MFA Creative Writing

A two-year full-time programme, the first year of the MFA is identical to our existing, world-renowned MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) and offers all the benefits of the workshop-based approach to teaching writing. You will attend weekly workshops supported by individual tutorials and supplementary classes chosen from the full range of MA options in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

Your second year will be structured on the model of the PhD, offering one-to-one supervision of your work-in-progress and culminating in the submission of a full-length work for assessment. In addition you will attend classes in the teaching of Creative Writing and will gain practical classroom experience on our undergraduate programme.

Building on our extensive connections with publishers and agents, you will graduate fully equipped to launch your career as a publishing author while having the training and experience to support your writing career as a teacher of writing.

Overview

Please note that the closing date for receipt of complete applications (including all documentation and references) is 1 June 2016. However, the course may be full before the closing date and so candidates are advised to apply as early as possible.

About the course

The Creative Writing programme at UEA was the first of its kind in the UK, and is distinguished by the unrivalled success of its alumni.  We introduced the first MA in 1970, the first PhD in 1987, and students now join us from all over the world.

In 2011 we were awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of our continuing excellence in delivering innovative courses at a world-class level.

Our MFA Creative Writing builds on our extensive connections with publishers and agents, meaning that our students will graduate fully equipped to launch their careers as publishing writers, and will have sufficient training and experience to support their writing careers as teachers of writing.

Over the duration of two years, the first year of the MFA will be coterminous with our existing MA Creative Writing Prose Fiction, offering all the benefits of the workshop-based approach to teaching writing, while the second year will be structured on the model of the PhD, offering one-to-one supervision of works-in-progress and culminating in the submission of a full-length work for assessment.

Additionally, the MFA is an entry-level qualification for a career in academia in the USA, giving many graduates the opportunity immediately to pursue roles in teaching at undergraduate level.

The MFA presents an alternative to a PhD, requiring fewer years out of employment, and offers the possibility of completing a work of publishable length (60,000 words or longer) under supervision, which will enable you to take full advantage of the excellent links we maintain with literary agents and publishers, many of whom visit the campus to talk to students during the programme.

 

How many classes will I attend?

In the Autumn and Spring semesters of your first year, you will attend the weekly workshop and an accompanying optional module.  Your work will be peer-reviewed six times in the workshop, and on each occasion this will be followed by a one-to-one tutorial with your workshop tutor. In the follow-on individual meetings with your tutor there will be an opportunity to discuss your work and your ambitions for your writing in greater detail. Your optional module may also be practice-based, offering further opportunities to submit creative work in a critical context, or may be chosen from the full range of scholarly and critical modules offered in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. In the post-Easter dissertation period you will be assigned an individual supervisor for a series of one-to-one tutorials, and will attend a series of weekly presentations from visiting agents and publishers.

The second year is taught on the model of the PhD and comprises a series of regular editorial meetings with your supervisor to discuss your work-in-progress. In the Autumn semester you will also follow a course of teaching training, supplemented with classroom observation, and in the Spring you will be offered an opportunity to teach on the undergraduate Literature and Creative Writing programme.

 

Will I receive individual tutorials?

Yes, in the first year you will have individual meetings with your workshop tutor each time your work is peer-reviewed, followed by a series of one-to-one tutorials leading into the summer recess.  The second year is structured around a series of eleven individual tutorials. These meetings will allow your supervisor to provide constructive editorial feedback on your work-in-progress and answer any questions you may have.

 

How often will my work be seen by my tutors?

Including workshops, tutorials and the double-marking of assignments, your work will be read and commented upon by faculty members around 35 times over the course of the MFA.   There will often also be opportunities to show your work to visiting writers, such as our UNESCO professors, who have recently included the novelists Ali Smith, James Lasdun and Margaret Atwood.

 

I’ve already taken a BA in Literature and Creative Writing, and attended other writing workshops. What can this course offer me?

During the course your work-in-progress will be regularly and constructively critiqued by other writing students of an extremely high calibre and by experienced tutors on the UK’s most successful writing programme. In the peer review of your classmates’ works-in-progress, you will become practiced in key critical and editorial skills that you will then bring to bear on your own works-in-progress. Over the two years you will have numerous opportunities to meet literary agents and publishers, and on completion of the MFA you will be ready to approach them with a complete draft of a novel or collection of stories. You will also graduate with experience of teaching at undergraduate level.

 

Whom should I approach for references - a former tutor, my current employer, a lifelong friend? I know a published author who can vouch for my writing.

