Making Writing Matter - EN32013

Quick Facts

  • Level 3
  • 30 Credits
  • Semester 2
  • 24 places
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%

Module Details

A follow-on module created for those students who are serious about taking their writing further, concentrating on genres, genre choice and presentation in particular.  This is a core module for students on the English-Creative Writing joint pathway. 

It will identify areas of strength, in terms of your choice of genre, form and subject matter; In Workshops we will be exploring the best way to bring out student’s individual writing preferences – whether that is for the short story, longer fiction, memoir, poetry or drama, or a combination of these. The module will help you learn independent working methods that will encourage you to self-start your writing and manage and control it via workshops and seminars and redrafting exercises.  You will produce work weekly throughout the semester, both in workshops and independently.  You will be part of an open dialogue between student, fellow students and tutor in the process of refining writing skills. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:  If you are interested in studying this module or require further information, please contact a member of the Creative Writing team as soon as possible: Professor Kirsty Gunn, Dr Gail Low and Mr Eddie Small. Spaces are strictly limited on this module.


EN41021 (Level 4 Making Writing Matter)


Professor Kirsty Gunn

Teaching staff

Mr Eddie Small


This module is taught through wordcraft seminars and workshops (alternating between fortnightly 4 hour workshops and 2 hour seminars), supported by writing-buddy partnerships.

Wordcraft seminars will be reliant on a selection of short-stories, poetry, extracts from novels, etc. and essays chosen by module tutors.  These may vary from year to year but examples of writers from previous years are as follows: Leo Tolstoy, Harold Brodkey, Ellen Gilchrist, Anton Chekhov, Alistair MacLeod, Adrienne Rich, Alice Oswald, Christopher Reid, Ernest Hemmingway, Rainer Maria Rilke and Gabriel Josipovici.


This module is assessed 100% by coursework consisting of:

  1. Folio of finished work of 3,000 words (60%): prose and/or poetry and/or drama - independently developed from writing produced in workshops, take-home exercises.
  2. Essay 1 (20%): reflective essay of 2,000 that draws on three books from the module's bibliography, addressing similarities of differences (in terms of themes and/or poetics) to the student's own work.  This can be written as a lyrical or creative style of expression or scholarly as the student chooses.  However, the essay must adhere to conventional scholarly modules of presentation.
  3. Essay 2 (20%): two book reviews of 650 words each, written to a standard for publication.


Introductory Reading List

  • Richard Brausch, Aren’t You Happy For Me (Picador)
  • Harold Brodkey, Runaway Soul (Cape)
  • Anton Chekhov, About Love and Other Stories (Oxford)
  • Ellen Gilchrist, I Cannot Get You Close Enough (Little Brown)
  • Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast (Penguin)
  • Gabriel Josipovici, The Singer on the Shore (Carcanet)
  • Alistair MacLeod, Islands (Cape)
  • Alice Oswald, Dart (Faber)
  • Adrienne Rich, Love Among the Ruins (Norton)
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
  • Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, Louise and Aylmer Maude, trans (Oxford)

Access the online reading list system

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to:

  • Show confident and informed evaluation of their own writing in the context of a study of literature that extends, where applicable, concepts learned in the Level 2 Creative Writing module EN21005,
  • Demonstrate an ability with a genre (or genres of choice) and the capacity to make informed and objective decisions as to how best to improve that work,
  • Produce regular work weekly throughout the semester - in workshops, seminars and independently, that shows knowledge of redrafting and editing,
  • Show confident and informed evaluation of their own and others' work in group sessions.