, power and ethics. Using these tools, you’ll study fairy tales such as 'Snow White' and 'Puss in Boots,' classic children’s literature including Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows and Judith Kerr’s landmark picturebook The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and the contemporary innovations of authors like Melvin Burgess, Shaun Tan and Jackie Kay. 

In optional modules you can study the history of British children’s literature from its origins to the present day, as well as texts in translation, and visual and verse forms. Throughout the course you will gain knowledge of literary works produced for children, and the social, cultural and historical contexts of their production. The eclectic and rigorous nature of the programme allows you to contribute original work from a variety of perspectives, particularly in the extended critical Dissertation. The creative writing modules, ‘Writing for a Child Audience’ and ‘Creative Dissertation’ represent exciting additions to the programme, recognising the fact that many of our students have ambitions to write for children. 

The Distance Learning MA is taught through a mixture of independent study, tutor feedback, and peer support. Most modules on offer include a course pack, with digital materials and links to an online learning environment. You will work through the materials, undertake learning activities, and discuss ideas with other students through online discussion boards and online seminars. At the end of each module, you will complete a piece of coursework, usually an essay, to demonstrate your understanding of the subject.

Modules

Here is some of the varied range of modules we currently offer:

  • Critical and Theoretical Perspectives
  • Visual Texts
  • Origins and Development of Children's Literature
  • British Children's Literature 1900-1960
  • British Children's Literature 1960-2000
  • Writing for a Child Audience
  • Research Methods 
  • Dissertation
  • Creative Dissertation
  • Poetry Written for Children

Career options

Possible careers include teaching and librarianship, children’s publishing and arts management.

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COURSE OVERVIEW . Develop your writing voice through weekly workshops and tutor support. Participate in the creation and publication of an anthology. Read more

COURSE OVERVIEW 

  • Develop your writing voice through weekly workshops and tutor support
  • Participate in the creation and publication of an anthology
  • Receive advice and feedback from published writers, editors and agents
  • Specialise in a range of genres within children’s writing
  • Recent graduates have gone on to become published writers – some award winning. These include: Ally Sherrick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Rubin, Sarah Lean, Meaghan McIsaac and David Owen

Develop your writing skills in a challenging and stimulating environment, supported by teaching staff who are published writers and experts in their field. Explore the dynamic relationship between creative production and critical awareness of literature for children and young adults, and discuss a range of work by established writers and consider the theoretical, social and cultural contexts of contemporary writing for children and young adults.

This well-established programme encourages you to develop new creative work, to give and receive feedback in weekly workshops and to experiment with new forms, audiences and voices. The academics teaching on the programme are all professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets, critics, playwrights or non-fiction writers. They are supported by guests – most recently, children’s writers Marcus Sedgwick, Mark Lowery, Tanya Landman and Andrew Weale, Editorial Director Emma Layfield (Hodder), and literary agents Ella Kahn (DKW) and Jenny Savill (Andrew Nurnberg).  

You complete five core modules: Fiction for Children, The Writer as Researcher, The Publishing Project and two modules on independent study. In The Publishing Project, you develop a personal writing project to the point of submission for publication, such as the development of a publishing proposal, initial chapters and a letter to an agent or publisher.

You also choose one optional module from a selection including Fantastic Fiction for Children, Writing Non-fiction for Children, Contemporary Scriptwriting for Film and Television, and Advanced Contemporary Poetry. After the taught modules, you complete an independent study with tailored supervisory support leading to the dissertation – usually an extended piece or pieces of fiction for children amounting to 20,000 to 30,000 words.

Careers

Many graduates of the course have gone on to become published writers – some award-winning. These include, most recently: Ally Sherrick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Rubin, Sarah Lean, Meaghan McIsaac and David Owen. Others have careers in teaching, storytelling, publishing and the arts.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work Placements

The annual University of Winchester Writers' Festival provides volunteering and hosting opportunities for students.

Learning and Teaching

The academics teaching on the programme are all professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets, critics, playwrights or non-fiction writers. They are supported by guests - most recently, children's writers Marcus Sedgwick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Lean and Andrew Weale, Editorial Director Emma Layfield (Hodder), and literary agents Ella Kahn (DKW) and Sallyanne Sweeney (Mulcahy Associates). Weekly workshops develop students' own writing through constructive critical feedback.

Location 

Taught elements of the course take place at King Alfred or at our West Downs, Winchester. 

Assessment

Modules are assessed by a combination of creative and critical work. Students undertake a dissertation of 20,000-30,000 words (or an appropriate equivalent) as part of their independent study, with full tutorial support. This comprises a creative piece, or pieces, of work for children or young adults in the form of fiction, poetry, script, creative non-fiction or picture books.