Academic referees would be the most useful to us as they can give an opinion on your suitability for graduate study. Employers can sometimes also offer useful information about your abilities and attributes. The testimony of a personal friend is rarely helpful. We will make our own assessment of your writing, but it can sometimes be helpful to read the opinion of a tutor, editor or writer who can comment on your ability to develop in response to feedback.

 

How many students do you accept each year?

Selection for the MFA will be highly competitive and limited initially to ten Prose Fiction students.

 

What is the average age of your students, and what sort of backgrounds do they have?

The average age of our Masters students is 29 (ranging from 22 to 60). On the MA Creative Writing, we have recently accepted several practising artists, and two former air force pilots, as well as teachers, journalists, literary agents, social workers, full-time parents, a carpenter, a fashion buyer, a police officer and a nurse, as well as a number of recent graduates of Literature degrees.

We welcome students from all over the British Isles, as well as the USA and many other countries, including Canada, Brazil, Columbia, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Australia and New Zealand. We expect to see a similar range of students applying for the MFA. Successful students will have a high level of competence in the English language, allied to a high level of creative ability.

 

Will the Creative Writing MFA help me find an agent and publisher?

The principal aim of the MFA Creative Writing is to help you develop a deeper understanding of the craft and context of producing literary fiction. By the end of the course we would expect you to have become more adept and more self-aware in your own practice and to have completed a draft of a full-length work.

Some students do have a definite idea of their ‘project’ before joining the course, but most do not. The initial stages of the MFA should be viewed as a time of experimentation and play, an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Too rigid an idea of what you want to achieve might make it difficult for you to adapt your work in the light of feedback. We would however expect you to have embarked on your full-length work before the end of first year.

During the course you will become fully conversant with all aspects of being a professional writer, and will enjoy – like all UEA Creative Writing students - greatly enhanced prospects of publication on graduation. 

We have excellent links with agents and publishers, many of whom visit the campus to talk to students in the Spring semester. However, our commitment is primarily to your writing, and we cannot promise outcomes in terms of publishing deals.

 

What are we looking for?

At UEA, we are seeking committed writers who are also dedicated readers of contemporary and canonical fiction. We are looking for articulate, technically-aware students who are able to contribute constructively to the discussion of their classmates’ work while developing their own work in response to feedback from their peers and tutors.  We are looking for independent-minded, innovative individuals who are also able to participate in the collaborative (and inevitably institutional) activity of learning in a university setting.

 

How is the course assessed?

You will develop your creative practice in the context of the on-going formative assessment offered by workshops, their accompanying tutorials, and one-to-one supervisions. In Year 1 the workshops will guide you towards the submission of creative work for summative assessment: 5,000 words in January, 5,000 words in April, and 15,000 words in September. You will also submit a 5,000 word essay or creative work for each of your two optional modules.

In Year 2 you will build on this foundation of practical, historical and contextual knowledge by concentrating on the completion of your full-length work, for which you will receive close editorial guidance throughout the year.  You will be formally assessed on the submission in December of a 3,500 word statement outlining the relationship of your writing to its historical and contemporary influences, and a 3,500 word reflective self-commentary in April on the progress of your novel in terms of its formal or technical development.  Primarily you will be assessed on the submission of a full-length work of 60,000-80,000 words at the end of the course.

For each of your creative submissions you will receive an agreed mark and written comments from two members of the Creative Writing faculty.  You will also undertake teaching training during semester one and teaching practice in semester two of the final year.

 

Why study for an MFA in Creative Writing?

The MFA Creative Writing offers a unique opportunity to develop Creative Writing skills and become qualified to teach in academia. You will critically analyse developing literature to evolve your writing skills and will become fully conversant with all aspects of being a professional writer.

You will enjoy, like all UEA Creative Writing students, greatly enhanced prospects of publication on graduation. 

 

What careers can I pursue?

The reputation of UEA Creative Writing helps position our graduates favourably in relation to opportunities in the creative industries.  Publication aside, a significant number of our graduates go on to work in teaching, publishing, literary agenting, journalism, public relations, communications, the media, arts development and administration.  

The teaching training and teaching practice element of the course will equip you with skills and experience that will subsequently help to support a writing career with the teaching of writing. 

During the second year, you will have the opportunity to teach undergraduate students studying Creative Writing at UEA. You will also have the opportunity to participate in and host Creative Writing activities in secondary schools. These teaching experiences will develop in-depth knowledge and high quality teaching skills, increasing your job prospects upon completion of the MFA.

