Writing On The Threshold

Module code: EN3195

Module co-ordinator: Dr Jonathan Taylor

This module introduces some of the vocational and professional contexts in which creative writing is published and disseminated. It encourages students to develop their creative writing and then to relate that writing to the wider writing world beyond the workshop. It aims to develop knowledge and skills that are relevant not just to aspiring writers, but also in many other professional contexts.

This creative writing module has various strands, all of which concern the relationship between writing and the world beyond the workshop. These strands may include subjects such as:

  • Writing for specific 'markets' and outlets – for example, literary magazines, commissions, competitions
  • Editing
  • Writing pitches and proposals
  • Publishing and professional contexts for writing
  • Electronic resources
  • Creative writing and teaching
  • CVs for writers

As well as practical creative writing exercises, students will be encouraged to think critically and reflectively about the subjects covered – for example, students will reflect on how and why their own writing styles might be altered or reshaped by writing for external briefs.


The module will be delivered in ten two-hour weekly seminars. The seminars will consist of short lectures, relevant creative writing workshop exercises, feedback sessions, and discussions about relevant aspects of the publishing and writing world. There will be sessions on subjects such as literary magazines, writing for specific markets, publishing, writing pitches and proposals, teaching creative writing, and CVs. Reading and writing tasks will be set between seminars.

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various contexts in which creative writing is published and disseminated
  • Recognise, analyse, and engage with some of the professional contexts in which writers work
  • Write to specific, professional briefs
  • Demonstrate an understanding of some of the vocational aspects of writing


There are two parts to the assessment:

  • The Creative Writing Portfolio will consist of up to 3,500 words or equivalent (depending on genre) of either creative writing written to one or more external, professional brief(s) (a particular magazine, a call for submissions, a competition) OR a self-published piece (a pamphlet, professional blog, or personal website)
  • The Reflective Commentary will consist of no more than 1,500 words contextualising the creative work in relation to the wider literary and publishing world