United Kingdom, Cambridge

Creative Writing Summer Programme

when 4 August 2019 - 17 August 2019
language English
duration 2 weeks

This programme builds on a rich literary tradition at Cambridge. It is designed for those wishing to develop their existing writing skills, either for professional use, or out of personal interest.

The academic programme
• One course per week (meeting twice a day)
• Plenary lectures
• Evening talks
• Contact hours: up to 49 hours

Programme description
Courses focus on the writing of fiction and non-fiction, in a range of genres and styles. Course Directors – all established writers – will set practical daily writing tasks and guide you in critical reflection on your own work and that of your fellow students, as well as on the work of published writers.

The programme is intentionally rigorous, and you should expect to spend around two hours per weekday writing as private study. Given these requirements, you will need to demonstrate a very high level of fluency in English, as well as providing a 300-400 word statement explaining your reasons for applying and what you hope to gain from the programme.

"The ideal programme for those seeking to develop their writing skills through practical work and informed discussion
in a supportive academic context." Professor Jem Poster, Programme Director, Creative Writing Summer Programme

Courses and daily writing tasks
You choose one course per week from five practice-based courses (this class meets twice a day, morning and afternoon). Four of these address, from a variety of different angles, the writing of fiction; the fifth course is devoted to creative non-fiction.

Whichever course you choose you will be writing and submitting a creative piece of 350-400 words, four days a week. These creative pieces form the basis of class-based discussion – you should expect your work to be critically evaluated by both peers and the Course Director, and to participate actively in a mutually supportive writing community.

The maximum class size is 15 participants. You can write one essay per course for evaluation.

Week 1 (4 – 10 August)

9.15am – 10.45am and 1.45pm – 3.15pm
Wa1 - The art and craft of fiction I. Writing plot. What's the big idea?
Wa2 - Writing short fiction I. Glimpsed moments
Wa3 - Exploring fiction I. Memory, imagination, research
Wa4 - Writing non-fiction I. Lives - past and present
Wa5 - Adventures in fiction I. Approaching fiction

Week 2 (11 – 17 August)

9.15am – 10.45am and 1.45pm – 3.15pm
Wb1 - The art and craft of fiction II. Writing character. Who and why?
Wb2 - Writing short fiction II. Specifics
Wb3 - Exploring fiction II. Place, character, voice, action
Wb4 - Writing non-fiction II. People and places
Wb5 - Adventures in fiction II. Keeping the reader in your fictional world

Plenary lectures
Morning plenary lectures will be given by published writers and figures from the world of publishing, who will address a variety of matters related to their own work and to the craft of writing itself.

Evening talks
Eminent speakers will present a variety of general interest talks. These are shared with students on our other programmes.

Course leader

Dr Jem Poster

Target group

We welcome applications from all adult learners including university students, professionals and those with other experience who have an interest in the subject, regardless of educational background.

Fee info

GBP 0: See official website