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Creative Writing


What can poetry do?

I’ve been thinking of what poetry can and can’t do in a week which saw both  Amanda Gorman, the USA youth poet laureate, performing her poem at the inauguration ceremony of President Biden in Washington, and a reading by the ten poets short-listed for the T.S. Eliot prize in the UK. The German philosopher, Theoodre […]

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The Process of Accepting Feedback.

I critique as I read so you get my thoughts as I go. (Big smiley emoji). Excitement welled in my chest. I’d spent years writing my novel, and I was so proud of it. I’d found a critique group, posted my first chapter, and here it was: my very first critique. I could see it […]

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The Show Must Go On: Digital Possibilities in the Covid Era for Writers and Learners

  I am sure as a distance learner, you’ll likely be used to incorporating different technologies into your learning experience  – I was certainly Zooming ‘before it was cool’ thanks to OCA meetings and I can’t help but notice how many learning tools we seem to be early adopters of. We’re also lucky to have […]

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New Year Resolutions and the Seven Deadly Sins

It’s that time of year again – when we all promise we will rid ourselves of bad habits and become better people. But for writers, good people can be poor characters: it’s the flaws we’re all interested in. All crimes, for instance, can begin with one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and they may make […]

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Top of the ‘greasy’ pole!

Those of you who follow our OCA Creative Writing social media – in particular, the @ocawriters Twitter account – may have spotted a few celebratory posts earlier in the year. When we learned the course had achieved 100% student satisfaction in the 2020 NSS survey, we were all absolutely thrilled. ‘NSS’ stands for National Student […]

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Socially distanced, still smiling: a play for our times

If someone were to write a book of ‘Lessons from Lockdown’ – and I am sure they will! – then surely one of the most important is how much we should value the arts. How many of us were comforted during the worst times by reading, music or visual art or by being able to […]

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Writing Great Visual Descriptions: Less or More?

When practicing writing visual descriptions, the scriptwriter works towards applying the few technical rules that are required by scriptwriting standards: scene heading with indication of time and space use of active verbs in the present tense brief paragraphs no camera directions describe only what can be seen and heard Their application aims at shaping the […]

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Assessment Reflection with Barbara Henderson

A long time ago… Back in autumn 2019 – which feels like a galaxy far, far away – OCA first piloted online submissions for the Creative Writing degree.  It made sense: writers are used to submitting work electronically, for competitions and to agents or publishers. Very few organisations expect hard copies of writing work these […]

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Using Biological Curiosities for Fiction Ideas

There’s a wonderful clip on YouTube that shows an octopus disappearing into the background and becoming, as a consequence, invisible. This is an attribute shared by other cephalopods such as the cuttlefish, one of which I met whilst snorkelling in Indonesia.  The water there is very clear, and the colourful marine life is plentiful and […]

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Motivated to work in Equality and Diversity

The motivations for my becoming the OCA student representative for Equality and Diversity are deeply embedded in my personal experiences of racial and social class based injustices. I felt that this personal context was important to illustrate my interest and commitment to the role. But equally I wanted to add a real life dimension to the discussion on equality and diversity.

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