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Course content

Who is it for?

This master’s programme is designed for those with an ambition to write within the range of non-fiction genres. Running over two years, it attracts students from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages, all of whom work closely within workshop and tutorial settings to produce a publishable work. The unifying factor for all writers on the programme is their intention to deliver their research or story through a narrative structure.

Objectives

Our definition of narrative non-fiction includes biography, travel, history, life writing, true crime, sports and other forms of sustained and structured non-fiction storytelling. The Creative Writing (Non-Fiction) MA provides you with essential skills and a supportive and challenging environment in which to write a full-length work of narrative non-fiction. You will develop your research skills, experiment with different writing styles, reflect on your own and other writer’s work and learn the essentials of the publishing industry.

Teaching and learning

The teaching, all by published authors, across the two years is front-end loaded in terms 1 and 2 with workshops, lectures and seminars held two evenings a week. Here you will extend your writing skills, your understanding of non-fiction genres and your awareness of creative possibilities. You will also analyse the work of leading writers and explore writing through a variety of exercises, encouraging you to experiment with new approaches.

All workshops are based around the students’ own writing assignments which work towards the completion, or opening chapters, of a book. We also closely analyse published works of non-fiction, taking apart books to examine their style, structure and research methods.

Throughout the two years there are readings and workshops with visiting authors. In terms 3, 4, 5 and 6 you work principally on your own book project with the support of one-to-one tutorials.

In term 6 (the final term) the lectures and guest sessions focus on the publishing industry which will provide you with the knowledge to be placed with a literary agent. During the final term you will have the opportunity to read from your work in progress, to contribute to an anthology of writing and to submit a full draft of your book.

Modules

Term 1

  • CWM 959 The Fundamentals of Non-fiction (core)
  • CWM 958 Literary Criticism (core)
  • CWM935 Storytelling (core)
  • CWM956 Complete Book (core)

Term 2

  • CWM957 The Process of Writing (core)
  • CWM 958 Literary Criticism (core)
  • CWM935 Storytelling (core)
  • CWM956 Complete Book (core)

Terms 3,4,5 and 6

  • CWM956 Complete Book

Career prospects

The MA creative writing non-fiction is proud of its track record in publishing with students from the programme winning publishing contracts every year.

Graduates include:

  • Peter Moore, The Weather Experiment (Chatto and Windus),
  • Anne Putnam, Navel Gazing (Faber and Faber)
  • Bridge O’Donnell, Inspector Minahan Makes a Stand (Picador).

Graduates have also gone on to work for media outlets and used their transferrable skills in a variety of professions including teaching, political campaigning and in the charity sector.


Visit the Creative Writing (Non-Fiction) (MA) page on the City, University of London website for more details!

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