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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LISS1039 Creative Writing: Finding Voices

10 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Karina Lickorish Quinn

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

GPA of 2.8 (US) or equivalent and enrolled at a university

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

To be a great writer you must find your voice – or so the received wisdom tells us. But what does it mean to ‘find your voice’ on the page? As a writer, is it our own voice we are searching for or the voices of our narrators and characters? When it comes to our narrators, are we crafting the ‘inner voice’ of the mind or the voice as articulated to the outside world? And what is the influence of language, dialect and accent on the written voice? As a bilingual or multilingual writer, how does this impact your use of language on the page? Voice in writing is difficult to define and tricky to capture, but during this module you will take up the challenge of voice-craft by reading exemplary contemporary texts from around the world and engaging in writing exercises to play with voices in our writing. Bilingual and multilingual students are encouraged to use all their languages in their writing on this module. Equally, you don’t need to speak any language other than English to take this course. All voices welcome!


This module will develop students' creative writing skills and their skills in critical self-reflection and constructive peer feedback as part of a writing community. Students will be encouraged to develop their work in the context of and in response to existing literature from around the world.
In particular, students will explore crafting voice in creative texts to shape characters and narrators and to experiment with subverting ‘standard’ language forms. Such experimentation might include writing bilingual, multilingual and translingual texts or texts that portray diverse dialects, accents or distinctive idiolects. While students will be invited to experiment with trans- and multi-lingualism, students will need to do so in a manner accessible to a monolingual English assessor. Students will, in part, be assessed on their use of techniques to bridge the linguistic and cultural gap between text and reader.

Learning outcomes
Students will demonstrate an ability to:
1. Read, analyse and thoughtfully discuss a range of creative texts from around the world, including multilingual texts and texts that challenge ‘standard’ language forms.
2. Compose original creative texts, engaging in the full writing process from inspiration and pre-writing, to drafting through to redrafting and editing.
3. Craft distinctive written voices which may feature multilingualism, ‘non-standard’ language forms, diverse dialects, accents or distinctive idiolects.
4. Share and develop ideas within a group, including providing and receiving constructive feedback to and from peers.
5. Critically reflect on their own writing process and practice, discussing their ideas, intentions, strengths and areas for improvement.
6. Discuss the techniques writers use to engage, assist and alienate the reader in multilingual texts and purposefully utilise these techniques in their own writing.


Students will attend eight workshops, each three hours long. During these sessions, students will discuss pre-assigned reading; engage in writing exercises; and workshop creative pieces written and submitted in advance.
Students will learn and experiment with diverse concepts relevant to the crafting of voice in text, including exploring tone and mood; the relation between spoken and written language; the relation and distance between writer/narrator/addressee/and reader; techniques for portraying diverse accents and dialects on the page; and the ethics of crafting voices different from one’s own as a writer.
Indicative syllabus:
Students will learn diverse concepts relevant to multilingual writing including code-switching, heteroglossia, the indigenisation of language, the ethno-text, and the rhetoric of particularism. Students will explore the techniques multilingual writers use to aid or alienate a reader, including transliteration, self-translation, parallel and prismatic translation, use of glossaries, cushioning, glossing and ethnotextual elements.
Students will receive and give oral constructive feedback to one another as an important way to improve their own critical reading, reflecting and editing skills.
The final portfolio will be developed using the creative work produced for the seminars and in response to texts read on the course.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours15.00
Private study hours43.00
Total Contact hours42.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students will complete 15 hours of pre-course preparatory work (materials available on Minerva): this will include:
• Reading primary texts (poetry, prose and extracts from scripts for stage and screen) and secondary texts on creative writing process and the crafting of voice (10 hours).
• A research task whereby students will identify two writers who they believe craft interesting and innovative voices in writing. At least one of these must feature some form of multilingualism. Students should choose one poem or 1-2 pages of prose/script by these writers to share with their peers in the first seminar (2 hours).
• Three writing game tasks (3 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

• Students will write creative pieces for workshops (max. 500 words) and will receive formative oral feedback on two of these from both their peers and from the module leader in a workshop setting. These pieces are for the students’ development and will not count towards their summative assessment grade.
• From the module leader, students will also receive written formative feedback on two of their 500-word creative pieces prepared for the workshops.
• There will also be opportunity for shorter, more informal oral feedback in pairs on writing exercises completed during seminars.
• Students will receive oral feedback from the module leader on their contributions to seminar discussions of primary and secondary texts.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Tutorial PerformanceStudents will feedback orally to their peers during workshopping of creative work during the LISS workshops.20.00
PortfolioCreative submission: 500 words of prose, 25 lines of poetry or agreed equivalent.80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:24:23


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