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Creative Writing (A215)

What will I study?

The course has a five-part structure. An introduction, The Creative Process, shows ways of harnessing the unconscious and building a daily discipline. This is followed by demonstration and practice of the three most popular forms – Writing Fiction, Writing Poetry, and Life Writing including biography and autobiography. The concluding part, Going Public, aims to demystify the world of agents and publishers, teaching you how to revise and present your work to a professional standard.


Course materials

At the core of the course is a Workbook, specially written by the course team, which takes you week-by-week through the five parts, with the emphasis very much on practice through guided activities. This includes a selection of supporting articles and literary examples connected with the course themes, including writers on writing – on becoming a writer or giving advice about technical or creative matters. The poems, prose extracts and complete stories included in the Workbook illustrate particular methods or strategies as taught in the course. There are also four audio CDs, containing interviews and discussions with writers talking about their own inspirations and methods, and with representatives of the publishing industry, together with a study guide and assessment booklet, and a course website through which all A215 students will access online tutorial conferences. You will need a computer with Internet access.

Teaching and assessment

There are five Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs – one for each part of the course with the second TMA being double-length), together with a portfolio of pieces of original writing and reflective comment which forms the examinable component. All assignments will be submitted electronically.

Each student is assigned a tutor who will mark and comment on their written assignments. Tuition will include two face-to-face day schools – one at the start of the course and one halfway through – and individual tutor contact via phone and email. However, the major element of tutor contact will be in online tutor-group conferences which will run throughout the course presentation, where you will discuss the course material and guided exercises and share and critique work-in-progress with tutors and with other students, in the manner of an online writers’ workshop.

See a sample of the course material online

Writing what you know represents around 8 hours’ study. The unit includes reading and writing activities that are geared to developing the use of memory, observation and the senses. It’s freely available from the OpenLearn website for you to study in your own time, away from any formal teaching environment. You can choose to use the site as a ‘guest’ or create a profile to log in and communicate with other learners.

Follow this link to read reviews by students who have completed A215.

Creative Writing workbook and reader

click on the workbook cover
to find out more about it