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 140 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING AND RESEARCH SEMINARS

This 10-credit module consists of a series of lectures by Creative Writing and Critical faculty of direct relevance to the practical aspects of researching and writing a major piece of creative work. Attendance is compulsory.

LDCC7006B

10

CREATIVE WRITING DISSERTATION

Students are required to write a dissertation of a length as specified in their MA Course Guide on a topic approved by the Course Director or other authorised person.

LDCC7017X

90

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: PROSE 1

This is the Prose Fiction workshop, the core of the Prose Fiction MA, and runs for 12 weeks in the autumn semester and 12 weeks in the spring semester. The sessions are three hours long and take place on Tuesday afternoons (2-5pm). Each week work (up to 5,000 words) from three students is discussed. This discussion is led by the tutor, however careful and informed contribution from the rest of the class (including annotating the scripts) is fundamental. Over the two semesters everyone will have at least six opportunities to have their work discussed. Key and topical issues of theme and craft will be addressed and wider reading may be discussed and suggested. Individual tutorials (of half an hour) are then held for those students who have been workshopped.

LDCC7000A

20

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: PROSE 2

This is the Prose Fiction workshop, the core of the Prose Fiction MA, and runs for 12 weeks in the autumn semester and 12 weeks in the spring semester. The sessions are three hours long and take place on Tuesday afternoons (2-5pm). Each week work (up to 5,000 words) from three students is discussed. This discussion is led by the tutor, however careful and informed contribution from the rest of the class is fundamental. Over the two semesters everyone will have at least six opportunities to have their work discussed. Key and topical issues of theme and craft will be addressed and wider reading may be discussed and suggested. Individual tutorials (of half an hour) are then held for those students who have been workshopped.

LDCC7001B

20

Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Students must select one module from Semester 1 and one module from Semester 2. Students may, with the permission of the Course Director, choose modules from outside the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. Please contact the Course Director if you wish to take another Masters level module not shown below

Name Code Credits

ADAPTATION AND INTERPRETATION

Critical reading and creative writing meet in the activity of adapting a text in one medium for presentation in another. The module focuses on dramatic adaptation, establishing a foundation in basic theory and then focusing on readings or original works and screenings. Discussions probe the choices offered by original texts and explore the possibilities and limitations inherent in different dramatic forms. In the later sessions, students will have the opportunity to workshop an adaptation for a final project.

LDCC7010B

20

CONCEPTUALIZING THE MEDIEVAL AND THE RENAISSANCE

The division between the 'medieval' and 'renaissance' (or 'early modern') periods governs our understanding of post-classical culture. These terms are far from innocent or neutral. They are fundamental preconditions for any critical reading of the literature of the periods they describe: understanding the genesis, history and modern critical usage of these terms is therefore vital. The first three weeks of the course introduce students to three nineteenth-century conceptualizations of the movement from the medieval to the early-modern period which remain fundamental today: Hegel's argument that the Renaissance ushered in the religious inwardness of Luther; Burckhardt's emphasis on Renaissance man's powers of self-display; and Marx's understanding of the transition from feudalism to capitalism. Remaining weeks explore key twentieth and twenty-first century thinkers. Running through many of these thinkers are twin and complementary conceptions of the two periods: the medieval, on the one hand, is characterized as an age of organicism, in which society, art and knowledge were integrated (Auerbach, Lewis), and the renaissance, on the other, as an age of tragically alienated interiority (Greenblatt) and of a growing sense of historical dislocation and isolation (Greene). Understanding the ways each of these periods is valued by critics, and the politics that such valuations entail, will be crucial to this module. We will end with one influential recent attempt to reverse the tendency to value the Renaissance at the expense of the medieval, James Simpson's, and consider how far this attempt has been successful. Throughout the course, we test critical arguments against texts from the period, by for example placing reformation religious writings alongside Hegel, Petrarch alongside Thomas M. Greene, and Lydgate's visions of his society against Heidegger's. How far do modern theoretical understandings of the medieval and Renaissance divide inhere in texts from those periods? The course therefore aims to equip students with the necessary means to understand modern critical debates about the medieval and early-modern periods, and thereby to approach the literature of the periods afresh for themselves.

