Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Creative Writing

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Taster materials

Sample exercises

Here are some ‘taster’ activities from early parts of Creative Writing (A215) on ways of stimulating imagination and on writing fiction.

The purpose of this set of exercises is to develop your powers of observation and memory so that your writing will contain vivid and authentic details.

Exercise 1: Observing your environment
close your eyes for a few moments and think of the room or place around you...

Exercise 2: People and possessions
creating a character through thinking about their possessions

Exercise 3: Turning research into writing
practice in carrying out research and creating a strong setting for your character and story.

Extracts from study material

If you enjoy these writing activities, you can find out more about the module by reading the chapter ‘Writing what you know’ from the Workbook, which is available online.

Interviews with authors

A unique resource for students on our modules is the provision of recorded interviews with well-known authors. For example, the A174 Start Writing Fiction CD featured interviews with Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Michele Roberts and others. You can listen to extracts from the CD on OpenLearn.

A215 Creative Writing has 4 CDs featuring Stevie Davies, Douglas Dunn, Vicki Feaver, Maggie Gee, Jackie Kay, Hanif Kureishi, Blake Morrison, Sean O’Brien, and others. There are also interviews with leading editors and publishers.

A363 Advanced Creative Writing has 3 CDs featuring extensive interviews with Hilary Mantel, Liz Jensen, Jane Rogers, Ian McMillan, and leading playwrights including David Edgar, Mark Ravenhill, Tanika Gupta, and Alan Ayckbourn.

To hear some of the writers who contribute to A215 and A363 go to OpenLearn album Creative Writing.

Creative Writing MA

To get some idea of the level at which you will be working for this MA, see our sample writing exercises. These are taken from each of the four genres covered: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and script.

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