1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
1 x 111-hour independent study per semester
Creative work, Participation, Presentation, Reflective piece
Topic description

It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it – Jack Kerouac

This topic is designed to help students conceptualise, critique, and create short written works. In this two-hour workshop, students will read and analyse a diverse range of short texts and will be encouraged to use them as models for their own creative writing. Students will consider how short narratives are constructed and how they function by examining fundamental building blocks of storytelling like structure, voice, characterisation, setting and genre. Close reading of short stories from national and international markets will help students to understand the cultural contexts in which such fictions are produced. Students will be introduced to the crucial process of refining, revising, and polishing creative work for publication.

Educational aims

This topic aims to broaden students’ appreciation of the short story genre, to encourage students to read some exemplars of the form, and to help them understand the cultural contexts in which such fictions are produced. The short story is particularly appropriate for encouraging comparative analysis between national cultures and periods of literary development.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Construct a creative and critical response to a diverse range of short stories
  2. Discuss their textual analysis skills when reading and responding to their peers’ creative writing, both orally and in writing
  3. Formulate edited work which provides evaluative feedback to peers
  4. Debate critically the short story form in various genres
  5. Develop a short story of their own following appropriate form, genre and style