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MA in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction

Course Description

This programme aims to nurture the talents of aspiring writers through workshops, seminars and one-to-one tutorials, and to encourage new writing within a supportive but critical community. It is underpinned by the principle that development in creative writing is achieved through practice coupled with critical study. Thus, students are given the time and support necessary to write, and also the opportunity to explore issues of craft through extensive reading and debate. Students will also be introduced to facets of the publishing industry and the workings of literary agencies.

The Programme is designed to be completed on a part-time basis over two years, starting in October 2007. Students attend college for a 3-hour session every Wednesday evening (6pm-9pm) during term-time, and receive at least one personal tutorial per term. There are also two Saturday conferences during the year.

The Programme includes the following modules:

Prose Fiction Workshop: a course based around twenty fortnightly writing workshops, spread over the two years. Students will benefit from an intensive discussion of their work by other members of the group, and will also develop as writers by offering constructive criticism of the work of others.

The Art of Shorter Fiction: a course based around ten fortnightly seminars in the first year which will offer an advanced critical analysis of the modern short story. At the level of the individual story or writer, the course will explore formal issues such as structure, voice, viewpoint, characterisation, dialogue and style. At the level of genre, the course will explore competing traditions, thematic concerns, and sources of inspiration. This work will be related back to students’ own writing.

The Art of the Novel: a course based around ten fortnightly seminars in the second year, offering advanced analysis of the novel, exploring formal techniques, competing traditions, thematic concerns, and sources of inspiration. This work will be related back to students’ own writing.

Final Submission: With guidance and supervision, students will produce an extended piece of prose fiction. This work will build upon and develop the knowledge and understanding gained in the earlier taught courses and workshops.

Applications are invited from January 2007. Application packs are available from Ellen Mumford in the University’s Admissions Department on 01227 782423 (or e-mail [email protected]).

You must submit a piece of prose fiction with your completed application form. This piece of work will be assessed by two readers who will be looking for evidence of potential. There is no fixed length for fiction submissions, but something between 2,000 and 5,000 words would be appropriate.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, May 29, 2007. Candidates should be available for interview.

For an informal chat about the course, contact the Programme Director,
Dr Andrew Palmer: email [email protected], telephone 01227 767700 ext 2210.

Teaching Team

Michael Baldwin is the author of fifteen novels, including There’s a War On, Miraclejack, The Rape of Oc and The First Mrs Wordsworth. His volumes of autobiography include Grandad With Snails and he is also the author of several volumes of prize-winning poetry. He was deputy chairman of the Arvon Foundation for 20 years, and chairman of the Arvon Foundation at Lumb Bank. He has judged national and international writing competitions and was for many years a judge of the Daily Mirror/W.H.Smith Young Writers Competition. He has taught creative writing at the Arvon Foundation, Fen Farm, Las Cabanes, the University of North Carolina, and at Skyros. He was Head of English and Drama at Whitelands College, Putney, and a Principal Lecturer at the Roehampton Institute.

Sarah Grazebrook exchanged a career as a television actress for one as a writer following the birth of her second child. Her first novel, Not Waving, won the Cosmopolitan Fiction Prize. She has since written a further six novels, including Mountain Pique and The Circle Dance. She writes a monthly column, “Notes from the Garret”, for Kent Life, Sussex Life and Surrey Life and contributes to a variety of satirical radio programmes. Sarah has wide experience of teaching creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and at Macon in France.

Andrew Palmer is a recent graduate of the Creative Writing Masters Programme at the University of East Anglia, where he was taught by the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, and novelist Ali Smith. Extracts from his novel-in-progress, Isaac’s Diary, have appeared in the anthology Firsthand: New Writing and The Jewish Quarterly. He is a senior lecturer in the English Department, where he teaches creative writing and modern literature.

Entry Requirements

A good degree in any subject, or equivalent

Course Fees

£900 p.a. (monthly payment plans available)

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