LDCE7019A

20

CREATIVE-CRITICAL WRITING

A CORE MODULE FOR STUDENTS ON THE MA WRITING THE MODERN WORLD. Too often, academic critical writing seems to bring pre-packaged language to bear on works whose whole essence and aim is to change the ways in which we see and describe our world. And too often such writing fails to acknowledge the ways in which it itself necessarily participates in the literary 'creativity' it is also about. How, then, to write criticism? Criticism which responds inventively to the literature which it analyses? Criticism which registers, in its own form, language, method and thinking the ways in which it has been transformed by the work(s) of art it encounters? Criticism which recognizes that it cannot rest on received concepts and categories? This module aims to explore those questions. Over the course of the semester will consider - and experiment with - a broad range of possible ways of practising creative-criticism, including the 'essay' form, auto-commentary, aphorisms, ecriture feminine, conceptual writing, criticism as performance, inventive 'theoretical' writing, camp, and diaristic writing. The module covers creative-critics as different from one another as Anne Carson and Jacques Derrida, Geoff Dyer and Helene Cixous, Maurice Blanchot and T. J. Clark, Theodor Adorno and Eve Sedgwick.

LDCE7004B

20

CRITICISM/CRITIQUE

This module tracks the notion of 'Critique' in philosophical and political thought, as well as literary criticism and artworks' own self-reflection, from the late 18th century to the present. 'Critique', from the Greek term krinein ('to discern'), brings together questions of philosophical method, from the relation between concept and intuition to the project of understanding a historical moment through its cultural artefacts and practices; however, it also engages the 'criticality' of artworks: how they reflect on their own processes and socio-economic conditions. But if these various intellectual projects converge around a shared sense that they are doing 'critique', then it is not clear that political critique and aesthetic critique aspire towards the same thing; the concept of critique thus also permits us to grasp discrepancies and points of dissensus between different forms of intellectual, and 'critical', praxis. The module starts by providing a historical grounding in debates around 'Critical Philosophy', linking Immanuel Kant's 'critical' distinction of concept and intuition to German Romanticism's model of a 'literary absolute' in which literature actualises itself as 'critique', such that through its ironic relation to its own linguistic medium, it assumes the place of philosophy itself. We consider Hegel's responses both to Kant's critical philosophy and to the literary theorising of the Schlegels and Novalis, with readings from the Phenomenology of Spirit, the Logic and the Aesthetics, before turning to the development of Hegelian thought in Marx. Having established this basic historical narrative, we then trace the different intellectual projects and problematics that the notion of 'critique' opens up, from the 'critical theory' of the Frankfurt school through thinkers including Althusser, Fanon, Foucault, Braidotti, and Ranciere. Against this we encounter an alternative series of responses to 'critical' philosophy, notably via Heidegger, Deleuze, and Simone Weil. At the crux of these different approaches to 'critique' is the relation between different philosophical, political and literary intellectual movements, and central to this module is the question of how 'critique' extends beyond scholarly activity, whether it is the ways in which avant-garde art and poetics incorporate self-critique into their understanding of support, medium, process, etc., or whether it is in practices of political resistance. To this end, the module is overtly forward-looking, not only charting a contested history from Kant to the present, but also asking what forms future attempts at critique can, and should, take.

LDCE7010A

20

DESCRIBING POETRY

This MA module is compulsory for students taking the poetry strand of the MA in Creative Writing. It is also offered as an optional unit for students taking other MA programmes. We often think of poetry as a descriptive art, representing our experience of the world. One of the most important things it describes, however, is the experience of language. This module will consider some of the ways in which poetic language has been described in philosophy and literary criticism, and some of the poems in which it has described itself. It offers a historical survey of some of the major texts in Western poetics, from Plato to the Language poets, to be read alongside a range of poetic treatises in verse. Students will be encouraged to contribute texts from their own reading for discussion. Short writing exercises will also be set in class, in preparation for the final 5,000-word coursework essay.

LDCC7009A

20

EAST ANGLIAN LITERATURE

Throughout the medieval and Early-Modern periods Norwich was one of England's most important cities - probably second only to London - and East Anglia one of the country's culturally liveliest and richest areas. This module explores the literature of these periods in its material contexts (the region's prosperity and power may still be seen in its architecture and in the rich holdings of its libraries and museums) and asks whether there was a specifically East Anglian cultural tradition. The module explores East Anglia's rich dramatic traditions, its devotional literature and practices (in orthodox forms and in those that brush against the heterodox), and, insistently, the manner in which its literature participates in its broader social and cultural worlds. The module is compulsory for students on the Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures MA but may also appeal to those with an interest in the cultural traditions of Norwich and East Anglia or, more generally, in the literature of place.

