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Creative Writing (Nonfiction) MA

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  • Academic Title
    Creative Writing (Nonfiction) MA
  • Course description
    The course provides a supportive, thought-provoking and challenging environment for writers to develop their reportorial and research skills, experiment with approaches to writing narrative nonfiction, reflect on their own and others’ work, learn about the publishing industry, and shape a book-length work of narrative nonfiction into a marketable proposal.

    This unique course encourages students to be ambitious and imaginative. The unifying factor for all writers accepted onto the course will be their intention to deliver information through a narrative structure. The ethos is excellence and diversity, drawing on domestic and international students of different ages, experiences and backgrounds.

    Our definition of narrative non fiction includes biography, travel, history, life writing, true crime, sports and other forms of sustained and structured nonfiction storytelling. A natural extension for journalism students, this contemporary and innovative course offers a taught component, one-to-one tutoring, workshops and opportunities to hear guest speakers and have direct exposure to the publishing industry through an advisory board.

    The first of its kind in the UK, this course will provide you with the essential skills and supportive environment to complete a full-length non-fiction book.

    It MA builds upon City’s existing Creative Writing courses, and on the strengths of the Department of Journalism and Publishing, with its history of excellence in research, writing and reportage.
          -this new course is the first of its kind in the UK, and aims to tap into the flourishing narrative nonfiction publishing market
          -the course, run mainly in the evening, will appeal to  journalists, academics, subject experts, subject experts, those wanting to write a memoir or family history, and many others exploring this form of literary journalism
          -it is run by award-winning writer and broadcaster Julie Wheelwright, an expert in the
          -field of creative non-fiction
          -the MA builds upon City’s existing Creative Writing courses, and on the strengths of the Department of Journalism and Publishing, with its long history of excellence in research, writing and reportage
          -the course is unique as you leave with a complete full-length book, rather than a dissertation or other “academic” piece of work
          -you benefit from the central London location, giving them access to publishers and agents, research libraries, archives, and major media organisations


    The Creative Writing (Nonfiction) MA consists of four core modules.

          -Experiments in Writing (Nonfiction) [35 credits]
          -Literary Criticism (Nonfiction) [35 credits]
          -These two modules run in the first two terms of year one, and provide an incubation period for the book. The focus of this initial period is to discover fresh options of style and structure by critically reading nonfiction books past and current. Students then select sections of their book on which to concentrate their research and accumulate enough details to make the writing compelling and rounded. Through each of these sections the ‘voice’ of the book will emerge.
          -Students will explore and develop their skills in the key elements of narrative nonfiction writing: eg working practice; research; structure; creation of narrative momentum; the introduction of characters; the embedding of source materials and the use of description. They will also respond critically to their own and other students' writing.  
          -Own Nonfiction Book [90 credits]
          -For many less experienced writers, the problem is not beginning a nonfiction book, but developing and completing it. This module will enable students to develop and complete a nonfiction book to a high professional standard. For the first two terms of year two, students will work on their book in their own time with the support of one-to-one tutorials and workshops.
          -The Publishing Industry (Nonfiction) [20 credits]
          -In the third term of year two, students will participate in lectures by agents, publishers and other industry professionals. Throughout the programme, students may choose when, or whether, to share their book-in-progress with the group, but they will be expected and taught how to give readings from the finished work.This module will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the publishing industry, and of the business aspects of being a writer. It will also provide them with the skills and understanding to promote a nonfiction book to the media and the public.

    At the end of the programme there will be a showcase of work to which industry professionals and advisory board members will be invited. They will have a chance to publish their creative work, and work in progress, in a course magazine.

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