MFA Creative Writing

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Since completing her MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction), Emma Healey’s debut novel has been published to universal praise and she has toured the world to promote her work. She joined UEA with half a draft of her novel ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ and having developed links with publishers during her time on the course, she achieved every writer’s dream of being signed by a literary agency. Her debut novel was published by Penguin in June 2014.

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"My year at UEA was one of the best of my life"

In their words

Ian McEwan, Creative Writing Graduate and Booker Prize winner

Article

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), UEA was ranked joint tenth in the UK for the quality of its research in English Language and Literature (Times Higher REF 2014 Analysis) with 82 per cent of our research rated either 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent).

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The British Archive for Contemporary Writing at UEA contains the extensive personal archive of the Nobel Laureate, Doris Lessing, and literary material from other prominent authors such as Naomi Alderman, Tash Aw, Malcolm Bradbury, Amit Chaudhuri, J.D. Salinger, Roger Deakin, Lorna Sage, WG Sebald and the playwright Snoo Wilson.

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On this unique two-year course you’ll deepen your understanding of your craft, develop industry connections, complete a full-length work and learn to teach creative writing. With this invaluable set of skills you’ll graduate ready to begin a sustainable, fulfilling career.

In your first year you’ll follow our world-renowned MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) course with our internationally recognised workshop-based approach. You’ll then spend your second year writing your own full-length novel or short story collection – benefiting from our PhD model of one-to-one work-in-progress supervision before submission at the end of the year.

Alongside this you’ll learn to teach creative writing yourself through dedicated classes and the chance to gain teaching experience on our undergraduate programme.

Overview

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, who include the 2017 Nobel Laureate, Kazuo Ishiguro, and his fellow Booker Prize-winners, Ian McEwan and Anne Enright. We introduced the first MA in 1970, the first PhD in 1987, and students now join us from all over the world.

In 2011 our Creative Writing programme was 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.

The principal aim of this MFA in 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 you will have become more adept and more self-aware in your own practice and will have completed a draft of a full-length work: a novel or a collection of short stories.

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. Our course builds on our extensive connections with publishers and agents, meaning that you will graduate fully equipped to launch your career as a publishing writer, and will have sufficient training and experience to move into teaching writing in order to support your writing career.

The MFA is also 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.

This course presents an alternative to a PhD, requiring fewer years out of employment, and offers the possibility of completing a work of publishable length (60,000–80,000 words) written under close editorial supervision.

Course Structure

The first year of this course follows the same path as the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction), offering you all the benefits of the workshop-based approach to teaching writing. The second year is structured on the model of the PhD, offering you one-to-one supervision of your work before you submit a full-length piece of work for assessment.

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 at least six times in the workshop, and on each occasion this will be followed by a one-to-one tutorial with your workshop tutor. In these follow-on individual meetings 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 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 eleven individual tutorials with your supervisor to discuss your work-in-progress. These meetings will allow your supervisor to give you constructive editorial feedback and answer any questions you may have. In the autumn semester you will also follow a course of teaching training, supplemented by classroom observation, and in the spring you will be offered an opportunity to assist in the teaching of the undergraduate Creative Writing programme.

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 attend masterclasses by visiting writers, such as our UNESCO professors, who have recently included the novelists Ali Smith, Margaret Atwood and Ian Rankin.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching

In your first year you will be taught in workshops of 8-12 students by publishing writers with substantial experience of teaching writing. By submitting your work-in-progress to the close scrutiny and constructive criticism of your peers, you will gain an insight into the reception of your work among a community of engaged readers, and will in turn contribute to the development of your classmates’ work. Following each submission of your work-in-progress to the workshop you will have a one-to-one tutorial with your class tutor for a more detailed discussion of your work. 

In both semesters you will supplement the workshop with a seminar-based module chosen from the range of scholarly, critical and creative-critical modules offered in the School. Here you will be taught by leading scholars or creative writers in groups of around 10-16 students. 

After Easter you will be assigned to one of the Creative Writing teaching team for a series of four individual tutorials to discuss your work-in-progress in depth as you prepare to work on your dissertation over the summer.

In your second year you will be assigned to a supervisor, a publishing writer with substantial experience of teaching writing, for a series of 11 one-to-one meetings across the year in which you will discuss your work-in-progress in detail.