At the University of Winchester, validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information 

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures



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This exciting new programme is ideal if you have an interest in the academic study of children’s literature, or work in education (e.g. Read more

This exciting new programme is ideal if you have an interest in the academic study of children’s literature, or work in education (e.g. as a teacher or librarian), publishing or children's media. It's also aimed at authors who want to create texts for children.

Award-winning author Michael Rosen is just one of the leading teaching staff on this programme, which is taught mainly in the Department of Educational Studies at Goldsmiths, although those pursuing the Creative Writing pathway will also study modules in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

From classic works to contemporary texts

You will deepen your familiarity with the range and diversity of genres for children from ‘classic’ works to contemporary texts and develop detailed knowledge and critical understanding of issues and debates in the field. Studying children’s literature at Goldsmiths will also involve examining how texts for children reflect contested constructions of childhood.

Creative writing opportunities

If you are already a committed writer, although you may not have experience of writing for children/young adults, the MA in Children's Literature offers a Creative Writing pathway which is taught in partnership with the Department of English and Comparative Literature. You can select modules that will support creative writing practices and enable you to work with practising and published creative writing lecturers and education lecturers to study and explore the nature of writing for children/young adults, creating original texts in the genres of short story, novel and poetry (but not script/screen writing or picture books/graphic novels).

The sociopolitical contexts of children's literature

Goldsmiths' MA in Children’s Literature is unique in its focus on inclusive practices and social justice. We will question the sociopolitical contexts in which texts are produced and interpreted and you will be encouraged to explore how texts for children can challenge or reinforce dominant ideological constructions. We interrogate the power relations that determine what is published, distributed and selected to be read by children in schools.

You will explore the relationship between reader, writer, text and context, and consider the processes that underpin those interactions. We will also examine the inherent paradox that studying children’s literature will involve adults' writing, selecting and responding to texts that are normally intended for children.

Assessment

Coursework, essays, project, dissertation, creative writing (optional).

Careers

Graduates will be well placed to specialise in children’s literature in a range of careers:

  • Teaching
  • Publishing
  • Children’s media
  • Writing texts for children
  • Librarianship
  • Academic study
  • Youth and community work

Skills

You will acquire a wide-ranging understanding of the field of children’s literature and the social, political cultural processes that surround it. You will also develop your critical thinking, communication and research skills.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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This course encourages a lively environment where as a budding writer you can experiment, be imaginative and ambitious, as well as critically reflect on your practice. Read more

Why take this course?

This course encourages a lively environment where as a budding writer you can experiment, be imaginative and ambitious, as well as critically reflect on your practice.

You will have the opportunity to write literary novels, historical fiction, crime, science fiction, children’s stories, as well as screenwriting or short fiction – we encourage and respect all genres.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Be taught by lecturers with professional experience, many of whom are established practising writers
Complete a major project in the form of your own novel, screenplay or poem and learn about the market and current debates within differing genres in the process
Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection

What opportunities might it lead to?

We continuously encourage you to seize as many opportunities as possible to make your writing visible to publishers and the public. Strengthening your creative writing skills on this course can lead to a variety of different creative career paths from roles in publishing to writing children’s books.

Alternatively, many of our graduates find roles within a variety of media industries and a number of them have gone on to study for PhDs or teaching qualifications.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Teaching
Writing
Journalism
PR

Module Details

The course consists of units focusing on creative practice, academic contexts and critical understanding. For the final stage of the course you will write a creative dissertation which can take the form of a novel (or portion thereof – 30,000 to 40,000 words in length), a collection of prose, poetry or a screenplay.

Here are the units you will study:

Writer's Workshop – Exploration: In this unit, you will be encouraged to experiment in differing genres to build confidence in writing and research.

Writer's Workshop – Resolution: During the course of this unit, you will research your chosen genre or idea and write a proposal and first chapters for the major project (dissertation). Your research and writing practice will be led by reading, discussion, debate and some substantial formative work that will eventually lead to the written proposal and/or opening chapters of a novel or pages of a screenplay or poetry.

Critical Reading for Creative Writers: This is an essay-based unit, in which you will explore critical approaches to the written word with oral presentations and researched essays.

Critical Thinking for Creative Writers: This unit allows you to approach a critical theory by relating it to your own creative writing, with reference to your major creative project. This unit is also essay-based.

The Final Project – The Creative Writing Dissertation: This unit will allow you to complete a major work in any genre (prose, poetry or screenplay) of up to 30,000 words (or equivalent). You will receive guidance and support from tutors throughout this unit of study.

Programme Assessment

Your learning will primarily be via workshop-based sessions where you will explore and develop your own writing as well as constructively contribute to the work of other writers around you. We aim to create a friendly atmosphere in which you will receive feedback to continually help evolve your creative writing style.

