The Classics and creative writing
Time: 14:00 - 16:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now finished
What is the course about?
This short course will investigate what the best examples of Classical literature still have to teach us about literary and dramatic techniques, what works and what doesn’t, and the bewitching power of words. We will look at examples of the way that Classical elements have been used by later writers from Dante to Derek Walcott, and how knowledge of the ‘rules’ – the conventions and storylines of the Classical heritage – can provide writers with a starting point for their own stories. Participants will be challenged to take a Greek myth or other motif from Classical literature and creatively retell it so as to cast light on a modern parallel situation.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The rules of the game: conventions in different genres
- What makes a dialogue dramatic?
- The medium and the message – how your choice of form affects what you can say
- Beginnings and endings
- Creative adaptation
- Retell your own myth.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand some of the key compositional techniques developed by ancient writers
- Appreciate how post-Classical writers have adapted ancient myths and genres
- Apply what you have learnt to your own creative practice.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Introductory to intermediate. This course will require a high level of written and spoken English. No other experience is necessary.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will learn through interactive tutor presentation, group work, analysis and discussion of texts, and practical writing exercises.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring writing materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
If you're new to creative writing, try one of our introductory Ways into creative writing courses. If you have a bit of experience, you might enjoy Writing fiction, and if you have an interest in a specific form, you might like Short story writing, or Starting your novel. Feel free to call the creative writing department if you would like more advice on which course to take next.
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.
Emma Park is a writer, podcaster and teacher based in London. She has a DPhil in Classics from Oxford. Her writing has been published in New Humanist, the Literary Review, the Spectator, Glass Quarterly, Apollo, the Classical Review, and elsewhere. Her first play, 'Boat People', was performed in 2018, and she is currently working on a second play and other projects. She is podcast producer for the National Secular Society, and teaches courses in Classics and writing at City Lit.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.