English and drama

The Art of Short Fiction

Module code: Q3052
Level 5
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

On this module you will explore how 'short fiction' has developed historically, and how it is now manifested and defined. You will analyse a wide range of forms that may include fable, folk tale, the graphic novel, sudden fiction, and the short story. Though the module is concentrated on the analysis and production of works of short fiction, it also introduces you to a more complicated and nuanced understanding of fiction and theory.

The module also contains a creative writing component. You will be encouraged to respond to texts each week by writing your own fictions and reflecting on them in a logbook. Up to half of the module will be given over to creative writing workshops run by the tutor, with materials and creative writing exercises provided by the tutor alongside discussions of writing practice. An anthology of students' creative writing is published each year as an outcome of this module.

Module learning outcomes

  • Think critically and creatively about the construction of fiction, and short fiction in particular.
  • Reflect critically on their own work and on responses to it; and show an ability to undertake appropriate and considered redrafting.
  • Show a greater understanding and appreciation of the structure, techniques and forms of short fiction, and a larger critical vocabulary for appraising the genre.
  • Show a sensitive awareness of how to achieve particular effects in an original piece of creative writing, and how to resolve technical/stylistic problems.