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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, social 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 to 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.

Topics will vary and will include:

  • Crime fiction
  • Creative copywriting
  • Character dialogues
  • Travelogues
  • Digital narratives 
  • Satirical fiction

Paper title Creative Writing: How to Captivate and Persuade
Paper code ENGL120
Subject English
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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Schedule C
Arts and Music

Associate Professor David Ciccoricco

Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Associate Professor David Ciccoricco
Dr Paul Tankard, Professor Liam McIlvanney, Associate Professor Simone Marshall

Paper Structure
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
  1. Students will gain exposure to of 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.
  2. Tutorial workshops will introduce practices to help students learn to give and receive effective feedback.
  3. Students will 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.
  4. Students will gain the ability to judge and assess creative texts for their rhetorical structure and persuasive effects. 
  5. Students will develop their capacity for self-directed activity through compiling their creative submissions.
  6. Students will 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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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 18-22


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