Introduction to Creative Writing

Literary Studies > Introduction to Creative Writing

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Unit Summary

  • Course code: LS 375CR
  • Suggested Prerequisites:
    • No Prerequisites; however, a desire to write is recommended!
  • Time investment:
  • Assessment suggestions: In this course, students could submit a piece each week from a variety of genres. Students will also be encouraged to read a variety of writers and write reviews of them
  • Faculty: Arts
  • School: School:Language and Literature
  • Department: Topic:Literary Studies
  • Stream Creative Writing
  • Level:

Content summary


Intended outcome


The aims of the module are to engage with and develop an understanding of contemporary and traditional texts, including their formal and ideological character and the impact they have had on audience and culture. Such an understanding should be developed alongside an appreciation of the methods for the research and creation of a text, and thus enable the student to produce a substantial and informed portfolio of critical and creative writing. Writing should be studied in the context that produces it and the need it fulfills.

Unit materials

  • Study guide:



Texts are required on a week by week basis. Most content is available online, however, it is recommended that a public library is used to obtain the materials required for this course.



This course is designed to teach students what stimulate the creative process as they create their own pieces of creative writing. It is recommended that students use Rhetoric and Composition as a guide to review and improve technical aspects of their writing.



Assignments are described below in the week by week syllabus.

Week one

  • Read Allen Ginsberg's America and write a short review (500 words).
  • Rewrite or reimagine the opening to be submitted (on the course talk page) for discussion in relation to this text.

Week two

  • Read T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and write a short review (500 words).
  • Submit one poem of your own devising and consider how it contrasts with Prufrock.
    • Further information on T. S. Eliot can be found in the T. S. Eliot course.

Week three

  • Read Angela Carter's The Passion of New Eve and write a short review (500 words).
  • Submit a short introduction to postmodernism, researched independently, or a short piece of creative writing exploring the themes and/or techniques of postmodern theory.

Week four

  • Read Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and explore the controversy that surrounded it.
  • Submit an essay/article on what you understand of postcolonialism and/or the social climate in which Rushdie's novel was written and received. Alternatively, consider the relationship between creative writing and the market(s) it reaches.

Week five

  • Read Jeff Noon's Vurt and watch Pulp Fiction. Consider the use of non-linear narrative, unreliable narrator, drug-use, crime, violence, sexuality, loss and desire.
  • Submit for discussion a short extract of writing influenced by both or either of these texts, in any genre or style, or a detailed plan of a longer work (e.g. a novel or film), including motifs, structure and characters, which reflects the formal elements of either text.

Week six

  • Watch Legend (Ultimate Edition)/Director's Cut and read Book 1 of The Faerie Queene. Consider the use of traditional storytelling techniques in comparison to contemporary texts.
  • Prepare EITHER: a short analysis of the film, its structure, its characterisation and the effect of these upon the audience; a comparison of the film and poem for discussion amongst your peers; OR an argued consideration of whether a text like The Faerie Queene could/should be written now and what implications this has or would have on modern literature.

Week seven

  • Read Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and research the theory behind Gonzo journalism
  • Submit a piece on the subject of autobiography, Gonzo journalism and/or truth and its un/importance in contemporary literature.

Week eight

  • Read Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and watch Trainspotting. Consider it in comparison to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  • EITHER write a comparison of the three texts and they way they present reality, truth, addiction, perspective or any other theme you consider appropriate; OR rewrite one scene or section from either Confessions or Trainspotting, to adapt it for another audience or genre.

Week nine

  • Read Book 1 of The Illuminatus! Trilogy.
  • Write a short review (500 words).
  • Submit EITHER: a verse rewrite of one chapter; a piece on the use of comedy and generic convention in the text; OR a comparison between this text and any other on the module.

Week ten

  • Plan and create a piece of prose, poetry, journalism, scriptwriting or other writing-for-purpose, with a short commentary on your intentions for the text.
  • Submit the plan, text and commentary for group discussion, considering the other texts you have encountered on the programme and their literary and cultural impact.