Study

The creative writing programme at SAM is framed by a belief in the complementarity of literary study and creative practice. We provide a grounding in the development of new literary techniques, forms and genres throughout history to help students produce their own innovative contributions to contemporary literature.

At the same time, the programme benefits by being located in a large multidisciplinary school, enabling students to explore links between writing and other art forms and media through elective courses in Film Studies, Theatre & Performance, and Media & Communications.

In all our core courses, students develop a practical knowledge of the craft of writing through participation in group workshops. We also encourage our students to see themselves as participants in the public life of literature by considering the political and ethical dimensions of the aesthetic choices they make as writers.

As part of our commitment to innovative writing, many of our courses explore the blurring of fiction and nonfiction that marks the contemporary age, in life writing, autofiction, creative nonfiction, and fictocriticism. How can we continue the long tradition of the novel in remediating new forms of technology, from cinema to social media? What is the role of slam poetry in broadening the reach of poetry and giving a voice to marginalized groups? How does creative writing cultivate a mode of thinking that differs from the protocols of exposition and argument? Throughout the major, students grapple with these and many other questions and ideas as they explore the possibilities of writing and work towards a professional standard.

Students have the option of continuing their study into an honours year in which they work closely with a supervisor to produce a thesis comprising two complementary parts: a creative work and a scholarly essay. The honours degree provides a basis for further study at the postgraduate higher degree level.