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Creative Writing


Support in the ARF /Pt 2

Alongside the new changes to the Academic Regulatory Framework, OCA is introducing a number of new mechanisms designed to better support students.   What is the support in the ARF?   These are the Active Study Policy, Reasonable Adjustments Policy, and a revised Mitigating Circumstances Policy, and also the changes to degree pathways.   OCA […]

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Academic Regulatory Framework Changes /Pt 1

From 2nd January 2020 OCA is introducing a revised Academic Regulatory Framework. This document, which forms part of the Student Regulations, underpins and governs how all of OCAs degree programmes work, from the credits that are earnt on completion of a unit to the length of time available to complete a unit, level, and degree.  […]

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Writing & illustrating – A tutor & student co-operative project

I’d like to report on a co-operative project between myself, a writer/tutor and poet on one hand, and Dorothy Flint, a second year illustration student on the other..  We worked together over several months. The co-operative project grew out of Dorothy’s need to find a client for her illustration course and my need to find an artist who wanted a client to make a visual contribution to the  poems I had already written between 2015 and 2018.

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Everyone’s a Critic: Some pointers for writing book reviews

Writing a book review is something that you’ll very likely be asked to do as part of your OCA courses in creative writing at some point. It’s a good way to begin looking at books critically, and it’s also something you could use to keep a record of books that you’ve read to help you decide what you really think of them! 

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What I’ve learned from travelling back in time (in short stories)

What have I learned from reading stories from oral traditions?

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Different Incarnations – how writers can have several identities

I started out as a radio writer, doing plays for Afternoon Theatre and a short series called Just Before Midnight, one of which I re-wrote for the stage. I also penned short stories for both radio and magazines under my maiden name, Elizabeth Kay. Writers sometimes feel that things have got a bit stale, so after a while I did an MA, learnt about my least favourite form and became a poet for a bit. Due to the need to make some money (and persuaded by my agent) I started writing rather more racy stuff under a pseudonym.

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What exactly is erasure poetry?

If visual artists can make collages out of previously-existing materials, and musicians can compose pieces out of sampling and remixing, then why can’t poets ‘remix’ a text through erasure?

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The novel took over: Writing for Surprise

Has your writing ever surprised you? Have you ever looked at the sentence you’ve just written and been moved to laugh, cry, or seek out a professional that you can talk to about it? The art of surprise is something that writers have learned to harness, whether it be the twist in the whodunnit or the turn in the sonnet, and it’s a part of the writing process that should not be underestimated, and we all know the powerful effect a good surprise can have on us as a reader. 

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The writer’s role in climate emergency

It’s all too easy to feel impotent when it comes to saving the planet. We can recycle, take the bike to work, have our meat-free Mondays – and even go on a march. As writers we can use biodegradable pens, recycled paper and search engines that put their profits towards planting trees. But deep down, we fear our individual efforts are a drop in the plastic-choked, over-fished, polluted ocean. But I’m here to try to inject a little optimism. Because individual writers, and artists of any kind, can do something huge. They can change the way we think. The arts make us empathic to the plight of others and they can make us change what we do, every day.

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Coming to your senses 

I’ve been thinking about the senses recently. Kit de Waal claimed  in a Guardian interview about her reading habits that audio books were now her preferred way of reading.

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