The University of Southampton

ENGL6114 Creative Skills Workshop

Module Overview

This is a two-semester module that runs weekly. All students taking the MA Creative Writing will join this workshop which provides the central spine for the entire programme. The substance of the workshop is a discussion of a selection of your writing in terms of its achievement of its declared aims, and its progress beyond earlier drafts. You will also be encouraged to develop your literary and historical awareness. The workshop provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of work in progress by all students. You will be encouraged to develop skills in critical reading and listening to the work of your peers, as well as to test your own developing abilities as creative writers through the presentation of your own work and analysing the work of others.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

provide a supportive learning environment for the development of confidence, knowledge, and skills in creative writing through discussion and reflection . enable you to learn how creative writing elicits varying responses and how to articulate and analyse them . introduce a wide range of writing techniques and literary possibilities

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • how to write in a range of modes
  • the process of development and revision involved in a creative project
  • achieve originality, linguistic versatility, and structural control in your writing
  • relevant theories of writing and literature
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • write fluently in a range of styles
  • present ideas effectively both orally and in written form
  • revise and edit creative writing to a professional standard
  • demonstrate interpersonal skills necessary for teamwork
  • manage deadlines and make effective use of your time
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • plan the extended development of a piece of writing towards a successful conclusion
  • revise and edit your work effectively
  • distinguish your aims as a writer from others
  • identify the key features and their relation to readers of different styles, modes and genres work in a group to improve a piece of writing
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • deal with complex creative issues in a systematic and analytic manner
  • make literary judgements in an informed way
  • independently evaluate and apply compositional methods
  • interact effectively with readers via your writing
  • demonstrate originality through your writing


The workshop’s unique structure allows the module to tailor itself to the needs of students. Over the course of the module, workshop sessions may include sessions on narrative techniques (voice, multiple narration, chronology, pace), poetic form and diction, and consider how a range of contemporary writers have treated dialogue, setting, and plot.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will make use of writing exercises (in class and extended writing assignments), creative and critical reading, peer assessment, guest workshop sessions, and one-to-one tutorials. The writing tutor will work closely with you to develop your voice and hone your writing technique. Close and careful attention to your fellow writer’s work will be key to your success on this module.

Independent Study408
Total study time450

Resources & Reading list

Noah Lukeman (2000). The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. 

Philip Roth (2001). Shop Talk. 

Richard Rhodes (1995). How to Write: Advice and Reflections. 

Margaret Atwood (2003). Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. 

Peter Elbow (1998). Writing with Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process. 

Anne Lamott (1995). Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. 

Susan Sellers ed. (1991). Taking Reality by Surprise: Writing for Pleasure and Publication. 


Assessment Strategy

bibliography) which should consist of TWO of following THREE things: i) a 1,000-word account of reflective account of two literary techniques you have developed during the workshop (with references to literary examples, workshop activities, and your own writing, and thoughts on how you will continue to develop them) – these can include (but are not limited to) narrative voice, metaphor, digression, dialogue, and setting ii) a 1,000-word account of the drafting and redrafting of one piece (something included in the creative submission); you might include comments on how you expect the piece to develop through further drafts after submission iii) a 1,000-word account of some interdisciplinary research you have done that has informed your creative submission (e.g. psychiatric research that has informed a piece of mental illness; research on readerships and publishing that has shaped your sense of the audience of a piece of work; philosophical reading on existentialism that has inflected your characterisation; historical research into a region that has informed your setting) A 1,000-word research proposal which in includes a title, abstract, and full bibliography for your Creative Project Referral Method A revised portfolio will normally be submitted. This could include work submitted earlier and revised, and or new work. But the key requirement is that the ensemble be coherent and of masters standard. The revised portfolio would be marked as a whole.


Research proposal


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical commentary  (2000 words) 25%
Portfolio  (8000 words) 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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