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Creative Writing 2: Writing Short Fiction

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


The course aims to inspire and encourage you to practise independent creative writing within the genre of the short story. The course offers you a developmental and directed learning pathway, within a context of considerable choice and freedom. You will develop an understanding of the formal requirements and on-going practice of this genre by creating a body of work that demonstrates diversity and understanding.

This course comes with the excellent reader: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story by Vanessa Gebbie

The teaching materials contain clear instruction and outlines of expectation. The assignments are designed to help students to develop their own creative style and voice. You will have considerable flexibility as to the style and content of your assignments. You will reflect on and critically appraise your own work by writing reflective commentaries throughout the course.

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.


The course aims to:

  • A1: explore the structure, form, and other narrative techniques of short fiction writing;
  • A2: develop your self-reflective skills and discrimination in relation to your own work
  • A3: encourage wide and critical reading in contemporary and earlier short fiction
  • A4: deepen your understanding of the cultural and historical context in relation to this form


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

  • LO1 demonstrate in a creative body of work an understanding of the structure, form and techniques in relation to short fiction (A1)
  • LO2 show discrimination in drafting and editing self-generated texts and in your commentary in response to the tutor’s critical feedback (A2)
  • LO3 show evidence of wide and critical reading in practical and theoretical work (A3)
  • LO4 critically review a contemporary work/movement or a writer (A4)

Course content

  • Narrative techniques: and how these are integrated to create a whole work of short fiction.
  • Writing and drafting short fiction
  • The evolution and development of short fiction to the present day.
  • Learning to craft short fiction through reading the work of contemporary and earlier authors and authors’ commentaries on writing.