LDCE7002B

20

FICTION AFTER MODERNISM: RE-READING THE 20TH CENTURY

Fiction 'After' Modernism: Re-reading the 20th Century responds to the current reassessment of critical narratives about twentieth century fiction by restoring significance to a critically awkward phase of twentieth-century writing. Focusing roughly on the years between 1930 and 1980, we examine what it meant for mid-century writers to work in the wake of modernism. By thinking about mid-century fiction in terms of its own historical and aesthetic awkwardness, we will challenge the formalist distinction between experimental and realist fiction that has dominated the most influential work on the mid-century novel, and which has also stamped many post-war writers as irretrievably minor. In a similar spirit, we will explore how writers worked in the 'between' of modernism and postmodernism. Rather than produce a cohesive narrative about the period, we will examine how our writers engage with, and disturb, their own literary, historical and critical inheritances. This module is an opportunity to participate in an emerging critical conversation that is carving out new directions in literary study. Working through the period with special attention to previously marginalized (and in some cases forgotten) writers, alongside a selection of critical and theoretical texts, we will examine the ways our writers accede to, challenge, and disrupt our critical understanding of fiction after modernism. By re-reading the 20th century, this module offers an opportunity to participate in - and indeed contribute to - a still emerging critical conversation that is redefining twentieth century literary studies. Recent critics have expressed an "invariable sense of disappointment" with the aesthetic failures of fiction written 'after' modernism: but it is precisely the fiction these critics have neglected to read critically that is leading other scholars to radically re-think the stories critics have told about the period. The critical re-evaluation of neglected writers is pushing twentieth century scholarship in new directions, and creating new debates and dialogue about how we read the twentieth century. In this module, we join the conversation.

LDCE7012A

20

LIVING MODERNISM

A CORE MODULE FOR STUDENTS ON THE MA WRITING THE MODERN WORLD. The word modernism was applied only retrospectively to the texts written at the beginning of the twentieth century; and that retrospective naming has worked to define an ever-shifting field of cultural activity. This course aims to introduce students to 'living modernism', a phrase that highlights the mutually informing relationship of contemporary writing and modernism. In the first 5 weeks, students will be asked to read James Joyce's Ulysses and Franz Kafka's The Trial. The course then considers the ways in which Joyce's and Kafka's writing continues to animate critical and creative knowledge. In weeks 6-12, critical and literary questions of law, justice, exile, and narrative voice will be posed out of modernism. The living legacy of modernism will be considered in different ways; as literary influence, (Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go as a Kafkaesque meditation on exile, for instance), as critical quotation and interpretation, (Jacques Derrida's claim, for example, that Kafka's 'Before the Law' is a staging of justice and literary interpretation), and linguistic or thematic interaction (Lolita as Nabokov's Joycean writing of exile in America). There will be a particular focus on how Joyce and Kafka write law, justice and exile as global, rather than state-based, categories, and the importance of these transnational visions for their continuing influence. Authors explored will include James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, Mladen Dolar, Denise Riley and W. G. Sebald.

LDCE7007A

20

LUDIC LITERATURE

Play, or the ludic, is often listed as one of the main characteristics of postmodernist art, but what is meant by play is usually left no more clearly defined than what is meant by postmodernism. This course seeks to trace the evolution of leading postmodernist styles and themes, especially ludic ones, back to their origins in Joyce, Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov. Using these enormously influential authors as a starting point, we will read a range of ludic authors, passing back and forth between languages, nations, and genres. Authors studied will include Georges Perec, Italo Calvino, Raymond Queneau, Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, Robert Coover, Angela Carter, Paul Muldoon, and John Ashbery. We will examine these authors in relation to one another, and to their major pre-postmodernist sources, such as Carroll, Rimbaud, Mallarme, and Dostoevsky. We will also be reading theorists of play such as Schiller, Huizinga, Derrida, and Bakhtin. Central to the module is the exploration of play as a response to literature, and a way of creating new literature out of old, through the play of parody, imitation, transposition, and translation. We will be studying these ancient modes of literary response and performing them ourselves: all students will be encouraged to try their hand at parodying and imitating the texts we are studying, though this is not compulsory. Final assessment can take the form of a 5000 word critical essay or of a combination of a creative piece and a critical essay, to make up 5000 words.

