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Creative Writing and Publishing - MA

Course Description

As writers now have the ability to produce their own work they need increasingly to know how publishing works. This degree enables aspiring writers to combine business acumen with creative endeavour, equipping them to work within the publishing industry while fostering their writing skills.

Who is it for?

This course will appeal to both experienced and new writers who wish to gain the knowledge and skills relevant to professional practice in commercial settings which produce creative content for print and across digital formats. You will also be introduced to the rapidly developing world of self-publishing. A digital publishing element will teach you how social media and web publishing is now vital to finding and sustaining your own community of readers.

The target market for the programme is young graduates who are seeking to exploit the potential of a humanities degree through modules that focus on their creative writing and on publishing. It is ideal for anyone interested in getting hands-on practice experience and an insider’s perspective on the publishing industry while developing their creative practice.


If you have experience of writing or working in publishing (or a related field), and would like to develop your skills further, this course is designed for you. If you are interested in learning how you, as a writer, can engage with the publishing industry and even work within it, this course will develop the skills you need. Creative Writing and Publishing MA enables you to aspire to a professional role that will match your interests and draw upon all of your talents. We welcome writers of all genres with recent graduates developing projects in fantasy, romance, science fiction and young adult fiction.


An optional professional placement module in terms 2 and 3 runs between January and June, for a period of at least 24 days. This provides students with practical experience of working within a publishing environment, enhancing their classroom learning.

While on placement, you will meet the hosts' standard arrangements for work placement interns and will carry out tasks or projects as agreed with your placement host.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a mix of formal lectures, writing workshops, individual tutorials, group project work, seminar contributions, study visits, work attachments, project work and independent learning and research. Visiting speakers, including guest authors, regularly support your learning and module projects. You are encouraged, through a variety of strategies, to reflect on professional practice and professional frameworks during all of your applied work.

You will acquire attitudes and values through your interactions with lecturers, many of whom are professional writers or practicing publishers, and through a critical, reflective approach to your writing practice and to working in publishing. Leading writers act as guest tutors and mentors while senior members of the publishing industry regularly visit and often sponsor projects. Publishing and writing masterclasses also enable you to debate current issues within your field. Moodle is also embedded as a learning tool within the programme, offering you opportunities to interact with your fellow students and other programme academic staff outside of the classroom or workshop.

Your intellectual and cognitive skills will be developed through the programme’s range of learning modes, which include lectures, seminars, tutorials, coursework, the option of an assessed work placement drafts of major writing projects and short assignments and in your final project.

Your subject specific and transferable skills are developed in the modules through lectures, seminars, tutorials, coursework, an optional assessed work placement and in your major project.


For the Creative Writing Workshop module and the Storytelling module, you will be assessed through an individual assessment, which may include a portfolio of creative writing, a substantial piece of redrafted creative writing with an accompanying self-reflective essay or a critical academic essay or a researched book proposal.

In your other modules, you will be assessed by a range of methods including analytical essays; assessed group and individual projects; presentations with supporting research; and reflective reports on your own portfolios of writing or professional experience.


The MA CWP runs over one academic year for full-time students who undertake two core creative writing modules over terms 1 and 2, alongside core publishing modules in term 1 and electives in term 2. In the final term students must complete their Major Project. Part-time students undertake the core creative writing modules in their first year of study, undertaking the publishing modules and electives and major project in the second year.

Term 1
-Creative Writing workshop
-Lecture Series on Storytelling.
-Creating and Managing Intellectual Property
-Digitisation and Publishing

Term 2
-International Publishing Case Studies
-Professional Placement
-Design for Interactive Media
-Developing Creative Content
-Digital Cultures
-Libraries and Publishing in an Information Society

Term 3 - Throughout the three terms, you will be invited to attend masterclasses in creative writing, professional development sessions, and group and one-to-one tutorials, as you work towards your Major Project.

Part-time route - Part-time students take the creative writing core modules in their first year of study and in their second year undertake the publishing core modules and electives and the Major Project.

Career prospects

We are delighted that graduate Carlie Sorosiak’s (MA CWP 2015) young adult novel, If Birds Fly Back will be published by HarperTeen in the US, Macmillan in the UK, Penguin Random House in Spain, and Arena Verlag in Germany in 2017.

Holly Domney (MA CWP 2016) won the George Orwell Dystopian Fiction Prize and is currently working in the publishing industry.

At City, you will benefit from our reputation for placing graduate students with agents and with major publishers. Creative writers get exposure to agents, editors and others within both traditional and electronic publishing. For budding publishers, you have the option of a work placement within the industry. We have for many years supported the career prospects of our publishing graduates via supportive links with an industry advisory board as well as alumni.

Visit the Creative Writing and Publishing - MA page on the City, University of London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You will normally have an upper second class degree (in any subject) or the overseas equivalent, but successful completion of a certificate course in creative writing, or a professional qualification, or relevant experience may also be acceptable. The prime criteria are proven ability and commitment.

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