Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Writer as Professional
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Submission Portfolio  (5,000 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Individual presentation  15-minute oral presentation as part of their planned workshop  50%
Supplementary Assessment Individual presentation  15-minute oral presentation as part of their planned workshop  50%
Supplementary Assessment Submission Portfolio  (5,000 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Design and deliver a public creative-writing workshop, using good time-management, dynamic exercises, detailed feedback, and publicity skills.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of pedagogic literature and how to teach creative writing.

Demonstrate an understanding of pedagogic literature and how to teach creative writing.

3. Work as part of a group to share ideas and provide peer-to-peer feedback.

4. Understand how to develop their writing in a professional and commercial context through submitting to literary agents and demonstrate an understanding of new markets.

5. Identify and deploy successful strategies for pitching and presenting work to a variety of audiences.

Brief description

This module equips students with a variety of skills to develop their work in a professional context. The first semester will address strategies for presenting work in public readings and events, while offering an introduction to the role of the creative writer as teacher and workshop leader. The first assignment will require students to design, promote and deliver a public workshop on a particular theme. The second semester will explore opportunities for publication. An invited industry professional will offer an insight into the role of the agent and publisher, while workshops will examine a variety of markets and readerships. The second assignment requires students to prepare their work for submission to a professional agent. This module ensures students develop and can articulate practical transferable skills situated in a professional context.


Semester 1:

Week 1: Introduction to the module

Week 2. The professional writer

How can writers make the transition from student to professional? How do writers make a living? What kind of portfolio can writers develop?

This introductory session will allow students to begin thinking of themselves as professionals in a creative writing context. It will discuss what it means to be a professional writer, including an introduction to teaching, workshopping, and publishing. The MA anthology and the assignment requirements will also be explained.

Week 3. Student-led workshop

Week 4. Designing a workshop.

This session will equip students with the skills to design a 2-hour teaching workshop. Students will be required to come to the seminar prepared with a brief workshop idea that they would like to develop. The session will look at how to create a coherent focus/theme for the workshop, how to explain and pace exercises, and how to establish a smooth progression through tasks. It will discuss particular requirements for a variety of workshop audiences.

Following the session, students will be required to outline a workshop plan for discussion in week 8.

Week 5. Student-led workshop

Week 6. Creating An Anthology.

This session will introduce students to the well-established MA Anthology. Students will have the opportunity to examine past anthologies before brainstorming ideas for the new edition. Discussion will focus on the submissions process, selection and editing, promotion and marketing, public events. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer for roles and a timetable for delivery will be agreed.

Week 7. Student-led workshop

Week 8. Delivering a Workshop.

Following on from the seminar in Week 6, this session introduces students to key teaching strategies and approaches for delivering successful workshops. It also examines appropriate pedagogic literature to create a context for workshop development. Students will use their workshop plans to explore techniques for managing a workshop, for commenting on participants’ work, and for providing appropriate feedback. This session will feed directly into first assignment.

Week 9. Student-led workshop

Week 10. Public readings.

This session will examine the role of the public reading in the writer's career. It will explore techniques for presenting work successfully, and look at the opportunities provided by literary festivals, libraries and bookshops. It will suggest potential promotion strategies for the emerging writer. Following the discussion, students will be asked to read at an informal MA showcase held in the department foyer.

Semester 2:

Week 1. Student-led workshop

Week 2. The literary marketplace.

This seminar will examine the frameworks for submitting work to publishing professionals. Students will be given guidance on how to identify appropriate publishing opportunities, how to pitch to agents and publishers, and how to prepare a successful draft, CV and synopsis of their work.

Students will be required to prepare an outline idea for submission to a literary agent in advance of this session. There will be the opportunity to workshop these potential submissions. This work will be developed for the second assessment.

Week 3. Student-led workshop

Week 4. Professional visit.

Students will be visited by a guest speaker from the publishing industry, who talk about their work. Students will be encouraged to engage in a Q&A, and to discuss their own work with the speaker.

Week 5. Student-led workshop

Week 6. Creating a Portfolio.

This session will explore a variety of opportunities for creating a professional portfolio, including journalism, reviewing, critical essays, ghost writing, broadcasting, copyediting and proofreading. Students will consider the ways they can adapt their writing styles for different audiences.

Students will be required to prepare an article or review, or a broadcasting proposal, in advance of the session. This will be workshopped during the seminar.

Week 7. Student-led workshop

Week 8. Wider Opportunities.

Students will consider the changing market for their work, looking at opportunities on social networks and in industries such as gaming, graphic novels, and interactive narratives. Students will be encouraged to experiment as professional writers.

Students will be required to prepare an outline proposal for a new market in advance of the session.

Week 9. Student-led workshop

Week 10. The Pitch

Students will be required to pitch an idea to a panel. They can work individually, in pairs or in small groups. They can pitch to any of the industries/opportunities discussed during the semester but should include: a one-line hook; a full proposal; a framework and timescale for delivery, an audience evaluation and a marketing plan. Pitches will be timed and should last no more than 5 minutes.

This pitch will develop skills required in the second assignment.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Ability to work in teams and to give feedback to the class. Ability to understand how to communicate with the public and give feedback tailored to the skill level of public workshop participants. Students will engage in class discussion with peers/tutor and with the professional visitor.
Improving own Learning and Performance Responding to the feedback of peers and to work successfully in a group. Demonstrating the ability to undertake independent research into different areas of professional writing.
Information Technology Word-processing and digital presentation tools will be required for workshop tasks and assignments, as well as digital resources for research.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will reflect on feedback given by peers and the tutor, as well as on assessment feedback. The second semester will be assessed with a reflective learning journal. Responding to the feedback of peers and the tutor. Understanding and practising public engagement, as well as being able to situate themselves as writers in a professional environment.
Problem solving Analysing and employing the skills required to design, organise and lead workshops in the community. Working as part of a team and dividing tasks equally. Recognising their own professional development.
Research skills Demonstrating an ability to research appropriate pedagogic and professional literature, to design a public workshop, and to write a reflective essay on their development.
Subject Specific Skills Practical proficiency in creative writing; designing appropriate exercises and engaging with the public in the assessed workshop. Ability to reflect on their professional development.
Team work Students will be required to give feedback to their peers on work produced for class.


This module is at CQFW Level 7