Module code: ELI2035

Module Overview

This module explores the varied formal and technical challenges facing creative writers, examining the affordances and constraints of different modes of writing and the cultural, historical and theoretical contexts which impact upon text production and reception. It seeks to promote fuller critical awareness of the cultures and contexts of text design, and translate this awareness into more effective creative practice.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

VLITOS Paul (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 45

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Students must be enrolled in the English and Creative Writing programme, or be taking Creative Writing as their minor pathway or have completed at least one previous Creative Writing module at the University of Surrey. At the discretion of the module co-ordinator students who have not previously completed a Creative Writing module at the University of Surrey but who submit to the module co-ordinator a portfolio of 1000-1500 words of creative writing (poetry, prose, screenplay or dramatic script) may also be admitted to this module.    

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Week 1


Introductory Lecture

This lecture gives an overview of the module, its rationale and the themes and aspects to be covered in the course of the semester.


Week 2


Verbal and Visual Narratives I: Setting the Scene

In this lecture we discuss the consequences for storytelling of some of the differences between the visual and the verbal, with particular emphasis on how different modes of narrative establish mood, setting and narrative expectations.


Week 3


Verbal and Visual Narratives II: Establishing Character

This lecture examines the different ways in which verbal and visual narratives are able to establish and convey aspects of fictional character.


Week 4


Verbal and Visual Narratives III: Focalization

This lecture will discuss the different means by which a ‘point of view’ can be established in verbal and visual narratives. From whose perspective is this story being told, and what creative and interpretative implications does this have? 


Week 5


Verbal and Visual Narratives IV: Telling Time

In what ways do verbal and visual narratives differ when it comes to the handling of issues of  temporality? How can different modes of storytelling convey the passing of time, for example? This lecture will examine different critical attempts to describe and analyze the relationship between time and fictional narration – and to explore the implications of this relationship for creative writers.


Week 6

Employability Week


Week 7


Drafting, Redrafting, Editing and Revising

This lecture will examine the most effective ways of redrafting, editing and revising creative work, with reference to the techniques employed by a range of contemporary writers.



Week 8


Rhetorical Devices I: Prose

This lecture will explore a variety of common rhetorical techniques and their use in crafting a memorable, persuasive piece of creative prose.


Week 9


Rhetorical Devices II: Poetry

This lecture will explore a range of common rhetorical techniques and how they have been used in crafting a memorable, persuasive piece of poetry. It will also examine the specificities of poetic syntax.


Week 10


Dramatic Structure

This lecture will explore the challenges of structuring dramatic writing, and will explore the differences and similarities in the technical demands of writing for the page and writing for stage, screen or radio.


Week 11



This lecture concludes our examination of the possibilities and limitations of different narrative modes by examining a range of adaptations from page to screen, and reflecting upon the theoretical and practical issues raised when a written text is adapted into a film – or vice versa.


Christmas Vacation


Week 12



Weeks 13



Weeks 14



Week 15

Reading week preparing materials for semester 2 modules



Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate


  • Their technical accomplishment in their chosen branch(es) of creative practice

  • Their ability to reflect critically upon their own work, and locate it productively in relation to the themes of the module and it literary, critical and theoeretical context more generally


    Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of a portfolio composed of:


  • Creative Writing submission (2000 words)


  • Reflexive Critical Commentary (500 words)


    To be submitted at a date near the end of the semester.


    Formative assessment and feedback


    Students receive formative feedback in the form of:

  • Peer and tutor verbal feedback in class on work produced during writing exercises, which may be developed for inclusion in the Creative Writing portfolio.

  • Peer and tutor feedback during two workshop sessions in the middle and near the end of the semester, in which they have a chance to read and discuss their work (verbal and/or written)

Module aims

  • Further develop their confidence and experience in producing effective creative writing
  • Heighten their awareness of the stylistic and technical considerations involved in text production
  • Enhance their ability to examine their own work critically and have a better understanding of the processes of editing and revision
  • Develop the ability to formulate their creative aims more clearly and effectively
  • Locate their own creative practice more fully in relation to literary, historical, theoretical and cultural contexts

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Show evidence of increased confidence and familiarity with the techniques of creative writing KPT
2 Demonstrate an enhanced ability to produce lucid and critically-informed commentary on their own creative writing KCPT
3 Demonstrate fuller understanding of the contextual forces shaping text production and of the creative affordances and constraints of different media KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Introduce students to a range of technical considerations in the composition of creative prose, poetry dramatic script and screenplay. It is also designed to encourage and enable them to reflect in a historically, theoretically and critically informed manner upon their own work and on the writing of others. It is designed to encourage them to discuss and evaluate different technical decisions made during the creative process and to reflect upon the implications and effects of these decisions.


The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Lectures (11 hours)

  • Workshops (22 hours) – These involve both disucssion and parctical exercises and the presentation of creative work to the group.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI2035

Other information

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the International Engagement Office email: ieo.incoming@surrey.ac.uk

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.