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Creative writing uae

Emirati authors recommend establishing creative writing training centres

Writers who enriched cultural landscape were honoured during Emirati Writer’s Day.

Abdalla Al Hadeya during a panel discussion marking Emirati Writer’s Day at the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF)

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Sharjah: Prominent Emirati authors and literary gurus have called on for the establishment of creative writing training institutions that will “enhance the skills of aspiring writers in creating contents that connect with the readers and enhance critical thinking.”

The recommendation was made during a panel discussion marking Emirati Writer’s Day at the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).

The participants during the discussion titled, ‘Emirati Authors: Reality and Aspiration’ were Saleha Ghabish, secretary general of Emirates Writers Union (EWU); Emirati poet Abdullah Al Hadiya; Dr. Ali Abdulqader Al Hammadi, director general of the Arabic Language Protection Association; Fathiya Al Nimr, novelist; Aisha Abdullah, author; and Ali Al Abdan, critic and researcher.

UAE writers who helped enriched the cultural landscape of the region were also honoured during the Emirati Writer’s Day.

Augmented reality workshop

Meanwhile, young creators were thrilled to see how technology turned their artworks into moving images during the augmented reality (AR) workshop.

Similar to holographic images and the popular game Pokemon Go, the AR workshop showed visitors characters drawn will transform into 2D images and move, literally, from the surface of the paper to digital space with the use of a gadget.

“We make the character they draw come to life,” said workshop presenter, Mahmud Kobtan, who is a certified lead trainer at a UAE-based accredited coding platform for children. He also guided the young participants how they can make more characters and animals appear on a screen.

“Aimed at enhancing creativity, the workshop taught children how to think out of the box by exposing them to a new technological concept. When they realise a technology like this exists, they can imagine more of it and can perhaps also come up with the next big idea just like the Pokemon Go game,” added Noor Oueidat, who assisted Kobtan during the workshop.

Write, draw, repeat

American author and illustrator Kevin Sherry thrilled the young visitors to an imaginative world of animal characters, real-life experiences, histrionic storytelling, and the inspiring tale of how his first picture book, I’m The Biggest Thing In The Ocean, came about.

American author and illustrator Kevin Sherry thrilled the young visitors to an imaginative world of animal characters at the 12 Sharjah Reading Festival. Image Credit:

Describing his love of animals from a very young age, Sherry said he was passionate about comics as a kid, and was smitten by Quentin Blake’s “cute and crazy drawings” in Roald Dahl’s stories. “

When his gift for creating mystical and magical creatures drew the attention of a publisher, Sherry, a former screen-printer, set about creating his first book. The author showed the young children his rough sketches and stories for subsequent books that were repeatedly turned down by the publisher until after several attempts at redrawing and rewriting, the initial idea took a new form and shape. Then, they became best-selling works.

“Never give up,” Sherry advised his young audience. “You may have to do it over and over again but remember that your work just keeps getting better with every repeat effort,” he underlined.

MA CREATIVE WRITING PROSE FICTION

Our course will transform you as a writer, giving you a surer sense of the technical and emotional complexes that underpin any act of writing.

You will study the craft of prose fiction with an internationally excellent cohort of other writers, and you’ll be taught by outstanding and committed faculty – Andrew Cowan, Naomi Wood and Tessa McWatt, to name a few – alongside internationally recognised visiting writers – recent examples include Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Caryl Phillips and Preti Taneja.

We will challenge you to explore your notions about writing and being a writer, provoking you into play, experimentation and risk, with the intention of making you the best writer you can be.

After this intensive year, you will leave the course confident of technique and craft, as well as your own voice. It’s no wonder that our students’ success is unparalleled, with many of our graduates going on to publish their own work – with others moving into publishing, journalism or teaching.

About

The MA Prose Fiction at UEA is the oldest and most prestigious Creative Writing programme in the UK. Solely focused on the writing of fiction, we take a rigorous and creative approach to enable you to develop your ideas, voice, technique and craft.

You will experience an intensive immersion in the study of writing prose fiction. You will take core creative modules, but can also choose from a wide range of critical modules, and benefit from our proven strengths in modernism and creative-critical studies, among others.

Graduates of our MA Creative Writing Prose Fiction have enjoyed extraordinary success in terms of publications and prizes. Our alumni include: Nobel Laureate Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, Baileys Women’s Prize-winner Naomi Alderman, Emma Healey and Tash Aw. The continuing success of our graduates means we are fortunate in being able to attract the best writers from around the world – writers like you.

