At the University of Leicester, Creative Writing is a thriving subject at all levels. As part of the Centre for New Writing, we run undergraduate and postgraduate courses, host public events, careers talks and writing workshops, and foster writers within the university and beyond.
At undergraduate level, we run a popular Minor in Creative Writing, which is currently available in combination with Journalism and English – i.e. students can take a BA (Hons) in Journalism with a Minor in Creative Writing, or a BA (Hons) in English with a Minor in Creative Writing. The Minor degree moves from introducing four forms (creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction and screenwriting) in the first year, to developing creative work in relation to key themes and skills in the second year, to specialisation and optionality in the final year.
Undergraduate modules in Creative Writing we run, most of which are available individually as options on other programmes, may include: ‘Introduction to Writing Creatively 1 & 2’ (first year); ‘Using Stories,’ ‘Advanced Creative Writing Skills’ (second year); ‘Writing Voices,’ ‘Forms of Modern Poetry,’ ‘Understanding Screenplays,’ ‘Writing Prose Fiction,’ ‘Writing for Laughs,’ ‘Autobiography and American Literature’ (final-year options).
At postgraduate level, we run a highly successful MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Creative Writing, as well as contributing to the MA in Modern Literature and Creative Writing, and options on other MAs.
The MA in Creative Writing is a challenging course, both intellectually and imaginatively. It aims to develop students’ writing skills in a supportive and stimulating environment, and is taught by experienced and professional writers. Because of the mixture of forms and genres the course covers – including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and script-writing – students are encouraged to experiment beyond their usual experience. The course encompasses all aspects of the subject – vocational, academic and creative. It is available full-time (1 year) and part-time (2 years). Modules include ‘Research Methods in Creative Writing,’ ‘Applications: Publishing, Teaching and Other Stories,’ ‘Styles: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop 1,’ ‘Substances: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop 2,’ and ‘Dissertation in Creative Writing.’
Students on the MA in Modern Literature can choose to enrol on optional modules on fiction writing and/or poetry writing; if they enjoy one or both of these modules and want to pursue their writing further, they can go on to do a Creative Dissertation in poetry and/or fiction (in place of the standard Critical Dissertation) and so graduate with an MA in Modern Literature and Creative Writing.
The PhD in Creative Writing consists of a major research project, undertaken with an individual supervisor, which results in an extended piece of creative writing and accompanying critical and reflective commentary. The aim is to foster students’ development as creative writers by supporting them in researching, planning, composing and revising a substantial creative work or works, along with a commentary.
Other activities and opportunities, which everyone can get involved in – staff, students and public alike – include:
- Career and publishing talks
- Masterclasses by guest writers
- Book launches and readings
- An Annual Creative Writing Lecture, given by a well-known author
- A Facebook group, ‘Creative Writing at Leicester,’ on which we share writing opportunities, news, competitions, local and national events, and calls for submissions
- A blog, Creative Writing at Leicester, full of news, articles, and creative work
- This blog, ‘Everybody’s Reviewing,’ on which we publish book reviews and author interviews
- New Walk Editions, co-edited from the Centre for New Writing, which publishes four single-authored poetry pamphlets each year, by new and established poets
- Immersion in the local and regional literary community
- Connections with the many community projects and commissions run by the Centre for New Writing
For more information, see also: https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/english/creativewriting . For further details about any of our activities, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Jonathan Taylor, at jt265 [at] le.ac.uk.