EAS2035 - Serious Play: Creative Writing Workshop

2021/2 Module description

StaffProfessor Andy Brown - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

This is a hands-on Creative Writing workshop for Prose Poetry and Flash Fiction, based on weekly exercises that introduce new writing techniques to fully extend your range of writing. Preparation for each seminar will include background reading of creative texts and completion of short writing assignments. Workshop attendance is compulsory, and you are expected to participate fully in discussions and peer criticisms.

As well as weekly writing workshops, you will give short presentations on 1) technical close readings of your own and others’ work and (2) the development of the portfolio as a cohesive project for final submission. You will have the opportunity to gain critical feedback from the workshop group and tutor. There will be detailed workshops on editing techniques and approaches.

Module aims

  • To develop an advanced understanding of varied technical and imaginative approaches to writing Contemporary Prose Poetry and Flash Fiction in a range of traditional and non-traditional forms. The emphasis is on experiment, testing the boundaries of your approaches to creative writing, and the ‘serious play’ of developing a meaningful writing project.
  • Teaching is by weekly two-hour creative writing workshop, plus a 1-hour workshop for technical close reading, discussion and presentation of portfolios-in-development, as well as editing skills. Student participation and peer commentary on individual writing projects constitutes an integral part of teaching and learning, as the tutor's role will be that of a facilitator. There will be an emphasis on technical, stylistic and thematic approaches, workshopping creative writing techniques, group work, and critical feedback.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the generic conventions of creative writing, and the shaping effects of authorship and intended audience
  • 2. Demonstrate a capacity to produce creative writing in a range of styles and genres, in a manner informed by your reading
  • 3. Analyse and critically examine, at an advanced level, diverse forms of prose poetry and flash fiction and the devices used therein

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate an advanced ability to produce pieces of creative writing, in agreement with specified forms and genres taught on the module
  • 5. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of a variety of theoretical positions
  • 6. Articulate a broad range of appropriate critical and professional terminology

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Present persuasive written and oral arguments concerning your own creative writing and the work of other authors, both peers and published authors
  • 7. Through seminar work, demonstrate advanced communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups

Syllabus plan

While the content may vary from year to year, it will cover some of the following topics:

  • Prose Poetry writing workshops;
  • Technical close reading workshops;
  • Flash Fiction workshops, including Minisagas, microfictions and flash fictions;
  • Ekphrasis (writing from other art forms);
  • Formative portfolio presentations, and Editing sessions alongside sessions to discuss the formation and development of a portfolio of work.

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 Teaching33Workshops
Guided Independent Study267Reading, research and writing preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly examples of original prose poetry and flash fiction in draft formIn-seminar1-8Oral and peer, with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Formative presentations of portfolio project in development In-seminar1-8Oral and peer, with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Formative exercises of technical close reading of published and student’s own writingIn-seminar1-2, 4-5, 7, 8 Oral and peer, with opportunity for tutorial 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
Portfolio of original prose poetry and flash fiction 702500 words 1-3, 5-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Critical statement of technical close reading (relating 2 published works to student’s own work) 201200 words4, 7-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Module Participation10Continuous1-8Tutorial follow-up

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of original prose poetry and flash fiction Portfolio of original prose poetry and flash fiction 1-3, 5, 8Referral/Deferral period
Critical statement of technical close reading (relating 2 published works to student’s own works) Critical statement of technical close reading (relating 2 published works to student’s own works)4, 7-8Referral/Deferral period
Module ParticipationRepeat study/mitigation1-8n/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

Basic reading:

 You are expected to develop a reading list of contemporary prose poetry and flash fiction for this course. For the critical statement of technical close reading, you are expected to read and analyse the work of two contemporary writers in comparison with your own writing.

 Core Reading:

  • Tom Hazuka, Denise Thomas, James Thomas.eds. Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories. (W.W.Norton 1992)
  • Jeremy Noel-Todd. ed. The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem.  (Penguin , 2020)

Suggested Reading:

  • Clements, Brian and Dunham, Jamey. eds. An Introduction to the Prose Poem (Firewheel Editions, 2009).
  • Lehman, David. Great American Prose Poems (Simon & Schuster, 2003)
  • Monson, Jane. Ed. This Line is Not for Turning, (Cinnamon, 2015)
  • Monson, Jane. Ed. British Prose Poetry: The Poems Without Lines (Palgrave, 2018)


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Key words search

English, Literature, Creative Writing, Flash Fiction, Prose Poetry 

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