While you are at UEA, the focus will very much be on exploring your creative potential, in a highly supportive and well-resourced environment.

In 2011 UEA’s Creative Writing programme was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of our continuing excellence in delivering innovative courses at a world-class level.

UEA Live

The University of East Anglia’s first literary festival took place in 1991 and over the last twenty five years we have welcomed a host of award-winning authors, journalists, illustrators, scientists, economists, broadcasters and more.

TWITTER

Follow us on Twitter for all the latest news about the UEA Creative Writing programme and the achievements of our alumni: @NewWritingNet

#NEWWRITING.NET

For a window onto the exciting new writing coming out of the UEA Creative Writing programme, visit our website NewWriting.Net

Important Information

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the courses listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the regular review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. Changes may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will inform students.

After the Course

You’ll graduate as a better writer, reader and editor. You will graduate knowing how to best critique others’ work and your own. Many students go on to publish, others go on to a career in publishing, journalism, or teaching.

Career destinations

Film and television

UEA Live

The University of East Anglia’s first literary festival took place in 1991 and over the last twenty five years we have welcomed a host of award-winning authors, journalists, illustrators, scientists, economists, broadcasters and more.

TWITTER

Follow us on Twitter for all the latest news about the UEA Creative Writing programme and the achievements of our alumni: @NewWritingNet

#NEWWRITING.NET

For a window onto the exciting new writing coming out of the UEA Creative Writing programme, visit our website NewWriting.Net

Assessment for Year 1

You will submit 5,000 words of original fiction at the end of the autumn semester, and another 5,000 words at the end of the spring semester. You must also submit a 5,000-word piece of creative work or an essay (requirements vary) for each of your two optional modules.

For your dissertation, you will write 15,000 words of original fiction, to be submitted in September. All assessed work is marked and moderated by two members of the Creative Writing faculty, with the mark agreed between them.

Your work will be read and commented upon by faculty members around sixteen times over the course of the MA – this includes workshops, dissertation tutorials and the marking of assignments. Since this course and its tutors focus on prose fiction and the development of your abilities as a writer of prose fiction, we cannot workshop or assess other work you might produce, such as poetry or creative non-fiction. However, we would encourage you to circulate such work informally among your fellow students.

Structure

This MA is a one-year full-time course, although you can take it part-time over two years. The full-time course consists of two semesters of 12 weeks, followed by a dissertation period of six weeks. The autumn semester lasts from September to December, and the spring semester from January to April. The dissertation supervision period ends in June and you will submit your final piece of work in September.

In each semester, you will study two modules. One of these – in both semesters – is the compulsory Prose Fiction workshop. This is a weekly three-hour session, during which your group will discuss your fellow students’ work together. You’ll get the chance to attend a follow-up tutorial with your class tutor each time your work is discussed in these workshops.

There are currently three workshop groups of approximately ten students. Each workshop is assigned a tutor for the autumn semester, and a different tutor for the spring semester. Groups are ‘shuffled’ in December, so that you can encounter the widest range of peer responses to your work during the course. Teaching styles vary, but typically three students each week will have their work discussed by the group. The work in progress (around 5,000 words) is circulated a week in advance, and annotated copies are returned to the student at the end of the session. The emphasis is always on constructive criticism, and the expectation is that the group will gain as much from the discussion as will the individual whose work is being discussed. You can expect your writing to be workshopped at least six times over the course of the two semesters.

You will choose a second module from the broad range of modules, both creative and critical, available in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

In the summer dissertation period you will be assigned a supervisor for a series of four individual tutorials in which you will discuss your dissertation. You will then write this independently over the summer.

If you decide to take this MA part-time, you will typically attend one workshop and one optional module in your first year, the same in your second year, and submit your dissertation at the end of your second year.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching
You’ll be taught by an internationally renowned set of prize-winning writers who have been published widely. They also have many years of experience in teaching Creative Writing workshops. These have included Trezza Azzopardi, Andrew Cowan, Philip Langeskov, Giles Foden, Jean McNeil, Tessa McWatt, Henry Sutton, and Naomi Wood. The course convenor is Tessa McWatt.

You’ll also be taught via one-to-one tutorials with your workshop leader to enrich your understanding of the key insights that came out of your workshop.

