Surrey University Stag

INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING - 2023/4

Module code: ELI1026

Module Overview

This introductory module will provide a theoretical and practice-based introduction to narrative and poetics. We will discuss technical elements of poetry and prose, and address the similarities and differences among various forms. In addition, we will consider historical and literary movements in relation to different formal techniques and their cultural contexts. During the seminar session, students will engage in writing exercises and connected to the topic of the weekly lecture and workshop original work with other students, benefitting from that key peer group feedback and support that will help guide and sustain their practice as writers. Throughout the module, we will examine creative processes and practices and the role of revision in the wider writing process itself. Students will have the opportunity to discuss their own processes in a self-reflective critical commentary that will accompany their final portfolio of creative work.

 

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

BAHS Liz (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W800

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 45

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 50

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 22

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.    

Module content

Areas looked at in Introduction to Creative Writing may include:

Understanding Creativity
Language, Meaning, and Clarity
Narrative Elements of Writing
Poetics
Introducing Poetic Forms: The Sonnet
Introducing Poetic Forms: Stanza Forms
Introducing Prose Forms: The Short Story
Introducing Prose Forms: The Novel
Process and Reflection

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CREATIVE WRITING PORTFOLIO (1500 WORDS OR EQUIVALENT) AND SELF-REFLECTIVE COMMENTARY (500 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

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

•    individual critical and/or creative responses to the subject material via a diverse range of assessment submission options designed to appeal to diverse and inclusive learning and composition practices and/or to allow students to select assessment types most useful to them in planning for their current professional orientation or future employment plans
•    the development in their knowledge and understanding of literary and creative texts and textual practices (especially in poetry and prose) that will feed forward into their future careers as writers and/or critics through the broad range of assessment submission possibilities incorporated into the open-ended assessment type integral to the module
•    their understanding of various poetic and narrative techniques and their understanding and of a range of styles and themes in fiction and poetry as part of their journey to develop and hone their ability to locate their create work in larger literary contexts through their degree
•    their understanding of verbal creativity and the formal and aesthetic dimensions of literary and creative texts
•    a range of subject specific and transferable skills gained in critical and creative thinking, in the production of critical and creative texts, and of practical support in the development of employability and/or creative practice skills
•    the student's understanding of the cultural and historical contexts of the work they have studied and have written themselves, including global cultural and sustainability concerns
•    individual critical and/or creative responses to the subject material via a diverse range of assessment submission options designed to appeal to diverse and inclusive learning and composition practices and/or to allow students to select assessment types most useful to them in planning for their current professional orientation or future employment plans

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

* Creative Writing Portfolio (1500 words or equivalent) and Self-Reflective Critical Commentary (500 words)
Designed to facilitate student accessibility, this portfolio can be in any form (or collection of forms) that the student wishes to work with or to try new forms of writing in.
 

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback and formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, and tutor and peer feedback in seminars, on short pieces (250-500 words of prose, or equivalent in another form) presented as part of the confidence building safe space of the creative writing workshop element of the classes.
Each student can expect to present 2-3 such pieces over the course of the semester according to a schedule worked out between the tutor and the student cohort.
Written and/or oral tutor feedback will also be provided on up to two piece of creative writing (maximum of 250 words or equivalent for poetry or other form) during the course of the module (the student is free to submit this at any point of the semester).

As such, writing, presentation and critical analysis skills will be developed and honed which will feed forward to the summative assessment at the end of the module. There is the option of a range of other feedback mechanisms agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module, such as seminar contribution and writing exercises.

 

 

Module aims

  • The module aims to: equip students with knowledge about writing, narrative and poetic techniques
  • encourage students to develop more effective personal writing and self-editing techniques that will connect forward to future creative writing modules in the degree
  • help students engage with historical, cultural and formal considerations in writing and writing practice, particularly in prose and poetry
  • build student confidence and resiliance in presenting, workshopping and analysing creative work in a group setting
  • allow students to locate their own writing in critical, literary, cultural and historical contexts
  • help students become conscious of, and comfortable with, their own creative processes and practices
  • introduce students to creative writing theory as a tool with which to shape and locate their own creative writing and its critical frame

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will have: the ability to identify various key poetic and prose forms, and gained fuller understanding of their historical development as well as craft creative work which engages intelligently with the demands of a variety of forms by studying literary form and critical approaches to these on through module materials and workshopping texts in discussion with other students KC
002 Developed familiarity with a range of key technical concerns in prose and poetry, and have gained experience in engaging with them both as critics and as creative writers which will stand them in good stead throughout the rest of their degree and beyond as professional writers and members of writerly communities and the literary industries, for example KT
003 Become familiar with a range of different writing techniques, and have explored which works best for themselves as writers as they begin their journey towards becoming a professional writer KP
004 Started developing their understanding of their creative process alongside, and in relation to, the community of creative writers in their cohort though the safe space of the creative writing workshop where students will receive support and advice in their journey to becoming a writer from both the seminar leader and fellow student creative writers and able to contribute in a sensitive, lucid, thoughtful and supportive manner in the workshopping setting KPT
005 Be able to reflect in a productive and critically-informed fashion on their own creative writing through engaging with the weekly seminar exercises and the feedback processes inherent in that and the broader creative writing workshop environment CP
006 Begun to further develop and hone the grammatical and writing skills that students enter their degree with KPT

