Using Stories

Module code: EN2070

Module convenor: Dr Jonathan Taylor

In this creative writing module you will investigate some of the ways in which writers can discover, recover and explore materials, ideas, and narratives in the wider world, and use and reshape them into effective creative pieces. You will develop your own creative writing research methods, and then employ those methods in the construction of original writing in multiple forms and genres.

Established writers in the School of English will discuss their own practice in using research to construct creative work. There will also be readings and discussions by visiting writers.

You will be assigned into an Autonomous Learning Group (ALG), a small group of students who will decide on the location for a field visit (vetted by the tutor), undertake the visit (as a group or individually), and meet to discuss the material gathered before individually using that material to construct a creative work in their chosen form. You will also keep a writing journal.

Topics covered

  • Using historical stories
  • Using place-based subject-matter
  • Using other art-forms
  • Using scientific concepts
  • Using libraries and museums
  • Fiction and historical fiction
  • Creative nonfiction
  • Scriptwriting
  • Poetry
  • Site-specific writing
  • Speculative fiction


  • 10 lectures
  • 10 seminars


  • Creative work, 3,000 words or equivalent (70%)
  • Reflective commentary, 1,000 words(30%)