MA Creative Writing
Develop your flair for writing, with expert guidance and support from published authors, with our MA Creative Writing programme.
Creative writing can simultaneously be a vocation, a career and a transferable skill. This programme focuses on the multiple roles that writing can play in your life. We’re in the top 150 universities in the world for this subject (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).
The University of Reading is 6th in the UK for research outputs in English Language and Literature (Times Higher Education analysis of the latest Research Excellence Framework 2021 – English Language and Literature, when scoring by GPA Output).
Our experts will mentor you in how best to develop and complete mid-sized creative projects – whether you have existing written work or are starting out – while introducing you to a range of modules closely related to the life of writing.
You will work on a writing project of your own devising, which you’ll develop through a combination of individual supervision and group workshops. In your first semester, core modules will focus on the effective planning, research and development of your project, then on the early stages of drafting and revising the text as it develops.
In the second half of your course, you’ll work on your dissertation and receive supervision to complete your portfolio of writing. You’ll also write a reflective essay on the creative writing process.
Core modules will include:
- Project Development
- Materiality and Textuality
- Creative Writing Dissertation.
Optional modules draw on the University’s expertise in areas such as archival research, the history of publishing, persuasive writing, and teacher training. These modules will prepare you for the literary marketplace, or for careers in which creative writing can play a significant part.
Optional modules will provide the opportunity to explore careers involving creative writing:
- Publishing and the Business of Books encourages placements in publishing companies.
- Persuasive Writing can lead to placements in journalism.
Our creative writing modules are taught by practising, published authors working at the highest professional level. You’ll be taught by means of individual supervision, workshops and seminars.
Shelley Harris is the Director of the Creative Writing programme. Shelley is a bestselling novelist whose first book, Jubilee, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize. It was featured on Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and selected as a Richard and Judy Book Club Choice. She is also the author of Vigilante.
Professor Peter Robinson
Creative writing at Reading was founded by Professor Peter Robinson. Peter was described in reviews as "the finest poet of his generation" and "a major English poet", and has been awarded the Cheltenham Prize and the John Florio Prize. Leader of the Creativity research theme, Peter has also published a collection of stories and the novel September in the Rain.
Professor Conor Carville
Professor Conor Carville is a poet and critic. In 2007 he won the Patrick Kavanagh poetry prize. His first collection of poems, Harm's Way, came out from Dedalus in 2013. Professor Carville's second collection, English Martyrs, is published by Two Rivers Press. He is currently at work on a novel.
Creative Writing at the University of Reading
At Reading, we foster a friendly and cohesive community of writers in the Department of English Literature.
We are committed to teaching through the workshop model. These small group sessions are the heart of Reading’s writing community: guided by one of our lecturers, you and your fellow students will gain confidence as you share your writing and help each other improve.
Seminars will concentrate on specific, practical issues: character development, dialogue, imagery, form and theme interrelations, or at a more advanced level, how to conceive and revise work in relation to generic constraints and reader expectations.
Our award-winning team will provide you with first-hand insights into the creative process, analyse and comment on your work, and guide you towards your areas of particular strength.
All our teaching staff have links with professional writing communities. We regularly invite published authors to read from their work or deliver guest lectures. We’ll also help you to become a published writer. During the year we publish our own Creative Arts magazine, containing work from within and beyond the University, chosen and edited by our students.