You will also follow a course in the Theory and Practice of Creative Writing Pedagogy, a combination of small-group seminars of around 6-12 students and observations of undergraduate Creative Writing seminars. For four weeks in the Spring semester you will join an undergraduate Creative Writing seminar as a teaching adjunct. Finally you will design and deliver Creative Writing classes for undergraduates under the supervision of the MFA convener. 

Independent study

The course will equip you with the editorial skills, writerly knowledge and professional disciplines that will enable you to work independently on your creative writing both during and after the course.

Assessment

You will receive formative feedback on your writing throughout the MFA. In your first year you will also submit your work for summative assessment: 5,000 words in January, 5,000 words in April and 15,000 words in September. In addition you’ll submit a 5,000-word essay or creative work for each of your two elective modules.

In your second year you will work towards the submission and assessment of a full-length work of 60,000–80,000 words. You will also submit two 3,500-word essays on the development of your work, and a 2,500 essay and lesson plan for the Pedagogy strand of the MFA. 

For each of your creative submissions you will receive written comments from two members of the teaching team.

After the course

The reputation of Creative Writing at UEA will help place you in a highly favourable position in relation to opportunities in the creative industries. We have excellent links with literary agents and publishers, many of whom visit the campus to talk to students in the spring semester. Publication aside, a significant number of our graduates go on to work in teaching, publishing, as literary agents, in journalism, public relations, communications, the media, and arts development and administration.

The pedagogy element of the course will equip you with skills and experience to help you support a writing career.

Career destinations

  • Novelist and short-story writer
  • Teacher of creative writing
  • Literary agent or publisher
  • Journalist
  • Arts administrator
  • Public relations

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 140 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING (PROSE) DISSERTATION

At the end of your Prose Fiction MA, you will hand in a piece of work up to 15,000 words in length. This could be an excerpt from a novel, or a portfolio of short stories, or just one short story. During the dissertation period, your dissertation supervisor will meet with you four times to discuss your work in progress. The fiction for your dissertation will be original work, unpublished elsewhere, that has either been submitted to workshop or to your supervisor over the dissertation period in May and June.

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CREATIVE WRITING RESEARCH METHODOLOGY CONFERENCE

This 10-credit module consists of a day-long series of presentations and plenary discussions delivered by Creative Writing and Critical faculty of direct relevance to the practical aspects of researching and writing a major piece of creative work. It is intended for all students on the Prose Fiction, Poetry, Scriptwriting and Biography and Creative Non-Fiction MA courses. Attendance is compulsory.

LDCC7006B

10

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: PROSE 1

The Creative Writing Prose Workshop is where you will discuss form, style, voice, characterisation and structure (amongst other literary concerns) in relation to your own work. Throughout the module you'll learn how to become a better writer via becoming a better reader and editor of others' work. You'll also improve your own writing by working on the feedback given by the tutor and your workshop group. You'll learn how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each person's text, and you'll learn how to communicate literary feedback constructively. You'll attend a 3-hour workshop every week, and submit three pieces of work over course of the module of up to 5,000 words each. You'll receive feedback within the workshop setting, and written feedback from your tutor and your peers. The tutor may elaborate on the issues provoked by your piece with a selection of chosen texts; key and topical issues of craft may be discussed. Your tutor will lead the discussion, but careful and informed contribution from the rest of the class is fundamental. You'll then have a one-to-one tutorial with your tutor after the workshop to deepen your understanding of the group's response to your prose. During the module, you'll be reading widely, across genres, time periods and geographies, to further strengthen your understanding of the forms in which you're working. The intensive study of your writing, and your peers' writing, will make you a more thoughtful reader, editor and writer. At the end of the module, you'll be able to test your own work against the literary principles discussed in the workshop. You'll also be able to communicate these judgements more effectively to others. You'll hand in a reworked draft of your work for your first summative assessment. Only students who are registered for the MA in Creative Writing: Prose may enrol for this module.

