Creative Writing: Building a Story (EAS2031)

StaffDr Jane Feaver - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Co-requisitesStudents taking this module are NOT eligible to take the other Level 2 Creative Writing module ‘Making A Poem’.
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Students will develop a substantial body of their own short fiction in a Writer’s Journal, showing the development of a project based on reading, research and writing practice. You will develop your processes and techniques of writing, including drafting, revising, editing, self-reflection and techniques of story development. Student participation and commentary in seminars is integral. There will be an emphasis on introducing key concepts in the fortnightly lectures; developing these concepts and techniques in lively seminar writing workshops; group work, and informal individual presentations in seminars.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate a range of creative writing styles and approaches;
  • 2. analyse a range of English language short fiction;
  • 3. articulate a knowledge and understanding of creative writing texts, concepts and methodologies;
  • 4. demonstrate rhetorical skills of effective communication and argument, both written and oral, with a broad range of vocabulary and an appropriate critical and professional terminology;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. demonstrate an appreciation of formal techniques and imaginative expression in creative writing;
  • 6. demonstrate an ability to produce pieces of creative writing, in agreement with specified forms and genres taught on the module;
  • 7. present written and oral arguments concerning their own creative writing and the work of other authors, both peers and published authors;

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. through seminar work demonstrate communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups;
  • 9. demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, skills of creative expression and a capacity to write clear and correct prose;
  • 10. demonstrate proficiency in time-management and organisational skills.

Syllabus plan

The module is delivered in a combination of fortnightly one-hour lectures, followed by a two-hour seminar.  In addition there will be a fortnightly 2-hour workshop dedicated to discussion of reading, process, and to the development of coherent writing projects in your ‘Writer’s Journal’, through informal presentations to peers.  

The syllabus is focused on technique and, through various examples drawn from contemporary short story writers, will include lectures on structure, voice and point of view, emotion and morality, language and style, and writing from life.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled7Writer's Journal Seminars
Guided independent33study group preparation and meetings
Guided Independent70Seminar preparation (individual)
Guided independent157reading, research and journal preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Continuous work on the writer's journalContinuous (60 pages absolute minimum)1-10Tutorial and seminar feedback/ discussion.

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Writer's Journal45Continuous (60 pages minimum)1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Finished sample of short fiction developed from the Writer’s Journal45Short stories totaling 3,500 words (1 or more)1, 4, 5, 6, 10Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Seminar Participation10Continuous, to include a presentation on creative work in progress2, 3, 4, 7, 8Tutorial feedback and follow-up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Writer's journalWriter's journal (60 pages minimum)1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10Referral/deferral period
Finished sample of short fiction developed from the Writer’s Journal1 or more short stories, 3.500 words total1, 4, 5, 6, 10Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Students must develop YOUR OWN reading list for this module, based on personal interests relevant to your portfolio and Writer’s Journal. Your reading should come from a range of modern short fiction by individual authors of your own choosing. You are expected to keep a detailed record of this in their Journal and to report on this in seminars.

Individual seminar tutors will set texts for their particular seminar groups. This information will be made available to students prior to the course starting.  

For certain lectures, students must read selected extracts, which are made available on the ELE site for the module, including:

O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried (Flamingo, 1991). Available on ELE

Capote, Truman. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Penguin, 2000) ESSENTIAL

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources:   Over 300 world-class interviews with authors at: The Paris Review:

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Other resources:   Students should also regularly read magazines in the library that publish short fiction, such as:   Granta, Paris Review, Riptide, Wasafiri, and others.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

English, Creative Writing