EAS1042 - Write after Reading

2021/2 Module description

StaffDr Ellen Wiles - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

Excellent writers need to be excellent readers. This module introduces you to a diverse selection of some of most dynamic poetry and prose writers working today; interrogates, through reading and discussion, what these writers are doing and how they are doing it; and gives you the chance to put some of these craft skills into practice in your own writing.

Through a series of weekly short online lectures and workshop groups, you will develop your own creative writing through an active engagement with reading. By the end of the module you will have a strong sense of the contemporary literary scene, and key literary craft strategies and techniques in prose and poetry, and you will be able to apply these strategies and techniques to your own creative writing, giving your work new strength and relevance.

The module is compulsory for those of you taking the combined-honours English and Creative Writing degree programme.

Module aims

This module will introduce you to a diverse selection of contemporary authors and texts, including poetry and prose, through lectures, discussions, videos and workshops. It will encourage you to develop a craft-oriented approach to reading, and to take inspiration from this reading to produce a series of thoughtful, rigorous and imaginative responses in your own creative writing.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an informed appreciation of a diverse range of contemporary creative writing in the English language
  • 2. Demonstrate an understanding of some of the key debates and issues in contemporary publishing that shape creative writing, authorship, and readership
  • 3. Demonstrate a capacity to produce creative writing in a range of styles and genres, informed by engaged reading

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of key craft techniques and approaches in creative writing
  • 5. Present persuasive oral arguments concerning your own creative writing and the work of other authors, both peers and published writers
  • 6. Articulate a broad range of appropriate critical and professional terminology

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Through workshop participation, demonstrate advanced communication skills, and an ability to work effectively both individually and in collaborative groups
  • 8. Through writing essays and creative work inspired by new reading material, demonstrate advanced skills in delivering clear, well-structured, and persuasive writing and communication in response to assignments
  • 9. Through research and critical reading, demonstrate advanced proficiency in digesting, understanding and analysing a wide range of source material, and communicating that understanding clearly and effectively

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that the module will cover some or all of the following topics:

• Political activism in contemporary poetry
• Traditional poetic forms in contemporary poetry
• Titles and openings in contemporary poetry
• Sensory engagement in contemporary poetry
• Contemporary prose poetry and when it becomes flash fiction
Prose fiction:
• Experimentation and formal play in contemporary fiction
• Characterisation and point of view in contemporary fiction
• Dialogue and voice in contemporary fiction
• Setting and place in contemporary fiction
• Construction and plotting in contemporary fiction
• Editing and publishing contemporary fiction and poetry

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Lectures or equivalent
Scheduled Learning and Teaching
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Weekly seminars with a workshop element: 11 x 2-hour workshops.
Guided Independent Study100Preparation for lectures and seminars
Guided Independent Study100Study groups, research, reading, assigned listening
Guided Independent Study67Assessment – drafting and writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio of writingOngoing, variable1-7,9Oral feedback in seminar with opportunity for office hours follow-up

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Short story502000 words plus 500 words of explanatory introduction.1-4, 8-9Feedback sheet with opportunity for office-hours follow-up
Poetry4060 lines plus 500 words of explanatory introduction.1-4, 8-9Feedback sheet with opportunity for office-hours follow-up
Workshop participation10Continuous1,2, 4-7, 9Oral feedback, opportunity for office-hours discussion

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Short storyShort story1-4, 8-9Referral/deferral period
PoetryPoetry1-4, 8-9Referral/deferral period
Workshop participationRepeat Study/Mitigation1,2,4-7,9N/a

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

A precise reading list will be available on the module’s ELE page for each week, and most of this will be freely accessible online or via scanned extracts. No book purchases are mandatory. However, the following books are highly recommended, and all will be covered on the course:

Two anthologies – one poetry, one prose fiction:

• The Art of the Short Story: An international anthology of contemporary short stories, ed. Daniel Halpern (Penguin, 2000)
• The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem: from Baudelaire to Anne Carson (Penguin, 2018) ed. Jeremy Noel-Todd

Two useful handbooks – one poetry, one prose fiction:
• Writing Poems by Peter Sansom (Bloodaxe, 1994)
• The Art of Writing Fiction by Andrew Cowan (Routledge, 2011)

These single-author poetry collections, short story collections, and novels:
• Dear Boy by Emily Berry (Faber, 2013)
• Flèche by Mary Jean Chan (Faber, 2019)
• Attrib. by Eley Williams (Influx, 2011)
• Weather by Jenny Offill (Granta, 2020)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

• ELE pages for EAS1042
• The New Yorker creative writing podcasts: Fiction, Poetry, and The Writer’s Voice
• The Paris Review website for creative writing and author interviews: http://www.parisreview.com
• YouTube for literary events and many of the featured authors performing their creative writing
• ELE: https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=8551

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

English, Creative Writing

Important please note

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Foreign Language Centre modules 2020/21

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