Advanced Writing Workshop: Technique (Q2023)

30 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

“Style is a very simple matter; it is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can’t use the wrong words.” – Ursula Le Guin.

Technique describes the formal, practical and stylistic aspects of writing. We need to understand technique as fundamental to making, to craft and to decisions about the work and its readers. No one style is suitable to all purposes.

On this module, we explore what different technical solutions can offer. For example, how do we take care of plot as well as detail? How might we use fewer words and say more? You’ll concentrate on the technical aspects of writing, including:

  • prosody and the sound-effects of meter
  • sentence structure and balance
  • metaphor and imagery
  • the pacing of narrative incident
  • techniques of editing and proof-reading.

We encourage you to read and experiment with writing in different forms and genres. You develop your own writing technique and build your own portfolio.

Writers discussed vary every year but may include Mina Loy, Toni Morrison, Samuel Beckett, Denise Riley, Ruth Ozeki and Raymond Chandler.


31%: Lecture
69%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Practical (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 32 hours of contact time and about 118 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: