Creative and critical skills development in writing fiction

Module details

  • Offered to 3rd & 4th Years
  • Thursdays 16.00-18.00
  • Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
  • Two-term module, worth 5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit, or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

This advanced module in creative writing is intended for students who have a demonstrable interest in and appreciation of creative writing and wish to develop and refine their creative and critical skills and potential as writers. Your aim is to write fiction that engages a readership. Our approach is practical and technical with a particular emphasis on creative practice. We explore the creative process in lectures that are highly interactive, using contemporary novels, short stories and extracts from essays. You will share your writing with classmates in workshops, actively engaging in peer review and collaborating on creative problem-solving. You will be encouraged to make creative use of your own scientific knowledge and experience.

Please note that a good level of fluency in English writing will be required for this module.

Restrictions on module selection: This module is not a continuation of the 2nd year Creative Writing module. If you have taken 'Creative Writing' in your 2nd year, you are not eligible to enrol in this module during your 3rd or 4th year.

Please note: The information on this module description is indicative. The module may undergo minor modifications before the start of next academic year. 

Information blocks

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:Roxy the dog in front of a bookshelf

  • Acquire technical and composition skills in fiction
  • Present, receive and engage with oral feedback in peer review workshop
  • Refine critical analysis skills
  • Develop, progress and refine compositional skills
  • debate Narrative form and purpose
  • Developing a creative practice: raising critical awareness of the creative process
  • Characterisation: investigating and developing psychology
  • Language and style
  • Worldbuilding
  • Narrative structure
  • Point of view
  • Autobiographically informed fiction
  • Presenting creative work for publication
  • Editing and revision
  • Opportunity to contribute creative and critical work to College publications
  • Peer review in creative writing workshops
  • Making creative use of your scientific knowledge and experience
  • Developing a critical vocabulary to discuss your own creative work

class of 2019

Term 1
Private study reading is discussed in class in term 1. You will participate in individual and small group exercises on composition which includes problem solving in fictional narratives and world building. You will also participate in an object exploration workshop for sensory awareness.
During term 1 you are required to read a maximum of 8 short stories of appropriate length which will be discussed in class. There is a recommended novel for the module which you are encouraged to read. Reading materials are selected from a long list on Leganto that is designed to inspire students to read short fiction, novels and critical works outside the required texts. You will have access to The New Yorker magazine to read contemporary fiction and essays.
Term 2
All students participate in two peer review workshops and in "speed dating" critical essay topics in term 2. 
Generally, any guest lecturers on the module are asked to engage students in practical exercises (writers and Imperial academics) and deliver general feedback to you. When opportunities permit, you will be invited to attend cultural events/ lectures related to creative writing studies.
Summative assessments are submitted online through the module VLE. First marks and feedback are returned to you and will include a detailed written report on your work, together with annotations to your text. Feedback from one assessment is designed to feed into subsequent assessments.
  • Coursework: Creative writing - 2,000-3,000 words (30%)
  • Coursework: Creative writing - 2,000-5,000 words (50%)
  • Coursework: Analytical essay - 1,000-1,500 words (10%)
  • Practical: Workshop participation mark (10%)
  • Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 6 module. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.‌‌
"This is my favourite module. Classes are engaging, there is good discussion and I've learnt a lot."
"This is a wonderful module and I have met students and staff enthusiastic about writing."
"Thank you for offering this course - it is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in the subject. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and am grateful for having been able to do it."
"I love this course! It is break from the normal science stuff and complements my thought process very well. "
"The module was great. I think the structure worked really well - learning the main aspects of writing through analysing texts then using workshops to see how readers interact first hand with your work. The guest lectures were great too. There’s a real sense of passion amongst the staff that teach Horizons subjects, and it makes all the difference."