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ENGL320 Advanced Creative Writing

An advanced workshop-based paper covering technical and professional aspects of creative writing.

ENGL 320 Advanced Creative Writing aims to launch your career as a writer. It focuses on honing your skills as a writer and allowing you to develop a final portfolio of work that could lead to publication, postgraduate study in creative writing and/or a career in the creative and communication industries. The paper is based around weekly writing workshops led by an experienced, well-published creative writer. In these workshops you will share drafts of your writing, receive feedback from fellow writers and work towards your final portfolio. These workshops are supplemented by weekly lectures in which you will be introduced to new literary texts and techniques, meet major New Zealand and/or international creative writers and receive practical advice on becoming a professional writer.

ENGL 320 counts towards the Writing minor subject, as well as towards the English major and minor subjects.

Paper title Advanced Creative Writing
Paper code ENGL320
Subject English
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

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Prerequisite
18 200-level ENGL points
Recommended Preparation
ENGL 217 or ENGL 220
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Textbooks
No textbooks are required. Selected poems, short stories, novel extracts and guides to literary techniques will be made available through eReserve.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Scholarship, Teamwork, Communication, Self-motivation, Lifelong learning, Global perspective, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will gain exposure to of a range of literary texts, contexts, and techniques and the ability to read them closely and with insight. They will also learn to deploy particular literary techniques effectively in their own writing. Graduate attributes: Critical thinking, Scholarship
  2. Two-hour tutorials will employ workshop practices, developing students' collaborative skills in giving and receiving effective feedback. Graduate attribute: Teamwork
  3. Students will hone writing skills and develop new vocabularies and techniques for producing and analysing creative writing. The development of portfolios will give students experience in editing and presenting their own work. Graduate attribute: Communication
  4. Students will gain the ability to judge and assess literary forms and style. Graduate attributes: Critical thinking, Scholarship
  5. Students will develop their capacity for self-directed activity through compiling their reading journal and preparing their portfolios of works. Graduate attributes: Self-motivation, Lifelong learning
  6. Students will be exposed to diverse literary and cultural characteristics and their influences on each other in a global cultural context through studying literary works and analysing the practice of writers both in New Zealand and around the world. Graduate attributes: Global perspective, Cultural understanding
Eligibility
The prerequisite may be waived for students demonstrating equivalent preparatory experience either through prior study or published creative writing. Please contact the course convener for more details.
Contact
Associate Professor Jacob Edmond, jacob.edmond@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Convenor: Associate Professor Jacob Edmond

Workshops will be led by experienced creative writers.
Paper Structure
Weekly lectures introduce a literary technique or range of techniques drawn from one of the set texts. Lectures model literary analysis, emphasising the writer's strategies and practice. Each semester, two lectures will feature practising creative writers in a question-and-answer format.

Weekly two-hour workshops are led by an experienced, well-published creative writer. These workshops provide hands-on practice with the literary techniques discussed in lectures. Typically, workshops will involve the sharing and discussion of student work. Each week students will be asked to present work that follows a set writing exercise relating to the literary technique introduced in the previous week's lecture.

The intention of the workshop is twofold:
  1. For each student to receive constructive critical feedback on their writing
  2. For each student to develop their own practical critical skills, which will in turn help students to shape, rewrite and edit their own work
Exercises aim to cover a range of topics, forms or techniques for kick-starting creativity.

Students will be taught techniques relating to both prose fiction and poetry. For their final portfolios they will have the opportunity to specialise in one of three genres: short fiction, long-form fiction or poetry.

ENGL 320 is 100% internally assessed. The breakdown of assessment will likely be as follows:

Reading Journal 20%
You will keep a journal throughout the paper. Your journal should include your analysis of and reflections on the set reading; your responses to the workshop writing exercises, feedback and discussion; your reflection upon the process of creative imitation, adaptation and literary analysis. You will submit your journal to your tutor twice during the semester.

Writing exercises 20%
To be submitted weekly and to be discussed in workshop classes: grade will be based on written submission and oral giving and receiving of feedback in class.

Portfolio 1 20%
This portfolio is a selection of the best two or three of your creative workshop writing exercises, along with an introduction that reflects upon and provides a rationale for your practice. Due before mid-semester break.

Portfolio 2 40%
A final portfolio of fiction or poetic work. The portfolio should comprise one of the following:
  1. Short fiction: a series of short stories or one longer short story (approx. 5,000 words)
  2. Novel: the outline of a planned novel and a sample chapter (approx. 5,000)
  3. Poetry (15-20 poems, each of one page or less; or another format of equivalent length agreed in advance)
The portfolio may include revised work from portfolio 1, but at least half of the submitted material must be new work. (This resubmission gives students a chance to rewrite and improve after feedback.)
Teaching Arrangements
Teaching comprises a weekly one-hour lecture and a weekly two-hour writing workshop. The lectures introduce new techniques while the workshops focus on creative writing practice.

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Timetable

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Monday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41

Workshop

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 12:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
A2 Friday 11:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41