The one-to-one dissertation supervisions are intended to emulate the relationship that you may go on to have with an editor at a publishing house. Over the dissertation period, your tutor will be able to discuss your work and your ambitions for your project, so that you will be best placed to draft and then finalise your work over the summer vacation.

Independent study

One of the great charms of this year is that you will have ample time to read and write on your own. Some students use their independent study time to write a draft of a whole novel; others want to experiment over the course of the year with different projects and different styles.

Assessment for Year 1

You will submit 5,000 words of original fiction at the end of the autumn semester, and another 5,000 words at the end of the spring semester. You must also submit a 5,000-word piece of creative work or an essay (requirements vary) for each of your two optional modules.

For your dissertation, you will write 15,000 words of original fiction, to be submitted in September. All assessed work is marked and moderated by two members of the Creative Writing faculty, with the mark agreed between them.

Your work will be read and commented upon by faculty members around sixteen times over the course of the MA – this includes workshops, dissertation tutorials and the marking of assignments. Since this course and its tutors focus on prose fiction and the development of your abilities as a writer of prose fiction, we cannot workshop or assess other work you might produce, such as poetry or creative non-fiction. However, we would encourage you to circulate such work informally among your fellow students.

Compulsory Modules

The Creative Writing Prose Workshop is where you will discuss form, style, voice, characterisation and structure (amongst other literary concerns) in relation to your own work. Throughout the module you’ll learn how to become a better writer via becoming a better reader and editor of others’ work. You’ll also improve your own writing by working on the feedback given by the tutor and your workshop group. You’ll learn how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each person’s text, and you’ll learn how to communicate literary feedback constructively. You’ll attend a 3-hour workshop every week, and submit three pieces of work over course of the module of up to 5,000 words each. You’ll receive feedback within the workshop setting, and written feedback from your tutor and your peers. The tutor may elaborate on the issues provoked by your piece with a selection of chosen texts; key and topical issues of craft may be discussed. Your tutor will lead the discussion, but careful and informed contribution from the rest of the class is fundamental. You’ll then have a one-to-one tutorial with your tutor after the workshop to deepen your understanding of the group’s response to your prose. During the module, you’ll be reading widely, across genres, time periods and geographies, to further strengthen your understanding of the forms in which you’re working. The intensive study of your writing, and your peers’ writing, will make you a more thoughtful reader, editor and writer. At the end of the module, you’ll be able to test your own work against the literary principles discussed in the workshop. You’ll also be able to communicate these judgements more effectively to others. You’ll hand in a reworked draft of your work for your first summative assessment.

In the second semester, you will be organised into new workshop groups. Other than that, this remains the workshop where we we’ll discuss form, style, voice, characterisation, and structure (amongst other literary concerns) in relation to your own work. Throughout the module you’ll learn how to become a better writer by becoming a better reader and editor of others’ work. You’ll also improve your own writing by working on the feedback given by the tutor and your workshop group. You’ll learn how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each person’s text, and you’ll learn how to communicate literary feedback constructively. You’ll attend a 3-hour workshop every week. You’ll submit three pieces of work over the module of up to 5,000 words each. You’ll receive feedback within the workshop setting, and you’ll also receive written feedback from your tutor and your peers. The tutor may elaborate on the issues provoked by your piece with a selection of chosen texts; key and topical issues of craft may be discussed. Your tutor will lead the discussion, but careful and informed contribution from the rest of the class is fundamental. You’ll then have a one-to-one tutorial with your tutor after the workshop to deepen your understanding of the response from the group. During the module, you’ll be reading independently, across genres, time-periods and geographies, to further strengthen your understanding of the forms in which you’re working. The intensive study of your writing, and your peers’ writing, will make you a more thoughtful reader, editor and writer. At the end of the module, you’ll be able to test your own work against the literary principles discussed in the workshop. You’ll also be able to communicate these judgements more effectively to others. You’ll hand in a reworked draft of your work for your second summative assessment.

This 10-credit module consists of a day-long series of presentations and plenary discussions delivered by Creative Writing and Critical faculty of direct relevance to the practical aspects of researching and writing a major piece of creative work. It is intended for all students on the Prose Fiction, Poetry, Scriptwriting and Biography and Creative Non-Fiction MA courses. Attendance is compulsory.