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CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: PROSE 2

In the second semster, you will be organised into new workshop groups. Other than that, this remains the workshop where we we'll discuss form, style, voice, characterisation, and structure (amongst other literary concerns) in relation to your own work. Throughout the module you'll learn how to become a better writer by becoming a better reader and editor of others' work. You'll also improve your own writing by working on the feedback given by the tutor and your workshop group. You'll learn how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each person's text, and you'll learn how to communicate literary feedback constructively. You'll attend a 3-hour workshop every week. You'll submit three pieces of work over the module of up to 5,000 words each. You'll receive feedback within the workshop setting, and you'll also receive written feedback from your tutor and your peers. The tutor may elaborate on the issues provoked by your piece with a selection of chosen texts; key and topical issues of craft may be discussed. Your tutor will lead the discussion, but careful and informed contribution from the rest of the class is fundamental. You'll then have a one-to-one tutorial with your tutor after the workshop to deepen your understanding of the response from the group. During the module, you'll be reading independently, across genres, time-periods and geographies, to further strengthen your understanding of the forms in which you're working. The intensive study of your writing, and your peers' writing, will make you a more thoughtful reader, editor and writer. At the end of the module, you'll be able to test your own work against the literary principles discussed in the workshop. You'll also be able to communicate these judgements more effectively to others. You'll hand in a reworked draft of your work for your second summative assessment. Only students who are registered for the MA in Creative Writing: Prose may enrol for this module.

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20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

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

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

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 contemporary writers, to be read alongside a range of poems. You will be encouraged to contribute texts from their own reading for discussion. Short formative exercises will also be set in class, in preparation for the final 5,000-word coursework essay or portfolio coursework of 2,000-word book review and 3,000-word essay.

LDCC7009A

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 20th century fiction by restoring significance to a critically awkward phase of 20th century writing. Focusing roughly on the thirty years either side of 'mid-century', we examine what it means to read these writers work in the wake of modernism. 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. This module offers you an opportunity to participate in - and indeed contribute to - a still emerging critical conversation that is redefining 20th- century literary studies. Some 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 20th century scholarship in new directions, and creating new debates and dialogue about how we read the 20th century, we join the conversation.

LDCE7012A

20

LIVING MODERNISM

This core module will introduce you to the MA in Modern and Contemporary Writing. Living Modernism will consider a range of modernist texts in relation to aesthetics, politics and transnationalism. The course asks you to investigate the historical conditions of transnational cultural production, particularly in relation to the venues of textual publishing, dissemination, translation and reception. We will also explore modernist writing as a product of cosmopolitan metropolitan centres - of London, Dublin, Paris, New York and Berlin - and read modernist texts as thematic and formal engagements with cosmopolitan - and metropolitan - subject positions and styles. Finally, you will be encouraged to consider modernism in relation to post-First World war political internationalism and to investigate the adoption and twisting of modernist cosmopolitan literary techniques to disclose the intellectual implications of enforced exile, estrangement and persecution. Authors discussed might include James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein, Jean Rhys, T. S. Eliot and Mina Loy.

LDCE7007A

20

MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE HUMANISMS: FROM CHAUCER TO SURREY

This module aims to introduce you to the rich and important complexity of medieval humanism and to the distinctive turns that mark the beginnings of a new Renaissance humanism. Such an aim, of course, at once implies a series of attendant questions: what is humanism (and what was medieval humanism)? In what ways was Renaissance humanism different from medieval humanism and what is the relationship between the continuities and the new departures? And why orient an approach to medieval and Renaissance culture about 'humanism' at all? These questions, then, also lie at the heart of the module. We start from the central proposition that 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 constitute one of the most important achievements of the Renaissance. They defined the terms by which Renaissance 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. What, though, did medieval humanism really look like and what precisely did Renaissance humanism bring that was new? Our focus will be on five vernacular English and Scottish writers: Chaucer, Lydgate, Henryson, Douglas, and Bellenden (Surrey's translation of Books 2 and 4 of the 'Aeneid' offers a neat terminus and foil to Chaucer's earlier Virgilian versions, but we shall find that the translations of Douglas and Bellenden more richly reward our attention). From the freer reworkings of Chaucer and Henryson to the translations and scholarly excavations of Douglas and Bellenden, perhaps. Or from the classical past as an emblem of tragic self-destructiveness in Chaucer's Troy and Thebes to new and revitalising political possibilities found within Livy's Republican Rome by Bellenden? We focus on the period from the 1380sto the 1530s, but it will take us often to France and, more often still, to Italy. It will require us to open windows onto the medieval reception of the classical legacy from the 5th century to the 16th (as well as onto the classical works themselves), we bring together disparate materials, placing poems and plays alongside university syllabi and the book-lists of late-medieval libraries.

