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MA Creative Writing

"The Chichester MA in Creative Writing is setting exceptionally high standards. In general, a great strength of the MA is the liveliness and innovative spirit of the work produced." Professor Jo Shapcott, External Examiner

As one of the most established MAs in Creative Writing in the country, Chichester has a long record of student successes.All our courses are taught by practising novelists, short story writers, poets and dramatists. In addition to this, there are regular visits by other writers. The final taught module includes a session given by agents and editors. Staff are also willing to advise on professional issues of placing work.

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Entry Requirements/Fees

An honours degree at 2:1 or higher in a related discipline

You are required to send in a portfolio of creative writing.

Full fee: £5,690

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GRADUATE SUCCESS

Karen McCarthy Woolf

Karen completed her MA in 2012. Her debut poetry collection, An Aviary of Small Birds, was published by Carcanet in 2014. An Aviary of Small Birds was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and selected by Kate Kellaway as a Guardian/Observer book of the month; Kellaway described the books as a ‘beautiful, painful, pitch-perfect debut’. It was also nominated for the Forward and Aldeburgh First Collection prizes. Karen’s most recent collection, Seasonal Disturbances (Carcanet 2017) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was described by Warsan Shire as ‘a stunning and strange collection from a true writer’. Karen is a fellow of The Complete Works — a nationwide professional development programme committed to creating more cultural diversity in mainstream poetry publishing and is the editor of the associated anthology Ten: The New Wave published by Bloodaxe Books. 

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Graduate Success

K J Orr

K J Orr completed her creative and critical doctorate in 2015. She won the BBC National Short Story Award 2016. She is the author of the short story collection Light Box, which was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize in 2017. Her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and have appeared in publications including Best British Short Stories (Salt), the Irish Times, the Dublin Review and the White Review. Her essays and reviews have been published by Poetry Review, the TLS and the Guardian, among others. (www.kjorr.com)

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Graduate Success

Hannah Brockbank

​Hannah Brockbank is joint winner of the 2016 Kate Betts Award. Publications featuring her work include Hallelujah for 50ft Women Anthology (Bloodaxe), A Way through the Woods Anthology (Binsted Arts), Full Moon & Foxglove Anthology (Three Drops Press), The London Magazine, Envoi, and When Women Waken Journal. Her poems also featured in the Chalk Poets Anthology as part of the 2016 Winchester Poetry Festival. She has also written feature essays for Thresholds International Short Story Forum. Her first pamphlet, Bloodlines, is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing. She is currently studying for a Ph.D at the University of Chichester.

 

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GRADUATE SUCCESS

Amber Lee Dodd

Amber completed the MA in Creative Writing in 2015. Amber’s plays have been performed at Chichester Festival Theatre, the New Theatre Royal and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her stories have been published around the world and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. We Are Giants, her first book for children, was published in 2016 and won the 2017 Calderdale Book of the Year Award. Jaqueline Wilson described We are Giants as ‘a total page-turner, very moving and touching.’ Amber is currently working on her second children's novel.

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GRADUATE SUCCESS

Bethan Roberts

Bethan Roberts has published four novels and writes drama for BBC Radio 4. Her first novel The Pools (2007) won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers’ Award. Her second novel The Good Plain Cook (2008) was serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out’s books of the year. My Policeman, the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife, and his male lover, followed in 2012, and was chosen as that year’s City Read for Brighton. Her most recent novel, Mother Island, was the recipient of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. She also writes short fiction, for which she has won the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Prize and the RA Pin Drop Award. Chatto & Windus will publish her new novel, which tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother, in 2019. 

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GRADUATE SUCCESS

Gabrielle Kimm

Gabrielle Kimm gained her MA from Chichester in 2007. Since then she has published three novels with Sphere: The Last Duchess, The Courtesan’s Lover and The Girl With The Painted Face. The Last Duchess was described as ‘a stunning debut, rich in historical detail’ by the Irish Times. Her work has been published in nine countries. Gabrielle met her agent, Judith Murray, at one of the English and Creative Writing Department annual Agents and Editors’ panels.

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GRADUATE SUCCESS

Graham Minett

Completing the course in 2008, Graham gained a distinction for the dissertation under the guidance of novelist, Alison MacLeod and almost immediately won the Segora Short Story Competition with ‘On the Way Out’. Other awards soon followed, most notably his success in the 2010 Chapter One novel competition with what would eventually become the opening pages of his debut novel. He was signed up by Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, who managed to secure a two-book deal with twenty7, the digital-first adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Publishing. The Hidden Legacy was published as an eBook in November 2015 and the paperback version was published in August 2016. The second book in the deal, entitled Lie in Wait, was published as an eBook in August 2016 and the paperback version was published in March 2017. His new novel, Anything For Her, appeared as an eBook in November 2017 and then in paperback in March 2018.

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GRADUATE SUCCESS

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.

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GRADUATE SUCCESS

Tracy Fells

Tracy Fells completed her MA in Creative Writing in 2015. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short stories have appeared in Firewords and Popshot magazines, online at Litro New York, Short Story Sunday and in anthologies such as Fugue, Rattle Tales and A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed (National Flash Fiction Day anthology). She was the 2017 Regional Winner (Canada and Europe) for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize with her short story The Naming of Moths - published on Granta. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth, Fish, Bridport, Brighton and Willesden Herald Prizes. 

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GRADUATE SUCCESS

Juliet West

Juliet West worked as a journalist before taking an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University. She graduated with distinction and was joint winner of the university’s Kate Betts’ Memorial Prize in 2010. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies including The French Literary Review, Ink, Sweat and Tears and the Sunday Times online magazine. Juliet’s debut novel Before the Fall was published in 2014 by Pan Macmillan, and her second novel, The Faithful, was published in 2017, also by Pan Macmillan.