At the end of your Prose Fiction MA, you will hand in a piece of work up to 15,000 words in length. This could be an excerpt from a novel, or a portfolio of short stories. During the dissertation period, your dissertation supervisor will meet with you four times to discuss your work in progress. The fiction for your dissertation will be original work, unpublished elsewhere, that has either been submitted to workshop or to your supervisor over the dissertation period in May and June.

Optional A Modules

This module provides you with critical and creative knowledge of modern crime/thriller fiction, and is designed to complement the Creative Writing MA programme. Crime/thriller fiction, the world’s most popular literary genre, is particularly subject to ever evolving conventions, expectations, precedents and sub-genres. Understanding the presiding logistical and thematic issues is fundamental to both the creation of and critical response to crime/thriller fiction. In the module you will analyse the developments and characteristics of the modernisation of the genre, through a symptomatic approach to authors such as James M Cain, Patricia Highsmith, Tana French, and Marlon James, from police procedurals to psychological thrillers. Issues of literary worth, escapism and social context, particularly will be examined. A prior interest in the genre is not necessary, while there will be much focus on the structural aspects of the novel. Your creative work will also concentrate on how to craft a convincing plot, creating believable characters, building narrative drive and suspense, and generating voice. There will be a chance for you to workshop work-in-progress, as you produce your original crime/thriller fiction.

What is a short story? Is it more than a story that is short? And if it is, what is the more and how might it be written? These are just some of the questions you’ll grapple with, in the course of a semester studying one of the most alluring and elusive of literary forms. On this module we’ll explore the short story’s intoxicating power together . Of course, there’s no single ‘correct’ way of writing a short story, but there are things worth knowing about, not least because the short story is such a particular form: it both asks for and gives very different things, both to the writer and to the reader. You’ll be exposed to a wide range of work by writers from across the world. In the course of your reading and your discussions, you’ll uncover some of the form’s many shapes, its technical challenges, its limitless potential. In so doing, you’ll sharpen both your creative and your critical faculties. While this is predominantly a practice-based course – intended to improve your ability to write short fictions – such is the nature of the form that an understanding of its history and its theory is unquestionably beneficial, not to say generative – as you will discover, short stories are very often in conversation with themselves. Although most of the stories you read will be relatively contemporary, the module will also attempt to historicise the form, attempting to sketch a sense of its development. In the end reading and writing are the best ways to ‘learn’ to write short stories and you’ll be encourage to do this as much as possible, with time set aside for writing and/or workshopping throughout the semester, enabling your thinking and theorising to be put into immediate practice. All of which is done to enable you to write the best short fiction you’re capable of writing at this time. By the end of the course, not only will you have developed a significant body of work in the form of sketches and drafts, but you’ll have developed a grounding in short fiction theory, enabling you to articulate a sense of your understanding of this most intoxicating literary form. PLEASE NOTE that this module is frequently oversubscribed, so priority will be given to MA Creative Writing courses. Students who choose the module might not get their first choice and are strongly advised to choose a reserve choice.

This core module will introduce you to the MA in Modern and Contemporary Writing. Living Modernism will consider a range of modernist texts in relation to aesthetics, politics and transnationalism. The course asks you to investigate the historical conditions of transnational cultural production, particularly in relation to the venues of textual publishing, dissemination, translation and reception. We will also explore modernist writing as a product of cosmopolitan metropolitan centres – of London, Dublin, Paris, New York and Berlin – and read modernist texts as thematic and formal engagements with cosmopolitan – and metropolitan – subject positions and styles. Finally, you will be encouraged to consider modernism in relation to post-First World war political internationalism and to investigate the adoption and twisting of modernist cosmopolitan literary techniques to disclose the intellectual implications of enforced exile, estrangement and persecution. Authors discussed might include James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein, Jean Rhys, T. S. Eliot and Mina Loy.

Fiction ‘After’ Modernism: Re-reading the 20th century responds to the current reassessment of critical narratives about 20th century fiction by restoring significance to a critically awkward phase of 20th century writing. Focusing roughly on the thirty years either side of ‘mid-century’, we examine what it means to read these writers work in the wake of modernism. We will challenge the formalist distinction between experimental and realist fiction that has dominated the most influential work on the mid-century novel, and which has also stamped many post-war writers as irretrievably minor. In a similar spirit, we will explore how writers worked in the ‘between’ of modernism and postmodernism. Rather than produce a cohesive narrative about the period, we will examine how our writers engage with, and disturb, their own literary, historical and critical inheritances. This module is an opportunity to participate in an emerging critical conversation that is carving out new directions in literary study. Working through the period with special attention to previously marginalized (and in some cases forgotten) writers, alongside a selection of critical and theoretical texts, we will examine the ways our writers accede to, challenge, and disrupt our critical understanding of fiction after modernism. This module offers you an opportunity to participate in – and indeed contribute to – a still emerging critical conversation that is redefining 20th- century literary studies. Some critics have expressed an “invariable sense of disappointment” with the aesthetic failures of fiction written ‘after’ modernism: but it is precisely the fiction these critics have neglected to read critically that is leading other scholars to radically re-think the stories critics have told about the period. The critical re-evaluation of neglected writers is pushing 20th century scholarship in new directions, and creating new debates and dialogue about how we read the 20th century, we join the conversation.

This module introduces you to the ways in which material texts (both in manuscript and print) were transformed during the vital era from the emergence of print at the end of the middle ages to the close of the 17th century. How did the ways in which books were published change? How can we use the evidence of annotated books to reconstruct readers’ habits and interests? How far did print transform the nature of the book? What happened to books as they started to become absorbed and classified within modern libraries? And how did manuscript documents — especially letters — enable the enormous boom in communication characteristic of the seventeenth century? How did the transformation of material texts create new possibilities for writing and thinking? The module equips you with the skills in early-modern archival studies that are necessary to tackle these questions. In particular, we spend a portion of each seminar learning how to read the handwriting of sixteenth and seventeenth century documents. The module culminates in visits to two archives in Norwich — the Norfolk Record Office and the Norfolk Heritage Centre — and your summative assessed work will take the form of a study of document(s) from these archives. The module will be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about the most vitally important era of the transformation of the book.

Modern Japanese literature, like all modern global literatures, is a lived discourse which connects to, generates, and is enmeshed within a vast cultural matrix of visual and performing arts, a matrix which circumscribes every aspect of our consumer culture. This matrix is expansive, transcending the boundaries both of the nation state and of given historical time periods, through its multiplicity of overlapping (post)modern concerns and obsessions: the creation of a nation state; nationalism; colonialism and postcolonialism; proletarian uprisings; war; writing the self; feminism; sadomasochism; body modification; nuclear catastrophe; and homelessness (to name but a few). Yet, as something which is encountered through the body, it is also localised, time-specific, and personal. This module aims to reconcile these two interpretive positions by reading literary and theoretical texts alongside visual and performance arts and thus exploring how a written text may invoke, and partake of, different cultures, schools of thought, and modes of expression; and how it might depart from them. The module will give you a comprehensive understanding of the major discourses which have informed Japanese literary trends through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; an awareness of the local and international artistic and socio-political discourses in which a given text is implicated; and an ability to analyse, discuss and write about the various key themes, tropes and aesthetic forms that characterise modern Japanese literature. You do not need knowledge of the Japanese language as all texts studied in class will be in English; and there is no requirement for you to have studied Japanese literature or society. Final assessment will take the form of a 5,000-word critical essay on a relevant literary text, or texts, of your choice. The course may include reading and discussion of the following: The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu ‘The Tattooer’ by Tanizaki Jun’ichirō ‘A Floral Pageant’ by Okamoto Kanokoi The Woman with the Flying Head and Other Stories by Kurahashi Yumiko ‘Rabbits’ and other short stories by Kanai Mieko Norwegian Wood by Murakami Haruki Snakes and Earrings by Kanehara Hitomi Miss Ice Sandwich by Kawakami Mieko Real World by Natsuo Kirino Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri

Assessment A piece of original fiction, whether a complete story, several stories, an extract from a longer work, novel or novella, will be assessed, in combination with a critical essay. Both pieces are expected to actualise or reflect upon some aspect of the course. The total word length for both submissions is 5000 words, with a minimum of 1000 words creative and 1000 words critical. A typical submission would contain 3000 words creative writing and 2000 words critical, but different projects will call for different balances. The critical piece can either be in the form of an academic essay, or in more belle-lettristic form (as might appear in a TLS or LRB-style review essay), such as writers might be called on to produce in the course of professional practice. For marking purposes, weighting is split equally between the creative and critical submissions (the emphasis being on a holistic approach to the topic in hand). A single mark will reflect the student’s ability to comprehend the topic both creatively and critically. The deadline for submission of scripts to the Hub via Blackboard is at present January 17; this may be revised in light of future COVID advice from the university.

