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EL45TL: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS: WRITING FROM EXPERIENCE, WRITING IN SHORT FORMS (2014-2015)

Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27


Course Overview

The course will be taught in two parts, focusing on personal experience as material for fiction and poetry, and exploring historical and contemporary varieties of short written forms as catalysts for your own work. Initially, the course will enable you to use your own experience to create fictional worlds, stressing the importance of close observation, character, dialogue and attention to detail. The second part will encourage you to explore less familiar short forms from other historical periods, as well as to look afresh at virtual forms from our own time such as Facebook profiles, texts, tweets and blogs.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Helen Lynch
  • Professor Alan Spence

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

None.

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Course Aims:

  • To provide an understanding of the compositional process in short prose fiction and/or poetry from original conception to a completed literary artefact
  • To provide students with techniques for developing or extending their own creativity
  • To enable students to compare and critically evaluate their own work alongside works by established authors

Main Learning Outcomes:

A) Knowledge and Understanding

·         Historical and contemporary conceptions of narrative and poetic technique

·         The technical handling of voice, figurative language and varieties of literary form

B) Intellectual Skills

·         Recognise key features of form and style in past and present fictional and poetic practice

·         Recognise and analyse the key technical devices of fictional and poetic narratives

C) Practical Skills

·         Develop and elaborate an initial conception into a completed short story or poem

·         Manage forms of exploration of creative potential e.g. dreambooks, journals, etc.

·         Present work to a professional standard

D) Transferable Skills

·         use writerly skills to a high standard

·         write to deadlines

·         organise study time effectively

Content:

The course will be taught in two parts, the first focusing on varieties of personal experience as a rich source of material for fiction and poetry, the second exploring both historical and contemporary varieties of short written forms as a means of capturing many facets of human experience. The first five weeks of the course will enable the students to use their own experience as a step towards creating their own fictional worlds. It will stress the importance of close observation and attention to detail, the use of all the senses, in short fiction or poetry that is vivid and alive. Particular attention will be given to the use of dialogue in defining character and driving a narrative. In-class exercises, discussion, and individual feedback from the tutor on the students' written work combine to build confidence and a critical self-awareness as writing skills are developed and enhanced. We are accustomed to looking at short fiction and lyric poetry, and to the self-expressive paradigm in generating literature, but there have been other short forms in the past, and writers who looked at the form, and at the process and purpose of writing, very differently than we do now, just as there are currently emergent short forms that have their own 'rules' and suppositions. The second part of the course will encourage students to explore less familiar short forms from other historical periods, as well as to look afresh at virtual forms from our own time such as Facebook profiles, tweets and blogs. It will explore theoretical and practical questions such as: what difference does it make if we look at writing as moral instruction, or as an act of persuasion rather than expression; how do writers make us believe, however briefly, in the fictional or poetic worlds they have created? Workshop discussions will seek to discover and unsettle a few of our certainties, and to furnish enabling and liberating models for creative work. Using analysis of a piece of short writing as a catalyst for students' own creative work, each seminar will involve plenary and small group discussion, individual writing exercises, peer response, reflection and feedback.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 2 x short folios of creative work in poetry or prose, 90%, Seminar Assessment Mark 10% In teaching week 7 students will submit 1 x completed portfolio of fiction of 1500-3500 words total, or 1 x short portfolio of poetry comprising 60 - 120 lines (45%) based on the use of voice in creative writing. In the week following the end of teaching students will submit 1 x completed portfolio of fiction of 1500-3500 words total, or 1 x short portfolio of poetry comprising 60 - 120 lines (45%) based on the conception of place in creative writing. At the end of the module, students will be evaluated on their draft creative work thoroughout the course (10%). Resit: For honours students only: candidates achieving a CAS mark of 6-8 may be awarded compensatory level 1 credit. Candidates achieving a CAS mark of less than 6 will be required to submit a new essay.

Formative Assessment

Course journal.

Feedback

Weekly feedback on journal work and class contributions. Detailed written feedback on summative assessment.

Course Learning Outcomes

None.

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