LIT111 : Introduction to Creative Writing

Convener(s): Dr Agnes Lehoczky


Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course Convenor.

General Information

The aim of this unit is to help students to develop their expressive and technical skills in writing poetry and prose and to improve their abilities as an editor and critic of their own and other people's writing. Students will be guided in the production of new work and encouraged to develop an analytical awareness of both the craft elements and the wider cultural and theoretical contexts of writing. This module explores poetic techniques for creating new poems and narrative techniques for generating some prose work through the critical study of published examples, imaginative exercises, discussion and feedback on students' own writing. This exploration will help students to develop their own creative work while sharpening critical appreciation of published poetry and modern and contemporary fiction. The course is designed to give students the expereince of being workshopped as well as to establish basic creative writing techniques on Level 1 to preparing students for the challenges of Creative Writing Level 2 and 3.


Teaching takes the form of two weekly 1 and a half hour workshops, over eleven weeks.  The workshops will be discussion led, will provide structure and direction for students' own reading and creative writing preparation, and will introduce the aims and promote the outcomes of the course in detail (aims1-5).  The remaining 178  hours of study for this module are to be divided between workshop preparation (directed reading + creative writing tasks) and individual research (aim 3).  The course will be exploratory and practical, using structured exercises, published texts, handouts, discussion and homework to stimulate the production of new work and an understanding of basic issues as voice and tone, persona, sound, diction, imagery, simile and metaphor (trope in general), rhythm and metre, structure, formal and patterned verse, theme, etc. (aims 1, 4 + outcomes 1-3).  Most class exercises will be based on a study of the work of modern and contemporary poets and prose writers (aims 2 + 5; outcomes 2, 3, 4).  Students will analyse the ways in which exemplary texts work and ask what they can learn from them.  On occasion students will be asked to  write about 'what they know' and for this purpose they should be keeping an observational journal (aim 4, outcome 6).  They should also keep a writer's journal in which to record their reading, responses to class exercises, and their analysis of the progress of their own writing (aim 5 + outcome 5).  The second half of  the seminars the emphasis will shift to constructive group discussion of students’ own self-generated work with a view to guiding the editing and redrafting process.  You may also be required to give a class presentation on a poem or a prose piece, collection of poems you’ve been reading. It is very important that students attend regularly so that the group becomes cohesive and students learn to trust each other’s ideas and critical judgements.


One portfolio at the end of the course consisting of:

1.     2,500 words   of prose or equivalent if poetry; 6-12 poems. 75% of overall mark

2.   Detailed commentary on the writing of one or more of the finished pieces.  1,500 words.    Equal to 25% of overall mark.

Contact Details


Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:16:38 PM (BST)

course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK