Prose Writing Workshop (EASM166)

StaffProfessor Vesna Goldsworthy - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value
NQF Level
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

You will develop your ability to write creatively and extensively in your chosen prose form. The module is designed to deepen your critical understanding of prose writing beyond first degree level, and to apply that understanding both to the critique of your peers’ work and to the research processes underpinning your own writing. You will be expected to write and present sections of your own work, to read and critique your peers’ work in a workshop format, and to conduct research relevant to your writing process, evidence of which will be presented in the form of an annotated bibliography.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Mastery of skills needed to produce well-structured, well-edited prose writing in your selected form and genre
  • 2. Awareness of the codes and conventions of the prose genre you are writing in
  • 3. Research skills required to identify and examine the traditions of writing in your chosen genre

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. An ability to reflect critically on creative activity and identify the weaknesses and developing strengths of work in progress
  • 5. An ability to work constructively within a group, to critique and help improve the work of your peers.
  • 6. A developed capacity for critical reflection on own and others’ work
  • 7. An ability to offer constructive oral and written feedback on peers’ work

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Through workshopping develop both individual and team working skills involved in writing practice as research
  • 9. Develop an ability to conduct and produce a self-guided prose writing project at postgraduate level
  • 10. Develop and hone communication skills required to offer constructive critical feedback on others’ work.

Syllabus plan

This module will be delivered by means of a weekly two hour writing workshop. The group will prepare for each workshop by reading and annotating examples of students’ own work in drafts that will be circulated in advance on a rota basis to allow for focused and thoughtful discussion. Emphasis will be placed on practical criticism imbued with an awareness of the codes and conventions of particular prose genres. You will present substantial excerpts from your work at least twice in the course of eleven weeks. You will be expected to develop your drafts in a way which incorporates ideas and understanding drawn both from the feedback received in workshops and from personal bibliographical research and reading. The latter will be reflected in the production of a tailored annotated bibliography with demonstrable relevance to your own prose project.

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
Guided Independent88Workshop preparation (individual)
Guided Independent90Bibliographical research and reading
Guided Independent100Bibliographical research and reading

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Submission of drafts of written work for workshop2 x 2,000 words1-10Peer review: oral and written
Participation in the workshop22 hours in-class workshop1-10Workshop group and one-on-one tutorial feedback

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
Creative Writing Prose755000 words1-4, 6, 8-9Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Annotated bibliography252500 words and a minimum of five relevant titles1-4, 6-10Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Creative Writing ProseCreative Writing Prose1,2,3,4,6,8,9Referral/Deferral period
Annotated BibliographyAnnotated Bibliography1-4, 6-10Referral/Deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener.


Basic reading: In addition to the weekly reading and annotating of your peers’ prose work (amounting to ca 6000 words in total) you will develop a tailored reading list, consisting of a minimum of five relevant monographs or equivalent and covering both primary and secondary sources (creative writing and literary criticism, theory or history) in your chosen genre. The reading list will be assessed both for its relevance and its appropriateness to the creative writing project. An indicative reading list appropriate for a writing project in autobiografiction is provided below:


Coetzee, J M, Youth (London: Vintage, 2010)

Heti, Sheila, How Should a Person Be? (London: Vintage, 2014)

Lively, Penelope, Making it Up (London: Penguin, 2006)

Marcus, Laura, Auto/biographical Discourses (Manchester: Machester University Press, 1998)

Saunders, Max, Self Impression. Life Writing, Autobiografiction, & the Forms of Modern Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson, eds. Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998)

Woolf, Virginia, Moments of Being (London: Pimlico, 2002)

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Key words search

English, Creative Writing, Prose Writing Workshop