Writing the Environment module (EN42030)

A creative writing course concerned with what it means, as writers, to consider the environment in our writing practice.

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This is a practitioner-taught creative writing module.

In this module we ask what it means to write creatively about the environment, realising how creative writing (poetry, prose, dramatic, and innovative/hybrid forms) might relate to current debates about the environment.

This module will develop your writing skills and account of what it means to write from immediate, personal, and witness perspectives. You will learn what it means to incorporate fact into fiction (and vice versa), and appreciate what effect your choices have (in terms of perspective, style, and vision).

What you will learn

In this module you will:

  • develop a toolkit which prepares you to read critically and write creatively about the environment in both non-fictional and fictional contexts
  • develop an understanding of major current debates in environmental writing, and their creative/critical heritage
  • begin to develop techniques of place-based writing
  • learn to situate your writing in respect to the issues in question

By the end of this module, you will:

  • have developed an understanding of the practical, moral, and ethical issues involved when writing creatively about the environment
  • have developed advanced editorial and creative writing skills in your chosen genre

Assignments / assessment

  • Workshop writing sample submission (10%)
  • Workshop participation (as featured writer) (10%)
  • Workshop critique (10%)
  • Portfolio of original creative writing (prose - 4000 words; poetry - 16-18 pages) and writer's statement (prose - 800 words; poetry - 2 pages) (70%)

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

  • craft seminars (you will learn about modes of writing practice, and undertake practical writing exercises)
  • workshops (detailed critique of works in progress)
  • visiting writer talks

The course also incorporates a reading/writing week, where you are encouraged to concentrate deeply on your writing practice.


This module is available on following courses: