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BA (Hons) Creative Writing

This Creative Writing course will help you to find your voice by learning the craft of writing across a wide variety of genres.

You will work with published writers and will also explore the pleasures and challenges of developing your work from a first idea to an early draft to a finished poem, story or script.

You will join a lively writing culture in our department that includes regular readings by visiting writers, book launches, an annual publishing panel where you can meet and talk to agents and editors, and a chance to get your book published in our biennial Chichester Cinnamon Press competition.

The department also hosts Thresholds, the International Short Story Forum.

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Codes:

College C58

UCAS W801

Course Length:

3 Years Full Time

Entry requirements 2018

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

A levels (or combination with AS / E.P. / BTEC): 96 to 120 UCAS Tariff Points including English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, Creative Writing or Drama at grade B or C.

Access to HE Diploma: Pass with 12 level 3 credits worth of English units at Merit

International Baccalaureate: 28 points with English Higher at 4.

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Postgraduate Pathways

Alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate courses at Chichester.

Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include PGCE and Masters. 

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Zoe Gilbert's first novel, Folk, was published to wide acclaim by Bloomsbury in February 2018. She is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, focusing on folk tales in contemporary short stories. Her own stories have been published in anthologies from Comma Press and Cinnamon press, and in journals worldwide including Mechanics’ Institute Review and The Stinging Fly. Her work has won prizes, including the Costa Short Story Award.

She teaches and mentors creative writers at London Lit Lab, and for organisations including the British Library and Arvon Foundation. She says that the Ph.D in Creative Writing has allowed her to delve into research on a range of fascinating topics. “Despite all the writing ‘rules’, you basically begin afresh with each story,” said Zoe. “There is no blueprint for your first draft.  Stories written to a tight plan rarely sing. A principle I apply to a lot of things: be bold, be bold, but not too bold!”

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Waleed Al-Bazoon joined the University of Chichester in July 2009 as part of the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) scholarship scheme and gained a PhD in English Literature, specialising in literary responses to 9/11. 

His debut poetry collection, The War on Idigna, is written in English, something that Waleed thinks is vital.  “My aim behind this collection is to acquaint Western readers with the disaster of the war in a poetic language, written in English by an Iraqi. Most of the fiction and poetry and drama written on that topic are either in Arabic or translated into English and other languages.  I wanted to communicate directly about the pains, destruction and the disaster of the war.  The poems explore what Iraq became in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion war; a place where security is minimal and bombings occur on nearly every street.”

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

AUTHOR, READER, BLOGGER and MOTHER

Laura Pearson lives in Leicestershire. She graduated from the University of Chichester with an MA in Creative Writing in 2004.  

Her blog (breastcancerandbaby.com) is about her experiences of being diagnosed with breast cancer during her second pregnancy. Missing Pieces, published by Agora Books on 21 June 2018, is her first novel.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Maggie Sawkins lives in Portsmouth where she delivers creative writing projects in community and healthcare settings.

Her poetry collections include Charcot's Pet (Flarestack), The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press) and Zones of Avoidance (Cinnamon Press).  She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. www.zonesofavoidance.wordpress.com

 

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Melanie Whipman is an Associate Lecturer and holds a  PhD, MA in Creative Writing and B.A. from the University of Chichester.  She is also Commissioning Editor for The Story Player. Her work has been broadcast on Radio 4 and published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. Llama Sutra, her debut short story collection, was published last year by Ink Tears Press.

“I love the challenge and the discipline of crafting a short story. It’s all about compression and lack of waste. But it’s a constant balance. While you’re fighting to put down the best words and the best images, you’re also aware of the need to create space for the reader - to leave things ‘unsaid’. It’s as much about what is happening off the page as on the page.”  www.melaniewhipman.com    

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Duncan Abel’s co-adaptation of Paula Hawkins’s best-selling novel, The Girl on the Train, premiered at West Yorkshire Playhouse in May 2018.  Duncan has also written for BBC Radio Drama. His co-written monologue, based on the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel was performed by Hugh Bonneville for Sing London.

Duncan’s short stories are published in various literary anthologies. In 2011, he was shortlisted for the Luke Bitmead Award. Duncan Abel is currently under commission to the Original Theatre Company and is working towards his Ph.D in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Janet Denny grew up in London.  She trained as a nurse at Westminster Hospital and went on to become a midwife and health visitor.  She began writing stories in her head when her family embarked on restoring a derelict fifteenth-century farmhouse in Sussex.  While scraping rot from woodworm-eaten timbers and re-pointing old brickwork she was able to let her imagination fly.