LDCE7013A

20

THE ART OF SHORT FICTION

What is a short story? Is it more than a story that is short? And if it is, what is the more and how might it be written? These are just some of the questions you'll grapple with, in the course of a semester studying one of the most alluring and elusive of literary forms. On this module we'll explore the short story's intoxicating power together . Of course, there's no single 'correct' way of writing a short story, but there are things worth knowing about, not least because the short story is such a particular form: it both asks for and gives very different things, both to the writer and to the reader. You'll be exposed to a wide range of work by writers from across the world. In the course of your reading and your discussions, you'll uncover some of the form's many shapes, its technical challenges, its limitless potential. In so doing, you'll sharpen both your creative and your critical faculties. While this is predominantly a practice-based course - intended to improve your ability to write short fictions - such is the nature of the form that an understanding of its history and its theory is unquestionably beneficial, not to say generative - as you will discover, short stories are very often in conversation with themselves. Although most of the stories you read will be relatively contemporary, the module will also attempt to historicise the form, attempting to sketch a sense of its development. In the end reading and writing are the best ways to 'learn' to write short stories and you'll be encourage to do this as much as possible, with time set aside for writing and/or workshopping throughout the semester, enabling your thinking and theorising to be put into immediate practice. All of which is done to enable you to write the best short fiction you're capable of writing at this time. By the end of the course, not only will you have developed a significant body of work in the form of sketches and drafts, but you'll have developed a grounding in short fiction theory, enabling you to articulate a sense of your understanding of this most intoxicating literary form.

LDCC7013A

20

THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE BOOK: 1500-1700

This module introduces you to the ways in which material texts (both in manuscript and print) were transformed during the vital era from the emergence of print at the end of the middle ages to the close of the seventeenth century. How did the ways in which books were published change? How can we use the evidence of annotated books to reconstruct readers' habits and interests? How far did print transform the nature of the book? What happened to books as they started to become absorbed and classified within modern libraries? And how did manuscript documents -- especially letters -- enable the enormous boom in communication characteristic of the seventeenth century? How did the transformation of material texts create new possibilities for writing and thinking? You will be equiped with the skills in early-modern archival studies that are necessary to tackle these questions. In particular, you will spend a portion of each seminar learning how to read the handwriting of sixteenth and seventeenth century documents. The module culminates in visits to two archives in Norwich -- the Norfolk Record Office and the Norfolk Heritage Centre -- and your summative assessed work will take the form of a study of document(s) from these archives.

LDCE7019A

20

THE WRITING OF CRIME/THRILLER FICTION

This module provides you with critical and creative knowledge of modern crime/thriller fiction, and is designed to complement the Creative Writing MA programme. 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. In the module you will analyse the developments and characteristics of the modernisation of the genre, through a symptomatic approach to authors such as James M Cain, Patricia Highsmith, Tana French, and Marlon James, 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. Your creative work will also concentrate on how to craft a convincing plot, creating believable characters, building narrative drive and suspense, and generating voice. There will be a chance for you to workshop work-in-progress, as you produce your original crime/thriller fiction.

LDCC7011A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

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 collide when adapting a text for performance in another medium. The very process forces a string of questions: Is it possible to separate a story from its expression? What, if any, are the obligations owed to the source text? Must the adaptation always be 'secondary'? Can we define a 'good' adaptation? The questions only grow more interesting if we consider changes in reception and more complex when we alter era or cultural setting. This module focuses on key questions in dramatic adaptation, establishing a foundation in basic theory and then focusing on readings of source works and screenings or performances of adaptations. Seminar discussions probe the choices offered by original texts and explore the possibilities and limitations inherent in different forms. In the later sessions, you will have the opportunity to workshop an adaptation for a final project. Writers are expected to produce scripts, while theatre directors will have to option to produce a script or a performance. The module is a must for scriptwriters, but no prior scriptwriting experience is necessary as the seminars teach the basic techniques of dramatic writing. Class workshop will further develop skills in the specific dramatic forms.

