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Personal Writing Project

Aims and Objectives:
The main purposes of this module are to enable students to develop their practical and creative skills in a specific genre, and also their critical skills in exploring the aims and processes involved in their work and that of notable practitioners. They will also gain critical insights into the work of other contemporary writers and the processes of literary production. The module will assist the student in:

  • Producing a portfolio of creative writing;
  • Examining critical concepts and practice in a genre of fiction or poetry or stage-writing or screen-writing;
  • Understanding, through practice and discussion, the research needed for a larger scale creative work, and the structures and styles necessary for executing such a work;
  • Conceptualising the student's own practice as a writer in relation to other writers' work and practice.
Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this module the student will be able to: demonstrate a practical and critical knowledge of one of the following genres in terms of subject, appropriate research, synthesis of materials, language, genre, form, narrative, character, and description, and of representative examples by published writers, namely: poetry, fiction, stage-writing and screen-writing.

Teaching Methods:

There is no syllabus. A series of one-to-one discussions are held between supervisor and student. These tend to be three or four 30-minute meetings per term. In case of larger number students taking one genre this may take place in small groups. You are encouraged to set up peer-review workshops with friends and fellow-students taking this course. A useful starting point for the module is David Morley's The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing (CUP, 2007).

Formal meetings with supervisors will stop at the end of Term 2.


A Portfolio of creative writing and a critical, reflective essay on the aims and processes involved. The portfolio will be one of the following, however, please see this LINK about word counts and possible penalties for over/under word count:


8,000 words of original fiction which can take the shape of 2 or 3 short stories, a single story, or an excerpt from a longer work-in-progress. The essay is 2,000 words.

If the submitted portion of work follows narrative sections that are absent (for example, if the PWP starts in chapter 3 or a longer piece), then please submit a short blurb (of no more than 200 words) on a cover page before the submitted PWP starts. The blurb does NOT count towards the total word length of the PWP.


30 pages of original poems. The reflective essay is 4,000 words.


An original stage play or screenplay of 5,000 words. The essay is 4,000 words. If a screenplay then also submit a treatment of no more than 1,000 words.


Original narrative nonfiction of 8,000 words. The essay is 2,000 words.