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ENGL120 Creative Writing: How to Captivate and Persuade

Develops the ability to write expressively and persuasively across a range of creative modes and media, including print, digital media and marketing.

Creative writing is everywhere. It connects authors and audiences whether you are reading a novel or driving past a billboard. This paper will train students in the craft of writing expressively and persuasively across a wide range of creative modes and media. From writing literary fiction for the printed page or for digital platforms, to producing compelling and poetic sales copy, this paper provides students with the basic knowledge and skills that allows them to connect with a target audience and become better storytellers. It will pose questions concerning the very nature of "literary" language and examine the ways in which such language can command our attention, stir our emotions, and thus encourage us toward action.

Workshops will guide students in hands-on writing tasks in each creative mode covered in the paper. Students will also receive guidance in the practice of constructive peer critique.

More specifically, this paper will enable students to recognise and replicate creative writing across a range of forms, genres, and media; that is, it will emphasise "transmedial"; qualities of literary language. At the same time, it will enable students to recognise qualities of creative writing that are "media specific"; according to the affordances and limitations of a particular form.

Paper title Creative Writing: How to Captivate and Persuade
Paper code ENGL120
Subject English
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Associate Professor David Ciccoricco
Lecturers: Professor Liam McIlvanney
Dr Emer Lyons
Associate Professor Simone Marshall
Associate Professor Paul Tankard

Paper Structure

Topics will vary and will include:

  • Crime fiction
  • Creative copywriting
  • Flash Fiction
  • Digital narratives
  • Satire
  • Travelogues
Teaching Arrangements

The paper consists of one (1-hour) lecture per week and eight (2-hour) writing workshops during the semester.

All readings and course materials available online.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Gain exposure to a range of creative genres and forms and acquire the skills with which to identify elements and techniques of each that attract attention and persuasively affect readers
  • Be introduced to practices (in tutorial workshops) to help learn to give and receive effective feedback
  • Develop new vocabularies and techniques that span creative fiction and creative advertising. The development of a portfolio will give students experience in editing and presenting their own work
  • Gain the ability to judge and assess creative texts for their rhetorical structure and persuasive effects
  • Develop their capacity for self-directed activity through compiling their creative submissions
  • Be exposed to diverse literary and cultural characteristics and their influences on each other in a global cultural context through studying how different texts affect different audiences in different contexts. This exposure will also help them develop as conscientious citizens

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 11:00-12:50 11-13, 16-18, 20-21
A2 Wednesday 13:00-14:50 11-13, 16-18, 20-21
A3 Thursday 11:00-12:50 11-13, 16-18, 20-21
A4 Thursday 13:00-14:50 11-13, 16-18, 20-21
A5 Friday 11:00-12:50 11-13, 16-18, 20-21
A6 Thursday 11:00-12:50 11-13, 16-18, 20-21
A7 Friday 11:00-12:50 11-13, 16-18, 20-21