Creative Writing 2: Lifewriting

Course Level: 2 (HE5) | HE Credits: 60 | Approx. Duration: 15 months at 10hrs/week


This creative non-fiction course aims to inspire and encourage you to practise independent creative writing within the genre of life writing (creative non-fiction). The course offers you a developmental and directed learning pathway, within a context of considerable choice and freedom.

You will increase your awareness of the formal requirements and on-going practice of this genre by creating a body of creative non-fiction work (approximately 20,000 words in total) that demonstrates diversity and understanding.

The teaching materials offer background theoretical and historical information, and also contain extracts from examples of the genre, accompanied by analysis and process-description of the work. The teaching materials contain clear instruction and outlines of expectation. The exercises and assignments are designed to help you to develop your own creative style and voice.

You will reflect on the writing process and critically appraise your own work by writing reflective commentaries throughout the unit and at the end of the course. You are expected to keep a log of your research findings. You are encouraged to develop informed and appropriate critical models to engage with your own writing and the writing of others and to develop higher level skills in reading, formulating, researching, drafting, editing and presenting creative work and in responding to constructive suggestions/criticism.

You will have considerable flexibility as to the style and content of your assignments and will be encouraged to develop your own individual voice as a writer.


The course aims to

  • A1 develop your understanding of the form and cultural and historical context of the genre of life-writing (non-creative fiction)
  • A2 encourage you to develop your own creative style and voice within this genre.
  • A3 develop your understanding of the various ways of publishing and how to prepare your work for publication.
  • A4 develop a range of research skills


On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • LO1 draft and edit self-generated texts using a range of writing techniques reflecting a developed understanding of the genre of life writing. (A1)
  • LO2 take greater responsibility for the direction and design of your own learning experience (A2)
  • LO3 prepare your work to the standards required for publication in terms of form and presentation (A3).
  • LO4 critically review a contemporary work/movement or writer demonstrating a diverse range of research skills (A4)

Course content

  • The history and different types of creative non-fiction (autobiography, biography, narrative non-fiction).
  • Writing strategies – reconciling truth and imagination, finding your voice, deciding what to write and how to structure it, dealing with sensitive issues.
  • Imaginative journalism and the internet – personal and professional blogging; writing personal essays and imaginative and feature articles.
  • Research skills, including interview techniques, research tools (reference and other books, official records, museums, the internet) and collating research findings.
  • The process of writing – planning, character development, using emotion, drama and humour, and creating balance in your work.
  • Preparing your work for publication and ways of publishing