Your progress will be assessed by regularly submitted work and a final creative writing project in the form of a literary form or genre of your choice and geared to a specific market.

Student Destinations

You are encouraged to attend and read at ‘open mic’ sessions to develop performance skills. Previous students have found this invaluable not only when reading their own work aloud but also in professional practice. You are also encouraged to build a portfolio of work to show publishers and exhibit your work in other ways through creative blogs, or by submitting your work to online magazines and competitions.

On graduating, many of our students are equipped with the skills and confidence to continue to write and publish after the course has ended. This MA in Creative Writing can lead to a range of employment opportunities in publishing, editing, journalism and education.

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Our challenging, practice-based course offers you a unique approach to the practice of writing, emphasising innovation and experimentation in your work. Read more
Our challenging, practice-based course offers you a unique approach to the practice of writing, emphasising innovation and experimentation in your work.

On our MA Creative Writing, you deepen your knowledge of literary tradition, exploring different modes and genres in order to develop your own creative and expressive written skills. You expand your use of creative writing techniques and improve your critical judgement of your own work.

Our course encourages you to develop your writing by stepping outside your comfort zone and discovering the different approaches to verbal art that are possible today. This will invigorate your own practice, whether you are writing psychogeography, plays, novels, stories or something else. You will choose from a variety of modules, covering topics such as:
-Development of a novel plan, from research and concept-development, to plotting, character, and structure
-Experimental language play of the Oulipo group across the short story, autobiography, cartoons, cookery and theatre
-Relating magic to writing and creativity, both in theory and in practice
-Psychogeography, writing about walking, place, landscape, history and the psychic environment
-Poetic practice across experimental writing in poetry from the performative to the visual

To help you hone your craft, we also host two Royal Literary Fund Fellows, professional writers on-hand to help you develop your writing on a one-to-one basis, and regularly host talks and readings by visiting writers.

Essex has nurtured a long tradition of distinguished authors whose work has shaped literature as we know it today, from past giants such as the American poets Robert Lowell and Ted Berrigan, to contemporary writers such as mythographer and novelist Dame Marina Warner, and Booker Prize winner Ben Okri.

We are ranked Top 20 in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2015, and three-quarters of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

This course is also available on a part-time basis.

Our expert staff

Our teaching staff are experienced and established writers who have a breadth of experience across literary genres, from novels, prose and plays, to poetry and song.

Our creative writing teaching team has a breadth of experience in the literatures of different cultures and different forms. Our current teaching staff include poet and short story writer Philip Terry, lyric writer and essayist Adrian May, novelist and camper Matthew de Abaitua, poet and performance-writer Holly Pester, poet, fisherman and memoirist Chris McCully, and award-winning playwrights Elizabeth Kuti and Jonathan Lichtenstein.

Our Centre for Creative Writing is part of a unique literary conservatoire that offers students the skills, support and confidence to respond artistically and critically to the study of writing with the guidance of experts.

Specialist facilities

-Write for our student magazine Albert or host a Red Radio show
-View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre
-Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading literature specialists at regular talks and readings
-Our on-campus Lakeside Theatre has been established as a major venue for good drama, staging both productions by professional touring companies and a wealth of new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students
-Improve your playwriting skills at our Lakeside Theatre Writers workshops
-Our Research Laboratory allows you to collaborate with professionals, improvising and experimenting with new work which is being tried and tested

Your future

Many of our students have gone on to successfully publish their work, notable recent alumni including:
-Ida Løkås, who won a literary prize in Norway for The Beauty That Flows Past, securing a book deal
-Alexia Casale, whose novel Bone Dragon was published by Faber & Faber and subsequently featured on both the Young Adult Books of the Year 2013 list for The Financial Times, and The Independent’s Books of the year 2013: Children
-Elaine Ewert, recent graduate from our MA Wild Writing, placed second in the New Welsh Writing Awards 2015
-Patricia Borlenghi, the founder of Patrician Press, which has published works by a number of our alumni
-Petra Mcqueen, who has written for The Guardian and runs creative writing courses

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by Dissertation in different literatures and various approaches to literature, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English, plus a number of other languages.

Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

A number of our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as writers, and others are now established as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.

We work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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This highly successful programme offers specialist pathways in . Playwriting.  and . Dramaturgy. We concentrate on the process of writing for live performance, together with an ongoing evaluation of the work in process. Read more

This highly successful programme offers specialist pathways in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. We concentrate on the process of writing for live performance, together with an ongoing evaluation of the work in process. Through practice and reflection, we enable you to establish a distinctive, individual approach as both a writer and dramaturge. Projects include site-specific work, writing for a specific audience, verbatim theatre and interdisciplinary collaboration.