LDCC7010B

20

CREATIVE-CRITICAL WRITING

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 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 the ways in which it has been transformed by the work(s) of art it encounters? Criticism which recognises that it cannot rest on received concepts and categories? In this module you'll explore these questions. Over the course of the semester we'll read, ponder and experiment with a broad range of possible ways of practising creative-criticism, including the essay form, auto-commentary, conceptual writing, inventive 'theoretical' writing, and diaristic writing. Your assessed work for the module will be in two parts: a piece of creative-critical writing of your own and a critical reflection on a particular aspect of the theory and practice of creative criticism.

LDCE7004B

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. You will explore 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 ask whether there was a specifically East Anglian cultural tradition. You will explore 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.

LDCE7002B

20

LUDIC LITERATURE

The aim of this mixed creative-critical module is twofold: both to explore together some of the major works of playful or 'ludic' modern literature across various languages, and to develop our appreciation of style and form by practising various forms of writing that are themselves ludic: creative imitation, parody, transposition from one style and form to another, creative translation. In play, we will find, the boundary between the 'creative' and the 'critical' becomes unclear. The module is generally taken by a mix of students from the various critical and creative writing MAs, as well as by students in Literature and Philosophy. On the 'critical' side, the module traces the evolution of leading postmodernist styles and themes, especially ludic ones, back to their origins in Dostoevsky, Joyce, Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov. Using these enormously influential authors as a starting point, we read a range of ludic authors, passing back and forth between languages, nations, and genres. Each week we usually pair two authors. In previous years we have studied, for example, Dostoevsky against Nabokov, Kafka against Borges, Perec against Queneau and Calvino, Carter against Coover, Muldoon against Heaney, Pynchon against Barthelme, and Ashbery against Mallarme. There is also a strong philosophical element of the module, you will be encouraged to explore the philosophical theory of aesthetic play in Kant, Schiller, and Nietzsche, and later in Huizinga and Derrida. On the 'creative' side in previous years we have, for example, read Kafka's short tales against Borges's re-writings of them, tried to write like Kafka or Borges, turned a Kafka story into a Dostoevsky paragraph or a Nabokov poem, explored the various translations of these authors, and played with re-translating them. We have taken a story by Coover and re-written it as a sestina, two kinds of sonnet, and a villanelle. In doing all this, we are asking fundamental questions not only about play but also about style and form, how they shape meaning and make possible certain kinds of writing and thinking. We are also returning to the way in which literature was studied, and creative writing engendered, before the invention of professional literary criticism and creative writing courses in the twentieth century. 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

PUBLISHING - A PRACTICAL APPROACH

Are you interested in how a book is selected for publication, in how to write for an online readership, or in learning how to edit? Whether you are a writer or a would-be publisher, this module will give you an introduction to the modern publishing industry and equip you with some of the practical skills involved in the successful publication of texts. As well as becoming acquainted with the structure and economics of the contemporary publishing world, the opportunities and challenges posed by digitalisation, you will examine the process whereby books are chosen by literary agents and publishers, review principles of text and jacket design, acquire basic copyediting and proofreading skills, learn tips for publicising books online, write jacket 'blurbs' and press releases. You will also engage with the principles and practice of blog-writing, with copyright law and aspects of publishing finance. In recent years speakers such as Chris Hamilton-Emery from Salt, Philip Gwyn Jones of Scribe, Rosie Sherwood of art-publisher Elbow Room and Eloise Wales of The Literary Platform have addressed the seminars. We have examined correspondence between authors and publishers in the UEA Archive of Contemporary Writing, visited the Jarrold's Print Museum in Norwich and the London International Book Fair. Towards the end of the module you will also have to opportunity to become involved in the editing of the annual MA Creative Writing anthologies. Assessment is by formal essay OR creative-critical assignment such as a literary blog.

LDCC7012B

20

THE NON FICTION NOVEL

Some of the most exciting and innovative fiction of the moment is in fact a hybrid form of fiction, borrowing subject matter and techniques from traditionally non-fiction modes such as memoir, criticism, journalism, reportage and life-writing. These novels depart from the usual concerns with character, realistic dialogue and plot to focus on voice, place, time, employing strategies of literary craft to be formally innovative. You will look at original non-fiction and also at contemporary 'realist' novels which are pushing boundaries and gaining attention in the wider literary culture. You will study the forms, techniques and thematics of both non-fiction and fiction, with an aim to experimenting with and improving your writing in both forms. Some writing in class and between classes will be required.