After twenty-five years of running a busy retail business, Janet returned to ‘fiddling around with words’.  In 2014 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. Her particular interest is in memoir and biography. The Man on the Mantelpiece is her first book.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Alice in Time, Penelope Bush’s first novel, began life as part of her dissertation for the Creative Writing MA at the University of Chichester. It was picked up by Piccadilly Press in 2009 and Penelope was offered a three book deal. Alice in Time went to auction in America, sold in eleven countries, has been translated into eight languages and was selected for the Manchester Book Award.                                                                               

Her second book, Diary of a Lottery Winner’s Daughter, has sold in eight countries, was nominated for the Redbridge Children’s Book Award and shortlisted for the Worcestershire Teen Book Award.  Penelope’s third book, Me, Myself, Milly, sold in eight countries and topped the Amazon bestselling children’s book list at number 4.

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Student view

Annabelle Carvell
BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English
"If you'd have told me before my degree that I'd leave with a first, get an award for best English dissertation and then go on to write for Topps Europe for brands such as Star Wards and Top Gear, I wouldn't have believed you. But studying the Creative Writing and English course means that anything is possible."

Course content

The University of Chichester boasts one of the most experienced Creative Writing teams in the UK. You’ll work with highly qualified and experienced tutors, all of whom are practising and published poets, short story writers, novelists, dramatists and screen and TV writers.

In your first year, you will be introduced to the writing process through modules which help you develop a notebook, tap your own experience and engage with the wider world for material. You will also begin to learn the craft of Poetry, Prose and Life Writing. You will also take two critical English modules to widen your knowledge of the tradition.

In year 2, you will deepen your practice of Poetry, Short fiction and Life Writing in detail. You will take modules in Radio Drama and Writing for the Stage as well as Children’s Fiction. There will also be the opportunity to take a module in Writing for TV. Once again, you will take two critical modules designed to complement your work in poetry and short fiction.

By year three, we feel you will know what you want to say and how you want to say it.

You will therefore be able to choose from a range of modules such as: Writing the Novel, Writing the Short Story, Screenwriting, Advanced Poetry, Writing for Children, Writing for the Stage, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, YA Fiction, Flash Fiction, Digital Writing and Writing Place and Environment. The Work Placement module allows you to develop your skills in a work environment, for example by working with a community group on a writing project.

The University also has a burgeoning writing culture, from regular book launches to conferences and events with creative writers. Some renowned authors to have visited the University in recent years include:

  • Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy
  • Matthew Sweeney
  • Helen Dunmore
  • Jo Shapcott
  • Sarah Hall
  • Bernardine Evaristo
  • Vicki Feaver

Where this can take you

Our graduates from this subject area are highly valued by employers for their problem solving and exceptional communication skills.

The key to an English or Creative Writing degree is communication, and at Chichester we focus on your abilities in written and spoken expression through:

  • group work and group presentations
  • opportunities to develop your self- managed research projects
  • developing your skills in critical analysis

Jobs directly related to your degree:

  • Publishing - editorial assistants help senior editorial staff in the administration of the commissioning, planning and production of books, journals and magazines. This role is a recognised starting point for editorial and publishing careers.
  • Writer - involved in the creation and/or development of all types of creative writing, including prose, poetry and material for the theatre, screen and radio and reviews.
  • Primary school teacher - teaches primary-aged children and develops schemes of work and lesson plans in line with curriculum objectives.
  • Secondary school teacher - teaches one or more national curriculum subjects to pupils aged 11-16, or up to 19 in schools with sixth forms.
  • English as a foreign language teacher - teaches English, either in the UK or overseas, to students whose first or main language is not English.
  • Lexicographer - writes, compiles and edits dictionaries. Monitors and records uses of language and uses databases to interrogate a wide range of evidence. Considers both the meaning and usages of words and compiles definitions in a structured manner.

Jobs where your degree would be useful:

  • Newspaper journalist - researches and writes stories for publication in local, regional and national press
  • Advertising account executive - works in advertising or multi-service agencies, acting as a link between the clients and the agency. Has overall responsibility for the smooth running of a campaign, coordinating the activities of the advertising and administrative teams.
  • Advertising copywriter - usually works in a creative partnership with an art director to conceive, develop and produce effective advertisements.
  • Arts administrator - plans and organises events run by a wide range of arts and cultural organisations.
  • Academic librarian, information officer, records manager - responsible for the acquisition, organisation and dissemination of information and materials within the library system or information unit.
  • Charity officer - has responsibility for aspects of marketing, public relations, organising events and finance within charitable organisations.
  • Marketing executive - develops marketing campaigns that promote a product, service or idea. The role includes planning, advertising, public relations, organising events, product development, distribution, sponsorship and research.
  • Programme researcher, broadcasting/film/video - provides support to the producer and production team. Contributes ideas for programmes, sources contacts and contributors and collects, verifies and prepares information for film, television and radio productions.
  • Public relations officer - uses all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of companies and organisations.
  • Runner, broadcasting/film/video - fetches, carries and does any small jobs needed for the production department of a film, video or television company. This is an entry-level role.