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:

•    Develop students’ writing skills in prose fiction and/or poetry by more growing their sense of their own practice as writers and their resilience as writers of, often personal, creative work and their budding workshopping and editing skills through in-class discussion and sharing of writer experience alongside study of critical and source materials
•    Assist students in locating their work in contexts of contemporary genres and writing styles through exposing them to traditional and alternative forms of literary production in these forms
•    Equip students with the research and writing skills they will need to develop both their creative writing and their critical and analytical understanding of narrative and poetic techniques through engagement with the safe space of the seminar and the creative writing workshop setting where ideas, advice and responses are shared with fellow new authors
•    Facilitate in students productive reflection on both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it by helping them gain confidence and ability in critical analysis and thinking, and an ability to use specific compositional skills that will have practical application to their practices as writers through group discussion, weekly exercises and other forms of engagement with critical and creative thinking in class
    Assist students in developing further a broad range of writing skills that they will take forward to later creative writing modules in their degree and onwards into the widely varied employment and career roles they can choose to engage with after graduation through the editing and feedback process engendered though the weekly writing exercises and the workshopping process in tandem with an emphasis on reading alongside writing as a critical tool in developing writerly skills


The learning and teaching methods include a combination of lecture materials, seminars, captured content, guided learning and independent learning and includes a weekly interactive workshopping element where students either present or respond to their own or other's creative work in a supportive, constructive and open manner.

Students will engage with preparatory reading, including creative work by other students, in advance of the seminar which will combine discussion of interrelated critical ideas and texts with in-class creative or critical writing exercises each week. Designed to help students reflect on and apply their learning to creative and critical outputs, the workshop environment acts as a safe space for developing and exchanging ideas, support and writing skills.

Varied learning materials such as lexical texts, visual materials, sculptural objects and other physical material prompts, video and sound objects, games and gamified texts are designed to increase student accessibility and will present them with a range of interpretive materials and approaches with which to work and develop their own thinking and creative responses.

 

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI1026

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: This module sets the scene for writing as both craft and career path that is continued in the 1st year semester 2 creative writing module and later creative writing modules across the degree.
In this 1st year module you will get the chance to write, experiment with and present work in what will be a new and unfamiliar place for most new students, the creative writing workshop. Alongside the study of some key texts in poetry and prose, you will start to develop your own writing skills, not just in the craft of the fiction writer and/or poet, but also in the broader field of professional writing. This is the start of your degree long journey to develop key writing and communication abilities that today’s employers value so much in students with literature and writing backgrounds. We will look at areas such as concision, poetics and prose style and structuring, meaning and clarity, narrative and other formal aspects of the writing craft. The skills developed in this module, expanded and refined in later creative writing modules across your degree, will help equip you for the vast range of employment and career pathways that our students go on to after (and sometimes during) their degree, beyond that of creative writer (novelist, poet, non-fiction writer, for example). Amongst these are: copywriting, editorial roles, teaching, publishing, marketing, proofreading, journalism and social media roles of all types just to name a few.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Creative writing is a field that reaches out to all parts of the human experience and all parts of our global cultures, facilitating exchange of ideas and experiences and helping to foster creative and cultural empathy in readers and writers of all kinds across the globe. Creative writing also plays a very important recording and preservation role in narrativising and keeping alive and vibrant different cultures and experiences, especially those that might otherwise be silenced or endangered. In this module you will be asked to respond in writing to texts and modes of writing from different cultures and times, and are encouraged to share and write your experiences and knowledge, and those from their own cultures and backgrounds, to think about that of other students and writers and to respect and value differences in experience. The weekly workshopping sessions give students the opportunity to present your own narrative and to experience and respond to those of others in a friendly, constructive and open forum. Creative writing students will be exposed, through their English literature and other creative writing modules throughout their degree, to a wide range of texts from all over the world and students are encouraged to bring this knowledge into their writing and their writing practice right from the beginning of their study of creative writing.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: the life of a writer can often be a solitary and isolating one. This module, through workshopping, group work and shared writerly experience will help equip you for the real world setting of your current and future writing practice. You will also be introduced to constructive critical workshopping as a mode of not just engaging with writing practice and of presenting and thinking about your work and that of your creative writing peers but also the workshop as your own writing community to which you belong and can rely on for support and practical help in your writing. Some of these writing friendships and writerly connections you make in your creative writing seminars and workshops you will likely carry forward throughout your career as a writer. You will also benefit from the experience of your your tutors as professional writers working today, who started out just like you, and from periodic guest speakers attached to this and later creative writing modules as you progress through your degree. This module helps set the stage for more detailed discussions in later creative writing modules on your degree about your practice as a writer, the practicalities of building a portfolio of writing and a profile as a writer, the realities of the publishing industries and the importance of connecting to writing communities that will be essential to your current and future emotional and practical wellbeing and success as a writer.

 

 

 

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory 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

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 2023/4 academic year.