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Creative Non-fiction


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: to be confirmed

Module description

'We like non-fiction because we live in fictitious times.' Michael Moore

'Tell all the truth, but tell it slant.' Emily Dickinson

Narrative non-fiction predates the literary novel, while continuing to outnumber it, and often to outsell it. It is also where some of the most interesting and genre-defying writing is currently being done.

In this module you will develop your understanding and practice of non-fiction writing in its many forms, covering all aspects of creative non-fiction from ideas to research and writing. As well as discussing and analysing a wide variety of exemplar texts by established non-fiction writers, you will submit examples of your own writing (either a self-contained short piece or part of a longer piece) for workshop discussion.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate awareness and control of the elements of non-fiction writing
  • solve craft-related problems in your non-fiction writing, in areas such as structure, setting, and the use of dialogue and telling detail
  • demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of recent and contemporary creative non-fiction across a range of forms and genres (travel, nature, reportage, creative documentary, factual poetry, verbatim theatre), and an understanding of its place within literary canons
  • understand and recognise sources of inspiration and creativity
  • use research-generated ideas more confidently, precisely and imaginatively
  • experiment with style and form across a range of non-fiction genres, such as travel writing, nature writing, life writing and reportage
  • think critically and independently about non-fiction works you have written and read
  • demonstrate confidence in handling a variety of research methodologies (whether electronic, archival, interview-based or investigative), with insight and creativity
  • show understanding of the bibliographic and citation conventions to be found in a variety of non-fiction genres
  • complete an original piece of creative non-fiction.