We support the development of texts for performance, alongside intellectual understanding of the diverse forms and contexts in which live performance can be made and the writer/dramaturge’s role in this. We examine texts from a wide range of periods and cultures. We engage with work that is innovative, or which challenges established notions of practice.

Opportunities to collaborate

Dramaturgs and playwrights study side by side, and examine creative and dramaturgical issues from various perspectives as writers, spectators and creative collaborators. There are opportunities to collaborate on an Interdisciplinary Project with MA Performance Makers and composers from the Department of Music. Final project texts, performed and directed by industry professionals, are presented at the Soho Theatre in London, attended by key industry representatives. Graduates are highly successful in obtaining commissions, dramaturgy posts and artistic directorships. Recent successes include:

  • Tena Štivičić (Three Winters National Theatre 2015)
  • Finn Kennedy (Artistic Director, Tamasha Theatre Company 2015)
  • Melissa Bubnic (Beached at Soho Theatre 2015)

All students receive Professional Orientation and support towards career development.

Modules & structure

Autumn term 

All students take the Writing Projects module: you will work on three diverse, short playwriting projects. Each addresses particular generic issues that relate to writing for live performance, and you will engage with the specific challenges and demands of differing circumstances of text development and production. These will vary from year to year, but they are likely to be selected from the following:

  • Theatre as Event – site-specific performance
  • Authenticity and Live Performance – verbatim theatre
  • Writing for Specific Audiences – children’s/young person’s theatre project
  • Creative Collaboration – multimedia collaboration with MA Performance Making and Studio Composition students from the Department of Music

You will also take the Dramaturgy module, which has two main elements: analysis of dramatic text (these will include classics and modern classics, as well as new plays); and analysis of live performance seen by the group (including some visual, environmental or non-text-based work). During the module you will assemble a portfolio of critical analyses and creative writing projects for assessment.

You will also take one contextual module alongside students from other Masters programmes, to be selected from a list of options that will vary from session to session.

Spring term 

You will develop your work on Dramaturgy with the term-long practical workshop module Creative Intervention in Text. This will examine: translation; adaptation of work from other media for live performance; and the re-writing and/or adaptation of extant plays; planning and curating seasons of performance work. You will assemble a portfolio of creative projects for assessment.

You also start work on your Final Project the personal Dissertation-equivalent project that will be the core of your work for the next six months). Weekly seminars and workshops will examine themes relevant to the range of projects chosen, and a first draft or outline will be produced. Each project will be the focus of individual tutorials, and then a class workshop led by a guest dramaturg, director or playwright as appropriate. You will then plan the next phase of the research or development of your project.

You also take another option from the list of contextual modules shared with students from other Masters programmes.

Summer term 

You will present the second draft of your project for another phase of tutorials and group workshops.

Playwriting projects will then be prepared for some form of public rehearsed reading or scratch performance, in extract form – with the writers involved in all aspects of the work.

Dramaturgy projects will be given practical support of an appropriate, equivalent kind. You will further develop your work, with tutorials and workshops and public presentation of work as appropriate, before writing and submitting the finished project.

Throughout the year, various seminars and workshops will examine diverse issues that affect writers today, and these will be led by visiting professionals as appropriate.

Assessment

We deploy a range of assessment approaches, each appropriate to the module taken. Students taking Writing Projects will submit three short playtexts for assessment. Dramaturgy is assessed by a portfolio of analytic reviews, and Creative Intervention in Text by a series of short creative writing projects and writing exercises. Each of the contextual option modules is assessed by a 4,000 word essay. Final Project leads to the production of a playtext (Playwriting), or a Dissertation or equivalent practical project (Dramaturgy). 

Careers

Numerous playwrights completing this programme receive high-level professional development opportunities, commissions, awards and full-scale productions of their work at major new writing centres in the UK, USA and in continental Europe. Many also work for at least part of the time in the fields of script development (for theatre and television), and in theatre publication.

Recent playwriting alumni include:

  • Ben Musgrave, whose Pretend You Have Big Buildings won the Bruntwood Prize (2006) and received a main house production at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
  • Allia V Oswald, whose Dirty Water won the Alfred Fagon Award (2007) and was given a rehearsed reading at the Royal Court Theatre
  • Adam Brace, whose play Stovepipe was a High Tide Festival winner (2008), and was staged recently by the National Theatre and published by Faber

In each of these cases the award-winning play was the writer’s Final Project from this programme.

Dramaturgy alumni work in professional literary management for mainstream and fringe building-based companies, as well as on freelance script development programmes in the UK and internationally. These include:

  • David Lane, who now has an extremely busy career as a freelance dramaturg, teacher and playwright
  • Francesca Malfrin, who is currently developing translation projects of Italian plays with a range of agencies, including the National Theatre Studio


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