Many of our students publish and win prizes. In recent years students have gone on to publish novels, poetry collections, win prizes in major competitions such as the Bridport Prize and have poems and stories in magazines such as The Paris Review and Staple.

Students have also had work broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Graduates from this subject area are highly valued by employers for their problem solving and exceptional communication skills.

As well as or in addition to writing, careers paths include:

  • Teaching (after taking a PGCE)
  • Teaching English as a foreign language
  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Arts event management
  • University administration
  • Heritage and tourism
  • Working with charities
  • Graphic design

Work placements

You will also have the opportunity to take our Writing Placement Module. This allows you to gain experience in, for example, a workplace such as a local newspaper or as a writer-in-residence. You will then use the skills you have learnt on your course in order to reflect critically on the world of work.

Indicative modules

Year One

• Investigating the World

• Activating the Imagination

• Writing the Notebook

• Introduction to Writing Poetry

• Introduction to Writing Prose

• Life Writing 1

• Literary History: The Nineteenth and

• Twentieth Centuries

Year Two

•Writing Poetry

•Writing the Short Story

• Radio Drama

• Writing for the Stage

• Writing for TV

• Life Writing 2

• Children’s Writing

• Genre Study: Poetry

• Genre Study: Prose

Year Three

•Writing Place and Environment

•Writing Placement

• Advanced Poetry

• Publishing, Production and Performance

• Short Story

• Digital Writing

• Flash Fiction

• YA fiction

• Writing the Novel

• Fantasy writing

• Writing for the Stage

• Writing for the Screen

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught in a variety of ways. Our aim is to give you the tools you need to become an autonomous writer. We do this by helping you find out what it is you want to say and by giving you a thorough grounding in a variety of genres. Much of our teaching is in small groups, where you will discuss models of good writing as well as workshopping your own writing. Tutors are also available to see students individually.

All creative writing courses are assessed through portfolios of work. The critical courses you take alongside your creative courses will be assessed in a variety of ways including essays, exams and presentations. The Writing Placement module will be assessed through a reflective report.

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, offering cumulative assessment of your progress. Your academic adviser and lecturers are available for advice throughout your degree.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

The last few years have shown a fabulous flowering of our Creative Writing students' work. We’re very proud to have been the venue for many debut book launches and would like to thank our graduates for returning to share their experience with Chichester’s current Creative Writing students.

The crucible of talent and inspiration on the BA and MA continues to grow through our unique courses with their methods of literary cross-fertilisation and finely developed critique.

In many ways, our student writers create this atmosphere through their collective dedicated approach to workshopping – a process that we teach with precision. The students’ generosity to one another is valued by everybody on the course.

Penelope Bush 

Alice in Time, Penelope Bush’s first novel, began life as part of her dissertation for the Creative Writing MA at the University of Chichester. It was picked up by Piccadilly Press in 2009 and Penelope was offered a three book deal. Alice in Time went to auction in America, sold in eleven countries, has been translated into eight languages and was selected for the Manchester Book Award.                               

Her second book, Diary of a Lottery Winner’s Daughter, has sold in eight countries, was nominated for the Redbridge Children’s Book Award and shortlisted for the Worcestershire Teen Book Award.  Penelope’s third book, Me, Myself, Milly, sold in eight countries and topped the Amazon bestselling children’s book list at number 4.

Melanie Whipman 

Melanie Whipman is an Associate Lecturer and holds a  PhD, MA in Creative Writing and B.A. from the University of Chichester.  She is also Commissioning Editor for The Story Player. Her work has been broadcast on Radio 4 and published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. Llama Sutra, her debut short story collection, was published last year by Ink Tears Press.  

“I love the challenge and the discipline of crafting a short story. It’s all about compression and lack of waste. But it’s a constant balance. While you’re fighting to put down the best words and the best images, you’re also aware of the need to create space for the reader - to leave things ‘unsaid’. It’s as much about what is happening off the page as on the page.”  www.melaniewhipman.com

Maggie Sawkins 

Maggie Sawkins lives in Portsmouth where she delivers creative writing projects in community and healthcare settings. Her poetry collections include Charcot's Pet (Flarestack), The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press) and Zones of Avoidance (Cinnamon Press).  She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetrywww.zonesofavoidance.wordpress.com

Josephine Corcoran 

Josephine Corcoran graduated from the University of Chichester (English with Media Studies) in 1996 before studying for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. Her work as a playwright and short story writer has been published, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and performed on stage.  In 2014, the small press tall-lighthouse published her pamphlet 'The Misplaced House', and What Are You After?, published by Nine Arches Press in June 2018, is her first full collection of poetry. Josephine says that she mentions the University of Chichester in all of her publications because the teaching she received there was instrumental in starting her writing career. 

Isabel Ashdown

Isabel completed her MA in Creative Writing with us in 2010. While on the MA, she worked on her first novel, Glasshopper, which was published by Myriad Editions in 2009. Glasshopper went on to be named among the best books of 2009 by both the Observer and The Evening Standard. Since then she has published four more novels. The latest, Little Sister, is a psychological thriller published by Trapeze, an imprint of Orion publishing. Isabel is represented by Kate Shaw of The Viney Agency.

Isabel’s website can be found at isabelashdown.com

Emma-Jane Hughes

Emma-Jane Hughes was brought up between the sublime of a barge on the River Thames and the ridiculous of an all-girls boarding school. She spent her childhood tucked in the cabins of a variety of small boats, reading, impervious to the scenery. Emma currently lives in Chichester with her husband and children. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, where she is working on her PhD in Contemporary Poetry. 

She first pitched the idea for her debut poetry collection, The Mechanics of Love, to Cinnamon Press in a special publishing initiative created for our Creative Writing students by the our staff team.  "The opportunity to pitch to Cinnamon Press was equal parts daunting and electrifying.  Somehow, above the thundering of my heart, Jan and Adam were able to hear a concise explanation of the inspiration and central ideas behind the poetry collection.”

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing Karen Stevens adds that she was delighted to work with Cinnamon Press, which has been the fastest-growing small press for several years. "Cinnamon’s list fills fast," notes Karen, "publishing slots are rare, and eagerly sought after - so we were thrilled to launch this joint venture, which proved a great experience for all our talented writers who entered."

Donna Kirstein

Donna Kirstein’s debut poetry collection, Borderlands (Cinnamon Press), was published in 2017.  She first pitched the idea for the collection to Cinnamon Press in a special publishing initiative created for our Creative Writing students by the our staff team.  In Donna’s words, "pitching was an incredible opportunity," but, like all the other competitors, she was given only ten minutes to convey the heart of her book to the Press’ director Jan Fortune and Communications Director Adam Craig. 

 "Initially, I was nervous," said  Donna, "but I had convinced myself that all the other excellent writers would be more deserving, and so I walked into the room with less trepidation than I might have otherwise done.  Afterwards I coached myself to not get too excited - when I got the call, I was taken aback and got a little emotional, I hadn’t realised quite how pleased I would feel.  The publishers were very supportive, positive and patient throughout, and Adam’s feedback and edits were really useful. The first time I saw the cover and held the actual book in my hands it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment - now it feels like the hard part really begins, where I need to concentrate on carrying on with new work."

 Donna was born in Poole, England but grew up in land-locked Zimbabwe where she fell in love with words and wide-open horizons.  Currently she lives in Worthing where for the first time in her life she can watch the tides turn along the seashore.  Donna has been writing since childhood and earned an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from the University of Chichester.  She is a poet and short story writer.  She spends her days employed as a graphic designer and photographer.  Her stories have appeared in anthologies published by Weaver Press in Zimbabwe.

Additional Costs

As a University of Chichester student you will be provided with many things to support you but there may be additional costs which you may encounter whilst studying. The information below will help you understand our provision and what else you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services:

• Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity;

• A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service;

• The general Library services are free for students and our e-resources are available wherever you are. However, you may become liable for fines if you don't return items on time;

• Open access IT spaces, wi-fi across the campuses and in the halls of residence, AV equipment to borrow;

• Access to support from our Careers Service;

• Disability and additional learning support;

• The Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills;

• 24 hours a day security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you may need to consider:

• Accommodation and living costs;

• Text books (but do remember that our library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge);

• General stationery and other supplies such as presentation materials;

• Photocopying and printing (note: a hard copy of each assessment to be submitted is required);

• The library is charged for the Inter Library Loans service - we pass this cost on directly to our customers;

• Travel to, from and between campuses (note that the U7 and Number 50 bus services offer a subsided travel rate); 

• Gym membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the Sport webpages;

• Dance / Theatre passes – these provide discounted entry to a range of performances;

• Field Trips / Educational Visits – these are optional and do not have to be undertaken to complete the programme. Students make a contribution towards the cost (e.g. travel, sometimes accommodation);

• If you require a Diagnostic Assessment for a Specific Learning Difficulty such as Dyslexia, the University may be able to assist you arrange this. You will be required to pay for this assessment, although some financial assistance may be possible from the University Hardship Fund. Further information is available from the Disability and Dyslexia Service. For more information, please click here

• Graduation: It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Graduands must wear academic dress. Academic dress, guest tickets and photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Financial help available from the University

We offer a number of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at Chichester. Our Finance pages provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.