LDCE7006B

20

MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE HUMANISMS: FROM CHAUCER TO SURREY

The new approaches to the studia humanitatis (the study of the humanities - art, literature, history, philosophy) pioneered by the self-styled humanists (umanisti) between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries are one of the most important and celebrated achievements of the Renaissance. They defined the terms by which humanists themselves most often distinguished their own work from the intellectual traditions of the medieval past and from the work of their (allegedly) more old-fashioned contemporaries. Humanism brought with it a new attitude to classical culture, to history, to the power and potential of literature, to the world and to our place within it, and yet it is characterised as much by rich continuities with older medieval traditions as it is by new departures. This module attends to these continuities as well as to the more well-known departures. It looks at the writings of the most influential Italian humanists (Petrarch, Boccaccio, Pico della Mirandola, Poliziano), at the medieval humanism of Chaucer and Henryson, and at the early-modern humanism of Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey, Gavin Douglas, and John Bellenden. Through close study of these authors' writings, the module probes the new intellectual and literary praxes of the medieval and early-modern periods: new and recurrent ways of approaching the past and of writing history, the differing imaginative and intellectual possibilities of anachronism and antiquarianism, shifts in practices of adaptation, translation and imitation and in the reception and transmission of ideas in manuscript and early print culture, and the tensions of 'Christian' and 'Civic' Humanism. The module is compulsory for students on the Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures MA but may also appeal to those with an interest in the classical reception or in practices of translation and adaptation.

LDCE7013A

20

NOVEL HISTORY

We are currently witnessing a renaissance in history writing. Sales of historical novels continue to rise steeply. Societies have formed, new prizes established. A number of eminent historians are turning from fact to fiction. What can the historical novel do in terms of reaching the past that more conventional historical accounts cannot do? Can it challenge long-told historical narratives, propose new ones or give us new vantage points? Novel History is a critical-creative MA module that crosses the boundaries between literature, art history, history and creative writing to explore the possibilities (and paradoxes) of historical fiction. Students will study the history of the historical novel and read critical and theoretical essays about the writing of history alongside examples of innovative or revisionist contemporary historical fiction. They will also explore ideas around 'object history' through a series of workshop sessions amongst the historical objects of UEA's extraordinary rich collection in the Sainsbury Centre. Students will present work in progress in the workshop format as they move towards a final piece of creative writing, a short story or radio script, screen or theatre script. Students will be given the option of structuring their final work around a single chosen object from the Sainsbury Centre collection.

LDCC7008B

20

PUBLISHING - A PRACTICAL APPROACH

This module aims to give students an introduction to the modern publishing industry and a practical survival guide to the different functions involved in the publication of a book. As well as learning about the structure and economics of the British book industry, the opportunities and challenges of digitalization, students will engage with the process whereby books are chosen for publication, review principles of text and jacket design, practise basic copyediting and proofreading skills and learn tips for running a marketing and publicity campaign, writing 'blurbs' and press releases. The course will also touch on copyright law, finance and distribution. Students from the module are invited to join the core team producing the annual MA Creative Writing anthologies.

LDCC7012B

20

REFUGEE WRITING: STATES, STATELESSNESS AND MODERN LITERATURE

The twentieth century bore witness to the creation of a new class of person: the placeless people; those who cross frontiers and fall out of nation states; the refugees; the stateless; the rightless. Unlike genocide, the impact of mass displacement on modern thought and literature is only just being recognised. For writers such as Hannah Arendt, Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Samuel Beckett, Simone Weil, among others, the outcasts of the twentieth century raised vital questions about sovereignty, humanism and the future of human rights. More recently, writers such as Coetzee, Teju Cole, Edward Said, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Achille Mbembe have challenged categories of modern and world literature with their focus on exile and statelessness. This module combines an account of these first responses to the era of the refugee with a critique of contemporary humanitarian sensibilities.

LDCE7018B

20

THE ART OF SHORT FICTION

PLEASE ENROLMENT PRIORITY IS GIVEN TO MA PROSE FICTION STUDENTS Short fiction is too often defined in terms of what it is not - namely, a novel. Whether stories, novellas or experimental short fiction, short fiction is an art form in its own right. While acknowledging that there are no 'rules' as to what makes a good short story, we will look at the expectations and technical challenges created by the form, and in so doing to sharpen our analytical and critical faculties. This is predominantly a practical, workshop-based course oriented at writing short fiction, although students will also be asked to form critical opinions and perspectives on published short stories, the technical aspects of writing in the form, and on themes and trends in short fiction.

