Writing Structures

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
20 August 2019


Requisites for this module
LT111 and LT191



Key module for

BA W800 Creative Writing,
BA W801 Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad),
BA W803 Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA W808 Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
BA PW38 Film and Creative Writing,
BA PW39 Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA PW88 Film and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
BA PWH8 Film and Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad),
BA QW30 Literature and Creative Writing,
BA QW31 Literature and Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad),
BA QW33 Literature and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA QW38 Literature and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module, which includes teaching spanning two terms, will explore key theories relating to creative writing alongside related writing texts and relevant workshop exercises. Theories to be explored will typically cover defamiliarisation, surrealism, intertextuality, structure, post-modernism and post-colonialism. Essentially, term 1 focusses on 'making the familiar unfamiliar' (defamiliarisation) and term 2 focusses on 'narrative' (including narrative in art as well as in literature).

Teaching will combine a study of key theories and texts across a range of genres, from poetry and fiction to autobiography, with practical writing exercises. In addition, we try to pay some attention to how writers (such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Pound and Breton) have theorised their own (and others' work). There may also be an opportunity to hear work and analysis from guest lecturers (see below), including Royal Literary Fund Fellows.

Module Supervisor's Research into Subject Area

Chris McCully has published many book-length works of non-fiction including textbooks, fishing and travel guides. His most recent book-length work of non-fiction is an account of living, working and observing the natural world in the Netherlands (Outside, 2011); further essays exploring travel, place and cultural memory will appear in Sane Places, forthcoming in 2018). He has also written well over hundred feature articles and continues to write essays and reviews for literary journals. Particular research interests include poetic and prose form, Old English poetry (Chris’s new translation of Beowulf will appear in 2018) and narratives of ‘home’ and homecoming.

See also the 'Making Text Essex' blog:

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. To introduce a new range of styles and genres to aspiring writers
2. To instil confidence in the control of voice, point-of-view, dialogue and narrative
3. To generate interest in the use of innovative writing techniques
4. To develop more advanced abilities in critical and reflective reading of others' 5. work and increased confidence in the presentation of your own

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module you will

- have gained critical and reflective ability sufficient to inspire new work of your own
- have been encouraged to work in previously unfamilar styles and genres
- understand some techniques that require your readers/listeners to look and/or listen again to your writing ('defamiliarisation')
- be able to work with more confidence and professionalism as a writer

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly 2-hour seminar


  • Scholes, Robert; Comley, Nancy R.; Ulmer, Gregory L. (c2002) Text book: writing through literature, Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's.
  • Smith, Hazel. (2005) The writing experiment: strategies for innovative creative writing, Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Assignment 1 (3,000 words)    45% 
Coursework   Assignment 2 (4,000 words)    50% 
Practical   Participation    5% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Christopher McCully, email:
Dr Christopher McCully
LiFTS General Office - email Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr James Michael Miller
Kingston University
Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing
Available via Moodle
Of 80 hours, 80 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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