Creative Writing image

"Get yourself out of whatever cage you find yourself in." - John Cage
"Art is not in some far-off place." - Lydia Davis
"How can I say things that are pictures." - Toni Morrison

The fast changing nature of our technological society has impacted on the way we write, read and access our stories. This has led to the inevitable broadening of the category writing and a sustained demand for new and exciting ways of creating texts. With a focus on contemporary poetry and prose, this comprehensive 40hr course takes an innovative approach to creative writing by educating the imagination through guided experimentation and a play with words. Among other things, this enables writers (beginners or otherwise), to both identify and reconnect with the undiscovered possibilities of their talent.

In recognising that we live in a highly visual culture, this course aims to develop new ways of seeing by drawing on the relationship between image and text to generate ideas for writing about such disparate things as the city, notions of the ‘self’, walking, food and chocolate. Students returning to this course as intermediates will apply what they have learnt to an exploration of genre and various narrative techniques for the novel and the short story form. Information concerning the more formal aspects of the fiction process, such as how to create a meaningful character, setting, point of view and dialogue, will take place as the course unfolds.

Teaching will be delivered in a friendly and guided workshop environment which aims to develop confidence in writing and reading your work aloud, offering the necessary positive and constructive criticism appropriate to the work in question. Some experience of writing poetry and prose is an advantage but not necessary. All that is required is a willingness to learn by exploring new ideas, and the ability to write in English and communicate your ideas effectively.

Weekly sessions will be supported by reading material which draws from a diverse community of writers. Information regarding how to get published, poetry magazines, competitions, venues, websites, small presses and literary development agencies will be distributed if and when they arise.

Although some material will be provided, you are advised to bring your own pen and paper or laptop to the workshops.

PLEASE NOTE: this course is not intended to aid non-native speakers of English to improve their language skills.

About the tutor

Ronnie McGrath is a writer, performance poet and creative writing lecturer. In 1993, he was commended for his writing by ACER, who later published and awarded 1st place for his writing in 1994. A graduate of Manchester University’s MA in Novel Writing, Ronnie’s formidable short story The Day Before That One, Too, is published in IC3, The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain. His other published work(s) include a chapbook Poems From The Tired Lips Of Newspapers, 2003, reprinted again in 2005 and 2007 by the Tall-Lighthouse Press, and a novel On The Verge of Losing iT, ankhademia press, 2005. Also by ankhademia press is Ronnie’s first spoken word CD Acoustic Avant-Gardism: Streams of Consciousness Poems for Neo-Surrealists, 2007. Licensed to SALT in 2009, Acoustic Avant-Gardism is available for download on SALT’S Audio Books website. Ronnie was also writer in residence at Wandsworth Prison for the Loss and Liberty Project that culminated in an exhibition (5 Aug-30 Nov 2009) at The Museum of London Docklands. Following publication of The Oligarch’s Poem for the groundbreaking documentary Listen To Venezuela, Ronnie’s most recent publication, a collection of contemporary poetry entitled DATA TRACE, is now available from SALT. Please find further information about Ronnie’s new book, as well as additional biographical details about the tutor, on the following web page: www.saltpublishing.com/books/smp/9781844714698.htm.

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to the course tutor, Mr Ronnie McGrath, abreton13@yahoo.co.uk.