LDCC7013A

20

THE NORTHERN RENAISSANCE, 1500-1620

This module sets out to understand why and how humanism -- the advocacy of the study of the humanities, the Greek and Roman classics -- gave birth to the astonishing outpouring of literature that we call the Renaissance. We will situate English Renaissance literature within the wider context of the humanist literature of France, the Netherlands, and Italy. Questions we consider include: how did the rediscovery of classical texts generate new possibilities for literary writers? How did humanists understand the nature of poetic creation? How did their advocacy of rhetoric create new ways for writers to engage with public life? And what happened when humanists turned philological methods upon the most sacred text of their culture: the bible? Authors studied include: Thomas More, Desiderius Erasmus, Edmund Spenser, Joachim Du Bellay, Philip Sidney, Ludovico Ariosto, Torquato Tasso, Jean Bodin, Michel de Montaigne, and Ben Jonson. Foreign language texts are all read in translation. The module is compulsory for students on the Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures MA, but might be of interest to anyone who wishes to gain an in-depth understanding of one of the most dazzling periods of European literary history.

LDCE7011B

20

THE WRITING OF CRIME/THRILLER FICTION

This module will provide students with critical and creative knowledge of modern crime/thriller fiction, and is designed to complement the Creative Writing MA programme, but is open to students across the MA. Crime/thriller fiction, the world's most popular literary genre, is particularly subject to ever evolving conventions, expectations, precedents and sub-genres. Understanding the presiding logistical and thematic issues is fundamental to both the creation of and critical response to crime/thriller fiction. The module will analyse the developments and characteristics of the modernisation of the genre, through a symptomatic approach to authors, from Dashiell Hammett to Denise Mina, from police procedurals to psychological thrillers. Issues of literary worth, escapism and social context, particularly will be examined. A prior interest in the genre is not necessary, while there will be much focus on the structural aspects of the novel. Creative work will also concentrate on how to craft a convincing plot, creating believable characters, building narrative drive and suspense, and generating voice. Students will be required to make presentations on particular authors from the set texts, and to produce original crime/thriller fiction. Assessment by creative writing, fiction up to 5000 words, and/or an accompanying critical essay.

LDCC7011A

20

THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CREATIVE WRITING PEDAGOGY

This module is about the teaching of creative writing in Higher Education settings. Through participation in theoretical seminars, observation of undergraduate creative writing classes, and the supervised delivery of creative writing instruction in such classes, students will acquire a body of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. This will be supported by the development of a portfolio of exercises, lesson plans, teaching observation notes, classroom notes and exercises in critical self-reflection.

LDCE7017X

40

THEORY AND PRACTICE OF FICTION

This module is designed to complement the prose fiction workshop but is open to students on related programmes. It is intended to provide students with creative and critical knowledge in a single experiential burst, by exploring as they are relevant to writing fiction such topics as time, place, dramatic structure, character and concinnity. The unit also gives consideration to professional issues confronting novelists, from writer's block to editing, contracts and dealing with the media. The module presents the writer as both artist and supplier of intellectual property to a market, while examining that and other tensions critically. Reading, writing and analysis happen alongside each other. Fictional, critical and professional texts are examined, writing exercises illuminating the issue at hand are undertaken. Students are also expected to make presentations on topics of their choice. Assessment by creative writing coursework with a critical commentary.

LDCC7015B

20

Students must study the following modules for 180 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING PROSE: SUPERVISION 1

The student will be assigned a supervisor for the duration of the year to offer sustained, detailed and constructive editorial feedback on the production of full-length work of Prose Fiction. In Semester 1 there will be four meetings of one hour's duration. The first meeting will be in Week 1 to discuss work written over the recess. Subsequent meetings will fall in Weeks 5, 8 and 12. For meetings 1 - 3 the student will submit 4-6,000 words of original fiction, which the supervisor will read and annotate in advance of the meeting. For the final meeting the student will submit a 3,500 word statement outlining the relationship of their writing to its historical and contemporary influences, both creative and critical. This will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. The aims / learning outcomes are as follows: Ability to frame a project and complete necessary preparation and research; ability to plot and develop one's own writing; ability to experiment in literary form and technique; ability to sustain a lengthy creative project; the development of close editorial skills and the ability to apply these in analysing one's own work; ability to manage time, prioritise workload, and meet deadlines; ability to revise and refine a piece of writing; ability to reflect critically and constructively on one's own practice in relation to its historical and contemporary influences; ability to present written work to a high professional standard; ability to communicate effectively; ability to take responsibility for one's own professional learning and development; ability to work in a self-directed and disciplined manner.

