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CW904 Fiction Workshop 1

Convenor: Professor Ian Sansom
Overview
The MA Fiction Workshop aims to:
• help develop your expressive and technical skills in writing prose fiction
• improve your skills as an editor and critic of your own and others’ work
• provide you with a critical understanding of literary craft and technique
• encourage your understanding of the relationship between your work and
the work of classic and contemporary authors
• instil the disciplines necessary for the professional practice of writing

The MA Fiction Workshop is an exploratory and practical 10-week module. It uses structured exercises, published texts, class discussion and traditional workshopping techniques to stimulate the production of new work. Each week you are required to read a book that exemplifies some of the lessons that will be explored and discussed in the workshops. Over the course of the module, you will be introduced to some of the practical, aesthetic, ethical and political challenges of writing fiction. We will be asking some of the fundamental questions about the relationship between the world of literature and the world in which we live. How do books and texts determine and form that relationship? How do we invent selves? How are stories constructed? What are the boundaries of genre? And what is the relationship between literature, politics, culture and technology? We will be examining fictional forms not only in texts but also in film, video, art, graphic narratives and digital/online media. As well as novels and short stories we will also be reading theorists and philosophers such as Marx, Freud, Giorgio Agamben and Martha Nussbaum.

This is a module designed for students who wish to experiment with their work and to explore new possibilities in storytelling. Unlike a peer mentoring group or community writers’ group, this module is NOT primarily designed as a line-editing class to help you improve your preexisting stories or novels. You will be expected to experiment with and produce new texts, using a variety of creative and research techniques, including archival research. All students will be expected to present work for class discussion.