This module introduces you to the personal essay: a flexible, hybrid form incorporating elements of cultural and literary criticism, memoir, journalism, fiction and auto fiction. We will explore a number of modes of personal writing, assisting you in the development of a form that best serves your creative intentions.
Taught via literature seminars and creative workshops, you will experience a range of literary techniques, including generative writing prompts and exemplar texts. You will also learn how to respond reflectively and creatively to feedback - to this end, one seminar each term will be replaced by a one-to-one personal tutorial.
Indicative study themes:
The Writing 'I' developing a voice, the strategic I, literary personae, authority and double perspective.
Mode and register: memoir, documentary, reflection and commentary.
Scene setting and dramatisation: applying creative technique to 'real life' material.
Finding a subject the writing self and the world.
Autofiction, truth and artifice.
Developing a Form: The List Essay.
Developing a Form: The Braided Essay.
Developing a Form: Collages, shapes, mockuments and concrete essays.
Rereading, rewriting, reconsidering: reflective editing and responding to feedback.