LDCC7014A

20

CREATIVE WRITING PROSE: SUPERVISION 3

The student will be assigned a supervisor for the duration of the year to offer sustained, detailed and constructive editorial feedback on the production of full-length work of Prose Fiction. In the summer dissertation period there will be three meetings of one hour's duration. The first meeting will be in Week 1 to discuss work written over the recess. Subsequent meetings will fall in Weeks 4 and 6. For each meeting the student will submit 4-6,000 words of original fiction. The supervisor will read and annotate this work in advance of the meeting. The student will work independently over the summer to complete the work for submission in September. The aims / learning outcomes are as follows: Ability to frame a project and complete necessary preparation and research; ability to plot and develop one's own writing; ability to experiment in literary form and technique; ability to sustain a lengthy creative project; the development of close editorial skills and the ability to apply these in analysing one's own work; ability to manage time, prioritise workload, and meet deadlines; ability to revise and refine a piece of writing; ability to reflect critically and constructively on one's own practice in relation to its historical and contemporary influences; ability to present written work to a high professional standard; ability to communicate effectively; ability to take responsibility for one's own professional learning and development; ability to work in a self-directed and disciplined manner.

LDCC7001F

100

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP PROSE: SUPERVISION 2

The student will be assigned a supervisor for the duration of the year to offer sustained, detailed and constructive editorial feedback on the production of full-length work of Prose Fiction. In Semester 2 there will be four meetings of one hour's duration. The first meeting will be in Week 1 to discuss work written over the recess. Subsequent meetings will fall in Weeks 5, 8 and 12. For meetings 1 - 3 the student will submit 4-6,000 words of original fiction, which the supervisor will read and annotate in advance of the meeting. For the final meeting they will submit a 3,500 word reflective self-commentary on the progress of their novel in terms of its formal or technical development. This will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. The aims / learning outcomes are as follows: Ability to frame a project and complete necessary preparation and research; ability to plot and develop one's own writing; ability to experiment in literary form and technique; ability to sustain a lengthy creative project; the development of close editorial skills and the ability to apply these in analysing one's own work; ability to manage time, prioritise workload, and meet deadlines; ability to revise and refine a piece of writing; ability to reflect critically and constructively on one's own practice in relation to its historical and contemporary influences; ability to present written work to a high professional standard; ability to communicate effectively; ability to take responsibility for one's own professional learning and development; ability to work in a self-directed and disciplined manner.

LDCC7021B

20

THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CREATIVE WRITING PEDAGOGY

This module is about the teaching of creative writing in Higher Education settings. Through participation in theoretical seminars, observation of undergraduate creative writing classes, and the supervised delivery of creative writing instruction in such classes, students will acquire a body of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. This will be supported by the development of a portfolio of exercises, lesson plans, teaching observation notes, classroom notes and exercises in critical self-reflection.

LDCE7021Y

40

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject UK BA (Hons) 2:1 or equivalent preferred but not essential.
  • Special Entry Requirements Admission by application, portfolio of writing, personal statement, and interview.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in each section and 7.0 in writing)
  • PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 55 in each section and 68 in writing)

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Interviews

Promising candidates will be invited to one of our interview days, which are scheduled across the academic year. Typically a candidate will be interviewed by two members of the Creative Writing faculty and we aim to inform candidates of the outcome within five working days. Unsuccessful candidates are welcome to re-apply, though not within the same academic year. Successful candidates will either be offered a place for the forthcoming academic year or a place for the following academic year (if it is felt that they need more time to develop as a writer). Once the forthcoming year is ‘full’ candidates will be offered a place on our reserve list with the option of a place for the following academic year if a place does not become available. If you are living overseas, the interview may be undertaken by telephone or preferably by Skype at a mutually convenient time.

Please note that those candidates offered a place on the course will not be able to defer their offer to the next year if they are unable to take up the offer of a place, however they are welcome to reapply the next year.

Special Entry Requirements

Candidates will be expected to submit a portfolio of writing for assessment of between 3000 and 5000 words, which could be part of a novel in progress or a piece or pieces of short fiction.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact the Admissions Office directly for further information.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the academic year 2017/18 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,300
  • International Students: £14,800

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

Scholarships and Awards

There are a variety of scholarships and studentships available to postgraduate applicants in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. For further information relevant to the School of Literature and Creative Writing, please click here.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Please note that the closing date for receipt of complete applications (including all documentation and references) is 1 June 2016. However, the course may be full before the closing date and so candidates are advised to apply as early as possible.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    Need to know more? Take a look at these pages to discover more about Postgraduate opportunities at UEA…

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515