This programme is designed for ambitious, committed writers who are developing their independent writing practice. Taught by published, working writers including acclaimed poets, novelists, journalists and screenwriters, this programme provides you with the opportunity to focus on your passion, whether that’s Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry or Fiction for Young Readers.
Every module on this course has a strong focus on the writing industry, which means that it will prepare you for working in this competitive sector or for further academic study. Topics include the specifics of manuscript preparation; editing and redrafting; getting published and performance opportunities. Our strong links with the writing industry give you the chance to attend events and seminars with agents, editors and publishers from across the field of writing. These provide opportunities to network and get your work in front of the people who matter in the literary world.
The department has thriving partnerships with Wimbledon Bookfest, Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, and local schools, giving you the chance to volunteer or undertake paid work experience during your time at Roehampton. Our in-house publishing imprint, Fincham Press, means you could see your work published or be involved in publishing other people’s work.
You’ll be part of a department that combines tradition and innovation, excellent teaching and world-class research - 80% of our research publications are ranked as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” for their impact. Plus, we are home to the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature, which is regarded as the premier institution for children’s literature research in the UK. We also house the Roehampton Poetry Centre, which places the department at the forefront of the UK poetry scene.
The department also offers an MA in Creative Writing, which is suitable for individuals who wish to try two different forms of writing before specialising in one for the dissertation.
Creative Nonfiction pathway
On this pathway, you consider a wide range of nonfiction forms including travel writing, biography, memoir, the personal essay and the more ambitious narrative forms of journalism such as reportage. You will be encouraged to find the stories that matter to you, develop an understanding of story structure, writing craft and a sense of audience, and become familiar with professional criteria and standards.
This pathway is ideal for people who are committed to producing fiction of the highest professional calibre. You will examine two primary forms: the short story and the novel to produce a portfolio of fiction. The emphasis is on craft, technique and practical guidance, and you will engage with a variety of storytelling tools and models. You will learn how to make your writing practice more effective, how to break bad habits and how to professionally assess your work in progress.
Fiction for Young Readers pathway
On the Fiction for Young Readers pathway, you will focus on the practice and theory of writing fiction for children. You will read a wide range of theoretical texts exploring definitions and concepts of children’s literature concerning picture-books, fiction for young readers (6-12 years old) and texts for Young Adults (YAs), enabling you to contextualise your own creative practice.
On the Poetry pathway, you will explore the contemporary context of poetry and poetics, with a special focus on writing formally innovative work. You will have the opportunity to engage with topics including poetry as process; the materiality of language; literary affiliations and schools of poetry; intertextuality and found text; the contemporary long poem; non-narrative poetry.
The compulsory module, Creative Contexts, introduces you to theoretical and research-based issues faced by creative writers, investigates “critical” writing as a form in its own right, and provides guidance on study skills.
Your seminars, workshops and tutorials will be complemented by guest lectures from industry specialists and off-site visits. Recent guest lectures have been given by Hellie Ogden at Literary Agency Janklow and Nesbitt, and trips have been organised to Tate Modern, the London Bookfair and Apiary Studios. Each pathway will prepare you for writing your extended portfolio and self-critical analysis, which you will undertake during the final section of the programme year.