LDCC7022B

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? Our work will focus on the writings of Thomas More, Desiderius Erasmus, and Michel de Montaigne, but there will be opportunities to read far more widely in the Renaissance literature of the period. Foreign language texts are all read in translation. The 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 POETICS OF PLACE

This module will allow you to explore innovative and experimental forms of place writing, from the critical and theoretical to the literary and artistic. You'll study critical and theoretical approaches such as (though this may be subject to small changes each year) psychogeography, ecocriticism, critical heritage studies, deep mapping, animal studies, and literary activism. At the same time, you'll consider a number of original works of literature from recent years, thinking carefully about the relationship between theory, method and form. Some of the authors that you'll consider (though this may be subject to small changes each year) are: Richard Mabey, Alice Oswald, W.G. Sebald, R.F. Langley, Italo Calvino, Kei Miller, Sue Clifford and Angela King, Tim Robinson, Paul Farley, Kathleen Jamie, Iain Sinclair, and J.A Baker. During the module, you'll explore some of the following questions: how have different ways of 'framing' place influenced the sense of cultural identity associated with that place? What role might literature play in this? How might recent developments in theory and practice inform your own methods of place writing? How might they encourage you to experiment with new methods? What surprising literary forms might this lead to? And finally, what new ideas might this prompt about publication, exhibition and public engagement? On this module, you'll not only gain a strong foundation in debates concerning literature's relationship to the environment, to heritage, and to ideas of community but you'll engage with these debates following your own line of inquiry, and/or through your own developing practice, in ways that will equip you to take on similar projects after the MA as well.

LDCC7023B

20

THEORY AND PRACTICE OF FICTION

This module is designed to complement the prose fiction workshop but is open to students on related programmes. You'll be provided 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. We'll also give 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. You'll examine fictional, critical and professional texts, and write exercises illuminating the issue at hand. Assessment is by creative writing coursework with a critical commentary and you'll also be expected to make presentations on topics of your choice.

LDCC7015B

20

Students must study the following modules for 180 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING PROSE: SUPERVISION 1

You'll be assigned a supervisor for the duration of the year to offer sustained, detailed and constructive editorial feedback on the production a of full-length work of Prose Fiction: a complete novel or collection of short stories of 60-80,000 words. In Semester 1, you'll have 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, you'll submit 4-6,000 words of original fiction, which your supervisor will read and annotate in advance of the meeting. For the final meeting, you'll submit a 3,500 word statement outlining the relationship of your 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 your 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 your 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 your 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 your own professional learning and development; ability to work in a self-directed and disciplined manner.

LDCC7014A

20

CREATIVE WRITING PROSE: SUPERVISION 2

You'll be assigned a supervisor for the duration of the year to offer sustained, detailed and constructive editorial feedback on the production of a full-length work of Prose Fiction: a complete novel or collection of short stories of 60-80,000 words. 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 you'll submit 4-6,000 words of original fiction, which your supervisor will read and annotate in advance of the meeting. For the final meeting, you'll submit a 3,500 word reflective self-commentary on the progress of your 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 your 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 your 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 your 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

CREATIVE WRITING PROSE: SUPERVISION 3

You'll be assigned a supervisor for the duration of the year to offer sustained, detailed and constructive editorial feedback on the production of a full-length work of Prose Fiction: a complete novel or collection of short stories of 60-80,000 words. 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 you'll submit 4-6,000 words of original fiction. The supervisor will read and annotate this work in advance of the meeting. You 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 your 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 your 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 your 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.

LDCC7018X

100

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, you'll 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. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • UEA Literary Festival

    The University of East Anglia's first literary festival took place in 1991 and over the last twenty five years we have welcomed a host of award-winning authors, journalists, illustrators, scientists, economists, broadcasters and more.

    Read it UEA Literary Festival
  • Home Truths

    The troubled little sister of crime fiction, domestic noir has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years.

    Read it Home Truths
  • Unlocking The Past

    How can the study of dusty manuscripts lead to the creation of interactive digital mapping tools? How does digitising globally significant medieval and early modern letters lead to donning walking gear and creating heritage trails across Norfolk?

    Read it Unlocking The Past
  • #ASKUEA

    Your University questions, answered

    Read it #ASKUEA

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 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,550
  • International Students: £15,800

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 £1,015 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 May 2018. 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

    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