What is the course about?
This course aims to introduce you to the skills needed to write creatively. You'lll be encouraged to think in a creative way and to experiment with language, in prose, fiction and poetry. You will gain a greater understanding of how language works and of the devices and techniques used by writers.
The course is not designed for those wishing to improve their writing skills such as grammar and punctuation.
Maria Thomas is an award-winning writer of short fiction. She has taught writing at the University of Virginia, and as a Promising Scholar and Margaret McBride Lerhman Fellow at the University of Oregon where she studied for her MFA in Fiction. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she researches creative writing pedagogy and is at work on a novel.
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?
Class exercises are designed to bring out each student's individual voice, loosen the imagination, move away from preconceived ideas, and promote writing confidence. Students and the tutor respond to the work that individuals choose to read out in a supportive workshop atmosphere.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- identify the characteristics of creative writing (as distinct from non-fiction)
- respond to, assess and discuss pieces of writing with sensitivity
- recognise some of your own writing skills
- recognise various techniques used by creative writers, such as imagery, point of view, first
person/third person narrative
- apply various writing techniques such as imagery and point of view in your own writing
- produce several pieces of writing - poems and/or short pieces of fiction
- take risks.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You'll have an interest in writing and reading prose fiction and/or poetry, and will be able to read and write fluently in English, using appropriate grammar and sentence structure for the writing tasks. You will be invited to read out texts you produce in class and at home, and should be able to respond to and discuss literary texts you have heard or read.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
In-class exercises (writing games, writing against the clock etc.); out-of-class assignments; small group discussion; tutor-led discussion; workshop readings (of students writing) and critical discussion; class brainstorming; visualisation; block-breaking exercises. Writing tasks will also be set as homework.
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?
Paper (A4 writing pad) and pen/pencil. A folder for storing original work and handouts will be useful.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a fantastic range of creative writing courses covering all genres and levels of ability. You can progress to Furthering your Creative Writing, where you'll continue to experiment with a range of forms. Or you can take a course in a particular medium, including novel and short story writing, screenwriting, playwriting, and creative non-fiction. To browse our full range of creative writing courses, visit www.citylit.ac.uk/creativewriting.
All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Students are also encouraged to submit 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