Adult Summer Courses
- General English and Culture Programme
- Business English
- Legal English
- General English and Oxford
- Introduction to Shakespeare
- Jane Austen: Her Novels, Life and Times
- Writers of the Great War
- Creative Writing - Fiction
- Stately Homes and Country Gardens
- Interface Between Religion, Science and Philosophy
- Introduction to Psychology
Creative Writing - Fiction
The course is intended to develop the students' writing and literary analysis skills. The course will draw on a wide range of texts from different periods, but with a strong focus on the work of recent and current authors.
About the Course
|Course Length||2 weeks|
28th July - 10th August 2013
All students will be staying in Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford
If you would prefer to organise your own accommodation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
|Prerequisites||Only suitable for native/near-native English speakers|
|Participants||Open access. Students attend from all over the world|
|Further Information||For further information on the college, the staff and the all inclusive activities and excursions click here|
All students will be expected to produce the following substantial pieces of work:
- A writer's diary, to be kept throughout the course
- A portfolio of prose pieces
Each session will be structured around one or more of the key objectives listed above (i.e. talking about texts, utilizing texts and generating texts). The basic session format will be: read – write - read back / feedback. The first and third stages will involve group discussion.
Autobiographical writing; diaries and weblogs
Analysis of genre
Analysis of style
Imitation and parody
Developing one’s own style
Fiction and “faction”
Romantic fiction and fairy tales
Focus on sources of information / inspiration for a fiction-writer
In this introductory session, students will be asked about their reading preferences and the type of fiction that they want to write. There will be a discussion about the sources writers use for fiction (personal experience, observation of everyday life, other texts ...).
The opening lines of some novels will be analysed and students will participate in a discussion about what constitutes a writer's diary. Sample extracts ranging from the Diary of Samuel Pepys to contemporary weblogs will be read and discussed.
Autobiography as Fiction
This session will focus on creative uses of 'real lives' and how far (auto)biographers are to be believed. Extracts relating to the Ted Hughes / Sylvia Plath story will be analysed. There will be a discussion of 'Confessions' as a genre (with extracts from de Quincey onwards).
After an initial examination and discussion of book reviews and blurbs, a variety of exemplars of different genres will be read and discussed. Students will identify and defend their own likes and dislikes. Students will the produced brief samples of writing in unidentified genres for the group to identify. Stylistic markers of genre will be discussed.
Style (i) – imitation and parody
The notion of intertextuality will be explored and various examples analysed.
In this session, the enduring popularity of crime fiction will be discussed and a wide range of sample-extracts (from Wilkie Collins to Ian Rankin) read and analysed. The prevalence of female authors in this genre (Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, Paula Gosling...) will be discussed; different styles will be compared, and Agatha Christie's spoof formula for a whodunnit will be read. Students will plot the perfect murder!
Fiction / Faction
The current trend in cinema as well as novels to fictionalize real (often living) people and events will be the focus of this session. Pat Barker's Regeneration and Julian Barnes'Arthur and George will be among the texts discussed, and students will read how Alexander McCall Smith put Ian Rankin in the jacuzzi.
This session begins with the ingenious re-creation by students of the missing part of a story. Various plotlines will be examined, in the light of Christopher Booker's notion that there are only seven basic plots in the whole of literature. Students will produce a plot-outline and publisher's blurb for their own novels.
Convincing and unconvincing character-portrayals will be read and discussed. The importance of clothes and dialogue will be explored. Students will produce descriptions and mini-dialogues.
Style (ii) –a voice of one's own
The group will engage in further stylistic analysis of a range of texts. Students will then produce short pieces of writing and attempt to identify their own stylistic tics / devices / preferences ...
Romantic Fiction, cautionary tales and fairytales
In this closing session, the conventions of romantic fiction and fairytales will be explored. Students will update a well-known fairytale and produce a cautionary tale for our times. The tutor will offer advice on how students may continue to develop their writing.
**Please note** While every effort is made to give participants an accurate description of the course content and structure, they should note that details of course content and structure may change as a result of tutor availability, interests, and expertise. In addition, participants should note that tutors will make efforts, where practicable, to address, and include material relating to, students' specific interests and requests where these are notified beforehand.
Further Information about the Summer School
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