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Creative Writing

Creative Writing

This Creative Writing course aims both to inspire students, and to provide students with an overview of techniques and processes available to writers, encouraging them to think beyond their perceived limitations while equipping them to exceed themselves.

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Course Summary

This Creative Writing course in Oxford – part of the Broadening Horizons Programme – will help students improve their creative writing skills through exploring different creative writing techniques, as well as through exposure to some of the finest examples of literature. Students are encouraged to experiment with their own writing, as well as engaging in literary reviews of other people’s writing, including famous authors as well as their peers. Based around advice and examples from famous literary figures, students will encounter the obstacles and opportunities that present themselves when writing – including learning ways to overcome the dreaded writer’s block.

Course Outcomes

What will you get out of the Creative Writing Summer Course?

In addition to expanding their knowledge of creative writing, students will explore texts that use interesting and unusual styles of narration, and consider which styles might be best for their own narrative purpose. They engage extensively with literature from a wide range of genres and styles in order to explore the different ways that writers overcome common problems and identify what they themselves can learn from the techniques they choose. The techniques discussed will range from the pre-Victorian era right up to 21st century postmodern and mixed-medium writing; students will learn from long-standing traditions and from brand-new ideas.

The course is necessarily interactive: students share their writing with the group and giving constructive feedback on the work of others. Students will thereby learn about how to edit their work and respond well to criticism, while also learning how to assess and comment on the work of others in a polite and helpful way. The giving and receiving of constructive criticism is a crucial part of this course, as is the case in most degree-level creative writing courses.

The teaching of this course will include lectures, multi-media clips, workshops and reviewing literary texts, but at its heart will be individual writing and class discussions. ‘Quickwrites’ – short unedited pieces of writing – will be produced every day to stimulate creativity and form a basis for discussion, as well as helping students conquer the fear of a blank page. While the course will focus primarily on prose, students will get the chance to experiment with other forms, notably poetry.


The only prerequisites for this course are creativity, enthusiasm, and imagination. Students should expect to read and write a lot, both in and outside the classroom, and to take part in critical and analytical debate about their own writing and that of others.

Suggested Reading

Students interested in this class may wish to read the following texts before arrival, though it is by no means essential:


Oxford College Accommodation

  • Location Oxford
  • Ages Ages: 12+, 13-15, 16-18, 19+
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & Shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1096 (University of Oxford)

Cambridge University Accommodation

  • Location Cambridge
  • Ages Ages: 13-15, 16-18
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1209 (University of Cambridge)

Imperial College London

  • Location London
  • Ages Ages: 16-18
  • Bedroom Type Single
  • Bathroom Type En-suite
  • Year Built Founded in 1907

Further Information

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