module specification

SJ5004A - Writing and Editing Fiction and Nonfiction Part One (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Writing and Editing Fiction and Nonfiction Part One
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   edit a piece of creative non-fiction down to 1200 words + 600-word commentary
Coursework 50%   1000 words of creative nonfiction + 500-word commentary OR 1500-word commentary & analysis of a piece of creative nonfic
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module explores the writing and rewriting of fiction and creative nonfiction.  Attention will be paid to both originating new work and the process of revision. The module will outline some fundamental principles of style, genre and editing. We will be looking at different kinds of narrative such as fiction, history, life writing, travel writing and literary journalism – their shared techniques as well as distinctive characteristics. Students will have the experience of writing in different formats such as short stories, memoirs, features and essays. They will develop an understanding of some of the principles of editing both their own and other people’s work (as well as the differences between them). They will also develop an enhanced sensitivity to the role and practice of editing at the level of the paragraph, the sentence and the word, in addition to the text as a whole. Emphasis will be laid on developing clarity, precision, and expressiveness in writing style, as well as the ability to explain their editing decisions.  Through a variety of exercises students will be shown how to identify common problems in writing and how to remedy them. They will also develop an appreciation of how successive re-workings of the same text can alter and refine its meaning and
effectiveness. The module will develop valuable and transferable skills for critical thinking and reading, effective editing techniques, and enhance employability.

This module aims to develop students' knowledge of a range of narrative genres, such as fiction, history, life writing, travel writing and literary journalism, and the different means through which these can be communicated through books, essays and features; develop competence in the main creative and organisational processes of writing; and practise methods in which a piece of writing can be improved by editing and revision.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level.

Module aims




The focus in this module is on fiction and creative nonfiction. The module will outline some fundamental principles of style, genre and editing. Attention will be paid to both originating new material and the process of revision. (LO1, LO2)

Students will develop an understanding of some of the principles of editing both their own and other people’s work, as well as the differences between them. We will be looking at editing at the level of the paragraph, the sentence and the word, as well as the text as a whole. (LO3, LO4)

Emphasis will be laid on developing clarity, precision, and expressiveness in writing style, and the ability to explain their editing decisions. (LO1, LO3)

Through a variety of exercises students will be shown how to identify common problems in writing and how to remedy them. (LO4)

Students will develop an appreciation of how successive re-workings of the same text can alter and refine its meaning and effectiveness. (LO2, LO4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
LO1 demonstrate their competence in different genres in fiction and creative non-fiction;

Cognitive intellectual abilities
LO2 employ critical reading and thinking skills to the process of evaluating and revising fiction and non-fiction;

Subject-specific skills
LO3 organise aspects of writing processes for both fiction and nonfiction;

Transferable skills
LO4 enhance their writing through editing and revision.

Assessment strategy

● Formative assessment tasks will be set periodically over the course of the module to address the different sections of the syllabus and enable students to
prepare items for their portfolio (summative assessment). These will include editing other people’s writing, originating creative work and developing a critical
language to analyse the student’s own work, along with that of their fellow students and published work. This requires attendance at and participation in seminars.
● Summative assessment comprises attendance and participation in weekly seminars/workshops, and three pieces of coursework at regular intervals during
the module


Core Text:
Evans, H. 2000.Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers London: Pimlico

An English dictionary; Roget’s Thesaurus
Other Texts:
Capote, T. 1965. In Cold Blood, London: Penguin
Strunk, W. and White, E.B. 2000. The Elements of Style Mass: Longman
Zinsser,W. 2005. On Writing Well New York: HarperCollins

Adichie, C., 2014. Americanah. New York: Anchor Books
Atkinson, K., 2015. A God in Ruins. London: Black Swan
Barry, S., 2017. Days Without End. London: Faber & Faber
Cutts, M. 2004 Oxford Guide to Plain English Oxford: OUP
Denman, T. 2007. How not to write London: Piatkus
De Waal, E. 2010. The Hare with Amber Eyes, London: Vintage
Forche, C. and Gerard, P. (eds) .2001. Writing Creative Nonfiction, Cincinnati, Ohio:
Story Press
Franzen, J. 2011. Freedom London : Fourth Estate
Funder, A. 2009. Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, Granta
George, D. 2005. Travel Writing , London: Lonely Planet
Gerard, P. 1996. Creative Nonfiction, Cincinnati, Ohio: Story Press
Gilbert, E. 2013. The Signature of All Things, London: Bloomsbury
Gutkind, L. 1997. The Art of Creative Nonfiction, New York: John Wiley
Hart May, D. 1997. Proofreading Plain and Simple Career Press, New Jersey
Hicks, W. 1998. English for Journalists, London: Routledge
Hornby, N. 2005. Fever Pitch, London: Penguin
Lanham, R. 2006. The Longman Guide to Revising Prose London: Pearson
Levy, A., 2004. Small Island. London: Tinder Press
Litvinoff, E., 2008. Journey Through A Small Planet. London: Penguin Classics
Masters, A. 2006. Stuart: A Life Backwards, London: Harper Perennial
Macdonald, H., 2015. H is for Hawk. London: Vintage
McGinniss, J. 2007 The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, London: Sphere
Mittelmark, H. and Newman, S. 2009. How Not to Write a Novel London:
Penguin Books
Murray, D.M. 2001. The Craft of Revision Harcourt
Orwell, G. 1937. The Road to Wigan Pier, London: Penguin
Porter. M., 2016. Grief is the Thing with Feathers. London: Faber & Faber
Rankine, C., 2014. Citizen. New York: Graywolf Press
Roth, P. 1998. American Pastoral London: Vintage
Roth, P., 2011. Nemesis. London: Vintage
Spufford, F., 2016. Golden Hill. London: Faber&Faber
Summerscale, K. 2009. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill
House, London: Bloomsbury
Tartt, Donna. 2013. The Goldfinch, London: Little, Brown
Westfall, P. 1994. Beyond Intuition chap 8: ‘Tightening’ New York: Longman
Whitehead, C., 2016. The Underground Railroad. London: Fleet
Yates, R. 2007 Revolutionary Road London: Vintage Classics