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Course content

The MA in Creative Writing is designed to give students a structure within which they can develop both their writing and imaginative critical skills, experimenting with the wide range of possibilities available to the contemporary writer. It is possible to write prose fiction (the novel or short story), poetry and drama. We are interested in literary fiction in all its forms.

Our MA Creative writing students 'read as writers', explore their reading in group discussions and engage in writing exercises designed to enlarge and stimulate their practice.

In the intensive MA workshops, students share work, learn to write to deadlines, learn how to redraft, polish, edit imaginatively and find the creative thread which, when followed, reveals how their own writing will achieve its optimum level.

All written assignments are accompanied by the writing of a commentary on the process; the commentary speeds and makes explicit a writer's discoveries, and so aids future practice.

Recent guest readers include: Jim Crace, Helen Dunmore, Michele Roberts, Vicki Feaver, Jo Shapcott, Bernard O'Donoghue, Jo Shapcott, Adam Marek, Matthew Sweeney and Robert Shearman.

 

Find out more in the application pack here.

 

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media loans counter
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Where this can take you

Many of our writers go on to publish and win prizes. For instance, Bethan Roberts’ novel Mother Island won the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.

MA graduate Wendy French won the £5000 2010 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Amber Dodd’s novel for children, We Are Giants, won the 2017 Calderdale book of the Year Award.

These are just three recent examples of the success of our graduates.

The annual Publishing Panel of six specialists has regularly welcomed literary agents from agencies such as David Godwin Associates, Rogers, Coleridge and White, United Artists, Greene & Heaton, Janklow and Nesbitt, RAFT and Lucy Luck Associates.

Agents join literary editors for a discussion of the publishing world today and how to approach an agent or editor.

We have welcomed literary editors from Penguin/Hamish Hamilton, Chatto & Windus, Myriad Editions, Simon & Schuster, Pighog Press, the Frogmore Papers and producers from BBC Radio.

Indicative modules

The MA comprises four taught modules and a creative dissertation:

  • The Writing Studio enables writers to experiment in any genre prose, poetry or drama, while exploring key features of those genres. This first module also serves as induction to the MA and to the distinctive methods of the 'Chichester workshop'.

  • Metaphor and the Imagination encourages innovation and experimentation, pushing writers beyond their usual boundaries.

  • Sources and Transformations engages writers with the essential writerly skills of transforming both outer research and inner biographical concerns into fiction.

  • Launching the Manuscript encourages autonomy, sustaining the longer project, learning about the publishing industry and includes guest readers and the publishing panel.

The Manuscript (a creative dissertation of 20,000) allows writers to develop a longer piece of work through one to one tutorials with a tutor as a consultant reader.

 

Teaching and assessment

To gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing, students need to complete four modules. Each module is assessed by an assignment of approximately 6,000 words or equivalent.

To gain an MA in Creative Writing, students need to complete all four modules and a dissertation of 20,000 words (or poetry/drama equivalents).

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

Student Success

Amber Lee Dodd

Amber completed the MA in Creative Writing in 2015. Amber’s plays have been performed at Chichester Festival Theatre, the New Theatre Royal and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her stories have been published around the world and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. We Are Giants, her first book for children, was published in 2016 and won the 2017 Calderdale Book of the Year Award. Jaqueline Wilson described We are Giants as ‘a total page-turner, very moving and touching.’ Amber is currently working on her second children's novel.

Amber is represented by Janklow and Nesbitt. Her website can be found at www.amberleedodd.com

Bethan Roberts

Bethan Roberts has published four novels and writes drama for BBC Radio 4. Her first novel The Pools (2007) won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers’ Award. Her second novel The Good Plain Cook (2008) was serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out’s books of the year. My Policeman, the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife, and his male lover, followed in 2012, and was chosen as that year’s City Read for Brighton. Her most recent novel, Mother Island, was the recipient of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. She also writes short fiction, for which she has won the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Prize and the RA Pin Drop Award. Chatto & Windus will publish her new novel, which tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother, in 2019. 

Bethan is represented by The David Higham Agency and her website can be found at bethanrobertswriter.co.uk

Gabrielle Kimm

Gabrielle Kimm gained her MA from Chichester in 2007. Since then she has published three novels with Sphere: The Last Duchess, The Courtesan’s Lover and The Girl With The Painted Face. The Last Duchess was described as ‘a stunning debut, rich in historical detail’ by the Irish Times. Her work has been published in nine countries. Gabrielle met her agent, Judith Murray, at one of the English and Creative Writing Department annual Agents and Editors’ panels.

Gabrielle’s website can be found at gabriellekimm.co.uk

Graham Minett

Completing the course in 2008, Graham gained a distinction for the dissertation under the guidance of novelist, Alison MacLeod and almost immediately won the Segora Short Story Competition with ‘On the Way Out’. Other awards soon followed, most notably his success in the 2010 Chapter One novel competition with what would eventually become the opening pages of his debut novel. He was signed up by Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, who managed to secure a two-book deal with twenty7, the digital-first adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Publishing. The Hidden Legacy was published as an eBook in November 2015 and the paperback version was published in August 2016. The second book in the deal, entitled Lie in Wait, was published as an eBook in August 2016 and the paperback version was published in March 2017. His new novel, Anything For Her, appeared as an eBook in November 2017 and then in paperback in March 2018.

Graham’s website can be found at www.grahamminett.com

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