Optional B Modules

Critical reading and creative writing collide when adapting a text for performance in another medium. The very process forces a string of questions: Is it possible to separate a story from its expression? What, if any, are the obligations owed to the source text? Must the adaptation always be ‘secondary’? Can we define a ‘good’ adaptation? The questions only grow more interesting if we consider changes in reception and more complex when we alter era or cultural setting. This module focuses on key questions in dramatic adaptation, establishing a foundation in basic theory and then focusing on readings of source works and screenings or performances of adaptations. Seminar discussions probe the choices offered by original texts and explore the possibilities and limitations inherent in different forms. In the later sessions, you will have the opportunity to workshop an adaptation for a final project. Writers are expected to produce scripts, while theatre directors will have to option to produce a script or a performance. The module is a must for scriptwriters, but no prior scriptwriting experience is necessary as the seminars teach the basic techniques of dramatic writing. Class workshop will further develop skills in the specific dramatic forms.

Are you interested in how a book is selected for publication, in how to write for an online readership, or in learning how to edit? Whether you are a writer or a would-be publisher, this module will give you an introduction to the modern publishing industry and equip you with some of the practical skills involved in the successful publication of texts. As well as becoming acquainted with the structure and economics of the contemporary publishing world, the opportunities and challenges posed by digitalisation, you will examine the process whereby books are chosen by literary agents and publishers, review principles of text and jacket design, acquire basic copyediting and proofreading skills, learn tips for publicising books online, write jacket ‘blurbs’ and press releases. You will also engage with the principles and practice of blog-writing, with copyright law and aspects of publishing finance. In recent years speakers such as Chris Hamilton-Emery from Salt, Philip Gwyn Jones of Scribe, Rosie Sherwood of art-publisher Elbow Room and Eloise Wales of The Literary Platform have addressed the seminars. We have examined correspondence between authors and publishers in the UEA Archive of Contemporary Writing, visited the Jarrold’s Print Museum in Norwich and the London International Book Fair. Towards the end of the module you will also have to opportunity to become involved in the editing of the annual MA Creative Writing anthologies. Assessment is by formal essay OR creative-critical assignment such as a literary blog.

Some of the most exciting and innovative fiction of the moment is in fact a hybrid form of fiction, borrowing subject matter and techniques from traditionally non-fiction modes such as memoir, criticism, journalism, reportage and life-writing. These novels depart from the usual concerns with character, realistic dialogue and plot to focus on voice, place, and time, employing strategies of literary craft to be formally innovative. This course looks at original non-fiction and also at contemporary ‘realist’ novels which are pushing boundaries and gaining attention in the wider literary culture. We will study the forms, techniques and thematics of both non-fiction and fiction, with an aim to experimenting with and improving students’ writing in both forms. Some writing in class and between classes will be required. The second half of the module will include workshopping student work-in-progress. This is a practice-based module taught by a novelist and non-fiction writer and aimed primarily at students on the creative writing strands but is also open to students studying for critical MAs.

Throughout the medieval and Early-Modern periods Norwich was one of England’s most important cities – probably second only to London – and East Anglia one of the country’s culturally liveliest and richest areas. In this module you will explore the literature of these periods in its material contexts (the region’s prosperity and power may still be seen in its architecture and in the rich holdings of its libraries and museums) and ask whether there was a specifically East Anglian cultural tradition. You will explore East Anglia’s rich dramatic traditions, its devotional literature and practices (in orthodox forms and in those that brush against the heterodox), and, insistently, the manner in which its literature participates in its broader social and cultural worlds. This module may particularly appeal to you if you have an interest in the cultural traditions of Norwich and East Anglia or, more generally, in the literature of place.

Too often, academic critical writing seems to bring pre-packaged language to bear on works whose whole essence and aim is to change the ways in which we see and describe our world. And too often such writing fails to acknowledge the ways in which it itself participates in the literary ‘creativity’ it is also about. How, then, to write criticism? Criticism which responds inventively to the literature which it analyses? Criticism which registers, in its own form, language, method and the ways in which it has been transformed by the work(s) of art it encounters? Criticism which recognises that it cannot rest on received concepts and categories? In this module you’ll explore these questions. Over the course of the semester we’ll read, ponder and experiment with a broad range of possible ways of practising creative-criticism, including the essay form, auto-commentary, conceptual writing, inventive ‘theoretical’ writing, and diaristic writing. Your assessed work for the module will be in two parts: a piece of creative-critical writing of your own and a critical reflection on a particular aspect of the theory and practice of creative criticism.

The aim of this mixed creative-critical module is twofold: both to explore together some of the major works of playful or ‘ludic’ modern literature across various languages, and to develop our appreciation of style and form by practising various forms of writing that are themselves ludic: creative imitation, parody, transposition from one style and form to another, creative translation. In play, we will find, the boundary between the ‘creative’ and the ‘critical’ becomes unclear. The module is generally taken by a mix of students from the various critical and creative writing MAs, as well as by students in Literature and Philosophy. On the ‘critical’ side, the module traces the evolution of leading postmodernist styles and themes, especially ludic ones, back to their origins in Dostoevsky, Joyce, Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov. Using these enormously influential authors as a starting point, we read a range of ludic authors, passing back and forth between languages, nations, and genres. Each week we usually pair two authors. In previous years we have studied, for example, Dostoevsky against Nabokov, Kafka against Borges, Perec against Queneau and Calvino, Carter against Coover, Muldoon against Heaney, Pynchon against Barthelme, and Ashbery against Mallarmé. There is also a strong philosophical element of the module, you will be encouraged to explore the philosophical theory of aesthetic play in Kant, Schiller, and Nietzsche, and later in Huizinga and Derrida. On the ‘creative’ side in previous years we have, for example, read Kafka’s short tales against Borges’s re-writings of them, tried to write like Kafka or Borges, turned a Kafka story into a Dostoevsky paragraph or a Nabokov poem, explored the various translations of these authors, and played with re-translating them. We have taken a story by Coover and re-written it as a sestina, two kinds of sonnet, and a villanelle. In doing all this, we are asking fundamental questions not only about play but also about style and form, how they shape meaning and make possible certain kinds of writing and thinking. We are also returning to the way in which literature was studied, and creative writing engendered, before the invention of professional literary criticism and creative writing courses in the twentieth century. All students will be encouraged to try their hand at parodying and imitating the texts we are studying, though this is not compulsory. Final assessment can take the form of a 5000 word critical essay or of a combination of a creative piece and a critical essay, to make up 5000 words.

This module sets out to understand why and how humanism — the advocacy of the study of the humanities, the Greek and Roman classics — gave birth to the astonishing outpouring of literature that we call the Renaissance. We will situate English Renaissance literature within the wider context of the humanist literature of France, the Netherlands, and Italy. Questions we consider include: how did the rediscovery of classical texts generate new possibilities for literary writers? How did humanists understand the nature of poetic creation? How did their advocacy of rhetoric create new ways for writers to engage with public life? And what happened when humanists turned philological methods upon the most sacred text of their culture: the bible? Our work will focus on the writings of Thomas More, Desiderius Erasmus, and Michel de Montaigne, but there will be opportunities to read far more widely in the Renaissance literature of the period. Foreign language texts are all read in translation. The might be of interest to anyone who wishes to gain an in-depth understanding of one of the most dazzling periods of European literary history.

What are the unique, defining, and potentially genre defying features of the novel? How do writers approach imagining, organising, crafting and producing a novel? The primary aim of this module is to develop your skills and understanding of fiction and to work towards producing an extract of a novel. In order to do so, published novels will be read, examined, dissected and then ultimately cast aside – since our goal will be to inspire you to original literary endeavours that speak to your interests, talent, and vision. We will examine a selection of twentieth and twenty-first century novels, including extracts from different genres, voices, and cultural influences. We will also discuss issues relating to representation in the novel (including experimentation, tradition, issues of race, gender, class identities and their relationship to prose voice) and authenticity in writing. Topics covered may include Plot, Structure, Pacing, Character Development, Setting, The Realist Novel, The Historical/biographical Novel, The Experimental Novel, Crime, Fantasy/Scifi – speculative fiction, the art of the novella.

Themes and focus: Place-based work – site-specific, walking, ecologically focused performance writing Self and performance – solo shows, story-telling, autobiography in performance Between Fact and Fiction – dramatising research, documentary material Going Digital – adventures in the digital realm – AR/VR/online Between the Ears – podcasts and audio writing Words and Music – writing for composers, libretti, song-writing Experiment and collaboration – writing beyond categories