Creative writing: ideas and practice

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I very much enjoyed doing this subject, and my writing improved, though I'm not sure how much I learnt from the actual course, as opposed to the tutorials and feedback. The course follows Short Fiction, Poetry and Creative Non-Fiction (Writing about real happenings). In each sub-unit, guest-lecturers of each field present on their topic, which was at least interesting to hear their process. In the tutorials, which are two hours long, the first half would be devoted to discussing the weeks lecture and thoughts, and the second to workshopping two students pieces of writing. Workshopping involved everyone having read the student's piece an offering congratulations and critique. I think the majority of my writing improvement during the course came from striving to ensure that the piece I presented to the tutorial was of a high enough standard, and receiving feedback on it. Desmond Barry was a wonderful and interesting tutor, offering excellent advice, annotated notes on writing and facilitating class discussion. I would recommend him.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2020

Interesting topics and content however little was discussed on actual writing techniques and how to use them in either the lectures or tutorials. Marking seemed very inconsistent, subjective and based purely on the taste of the tutor rather than the quality or effort put in to the assessments. However this subject did provide a introduction to the different writing studies possible at Uni Melb even if they were only very introductory.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2019

Good subject with interesting concepts taught and elaborated on in tutorials. However, it is plagued by a non-standardised marking curve where the discretion of the tutor is the means by which you are assessed. For this reason, excelling comes down to the personal tastes of the tutor, and not the quality of the writing. However, the tutor quality is high and the content is engaging, so it is a definitely recommended subject for any prospective writer of any medium.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017

Lots of freedom when it comes to assignments, and lots of fantastic feedback on writing. Very fun subject! Warning—tough grading. And might not be your cup of tea if you don’t like having your work read out to an entire class!

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2018

Did this subject as I have always had a passion for creative writing, however I found that the classes were not focused on allowing complete personal creativity but rather focusing you in one direction. I also did not like that peer evaluation occurred throughout the semester. Not what I was expecting.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017

I went into this subject because I love creative writing, I even do freelance writing as a part-time job. The lectures were chill and interesting (except not being very helpful), my tutor seemed disorganized and most of the workshops were a waste of time. I thought I'd have freedom to write what I wanted in my assignments, but even after taking into account my tutor's feedback, the lecture content, I still didn't do well. Also, my tutor said I needed to draw from the reader, which meant a lot less freedom in my writing... Yay. Yes the contact hours are short, but if you're looking for an easy H1, probably don't chose this subject.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2018

The workshops were objectively the best part of this subject. I had a great tutor, we studied a myriad of interesting pieces, and I thoroughly enjoyed the quick writing exercises we did. Workshopping your writing was the most useful aspect of the subject. It was so helpful to hear what other writers thought about your piece. The feedback I got from my tutor was also useful and confirmed suspicions about the flaws in my own work, which was nice. The idea of bringing successful writers into the lectures to talk about their processes was good, but some writers talked only about their own work, and didn't give a lot of tips on how we could improve. Another thing that annoyed me is that the subject coordinator makes you buy a hard-copy of the subject reader, and is really uptight and rude about it. I understand why a hard-copy is better, but for those of us struggling with money already, it's kind of a dick move. Also, your success is highly dependant to your tutor's personal bias. I think if they introduced cross-marking between the tutors, students would have a much more objective criticism of their work. I found this subject very useful for my own writing but I can see why others wouldn't. Nonetheless, I'd still recommend this subject to writers looking to improve.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017

Chill subject which encourages you to just get on with writing. I had no real issue with the lectures, though they definitely aren't necessary. If you treat them more as potential sources of inspiration than solid teaching they can be quite interesting. My tutor was lovely, but I did hear horror stories about some others. Your enjoyment of the subject will definitely depend on this, don't be afraid to swap out your class if you don't like the tutor.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017

Boring lectures and tutorials. Getting to workshop your writing, however, was quite useful.

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017

Interesting subject, but not a good one. Lectures are very unimportant since all the advices are very general and guest lecturers mostly talk about their own writings only. Scoring is really subjective since only your tutor score it (especially because it is a very subjective subject)

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2017