What is the course about?
The course offers a variety of practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Craft issues will be examined in detail, with published writers analysed to determine how and why their work succeeds. The different genres of creative non fiction will be explored through in-class exercises and weekly assignments.
Students say: "I enjoyed the range and diversity of work that we looked at"; "The feedback on my writing was really useful"; "I liked the in-class writing exercises, being workshopped, and the assigned reading"; "I felt very inspired by what we read and talked about in class."
The Tutor: Paul Laffan is the author of four novels, a book of reportage and has ghosted several works of autobiography. He holds a BA in English Literature from Oxford and an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English from Florida State University in America. He taught writing and literature for six years at Florida State, and has also taught at Birkbeck, Morley College, the Mary Ward Centre and Lambeth College.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- Exploring ways to approach non-fiction in creative and innovative ways
- Thinking critically about creative non-fiction through analysis of successful writers
- Exploring some of the leading genres of creative non-fiction such as travel-writing, life-writing, the essay, historical writing, and writing which crosses all the barriers of genre.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Think critically and with understanding about creative non-fiction.
- Feel confident about making your own experiments in creative non-fiction writing.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No formal requirements except a good standard of literacy and a love of reading.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Analysis of short pieces in class through group discussion.
- Regular individual short writing exercises largely set as homework but discussed and evaluated in class.
- Formal instruction from the teacher combined with group discussion.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a range of non-fiction creative writing courses, including Autobiographical writing and Biography writing.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details