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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Literature, Languages and Cultures

Undergraduate Course: Edinburgh: City of Inspiration - Creative Writing Retreat (LLLG08004)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe Edinburgh: City of Inspiration Creative Writing Retreat course is a two-week course held at the Centre of Open Learning. Throughout the course, students will draw inspiration from the City of Edinburgh: its history, landscape, and literary legacy, through tours, visits and a performance session, to explore the story they wish to tell. Students will nurture their creative talent in a supportive environment, by learning from highly experienced, expert teachers, and gaining specialist, individual feedback during one-to-one sessions on their developing creative work.
Course description 1) Academic Description Classes will focus on examining creative processes and the role of revision in the writing process. In the second part of the course, students will choose a format to express this with, whether it be through prose fiction, poetry, script or playwriting. Students will be organised into small tutorials and workshop groups led by specialist teachers, who are experts in their field of creative writing. Students will receive individual feedback on their developing work during class and through one-to-one sessions with a specialist tutor. Students will have the opportunity to discuss their own process in a reflective journal that will accompany their final piece/s of creative work.

2) Outline Content
Throughout the course, students will visit unique locations and learn how to harness different sources of inspiration within the City of Edinburgh for students¿ own creative writing. In the first half of the course, students will develop a distinctive voice/style (by examining examples of contemporary work) in student¿s chosen format of creative writing. This will be informed by studying the formal qualities of modern and contemporary creative writing as well as characterisation, narrative, plotting, dialogue as appropriate for different formats of creative writing (poetry, script and prose). In the second part of the course, students will focus on creative writing in the format of their choice including practical instruction on editorial, revision and selection skills to construct a coherent portfolio of writing. Publication and performance will also be discussed with relation to manuscript presentation, literary consultancies, agents and submitting to editors or engaging with film and theatre production.

3) Student Learning Experience
Teaching methods will include lectures, listening to examples and analysis of clips/script excerpts as well as giving and receiving peer feedback. Students will be given practical exercises to work on individually and in groups to master the skills demonstrated. Workshop sessions will allow students to read, analyse and feedback on each other¿s work. Students will be encouraged to write, share and discuss creative work.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Costs of essential books on reading list and any entrance fees for study visits.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Distinguish and describe the effective elements of a piece of creative writing.
  2. Critique their own writing, diagnose problems, devise solutions and revise
  3. Design, lay out, write and present creative work according to appropriate industry formats.
  4. Appraise and explore the formal qualities of modern and contemporary writing.
  5. Evaluate the use of different sources of inspiration for creative writing.
Reading List
Please do not purchase any texts until instructed to.
Leganto link to available texts:

Brown, I. and Manning, S. 2007. The Edinburgh history of Scottish literature Volume 2, Enlightenment, Britain and Empire (1707-1918) / period editor, Susan Manning, general editor, Ian Brown. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Lawrie, A. 2012. City of words : 250 years of writers, readers and critics in Edinburgh / [text by Alexandra Lawrie]. Edinburgh: Designed and published by Communications and Marketing, The University of Edinburgh.

Poetry and Prose

Berring, T. 2019. Bitten hair. Leith: Blue Diode Publishing.
Fagan, J. 2020. Luckenbooth and The metamorphosis of a novel (inspired by Kafka's The Metamorphosis): The University of Edinburgh.
Giles, H.J. 2018. The games. London: Out-Spoken Press.
Hogg, J., - author. 2016. The private memoirs and confessions of a justified sinner. New York: Open Road.
Kay, J., - 1998. Trumpet / Jackie Kay. London: Picador.
Lavery, H. 2022. Blood, Salt, Spring. Edinburgh: Birlinn General.
Lycett, A. 2020. Conan Doyle's wide world: Sherlock Holmes and beyond. London Bloomsbury Tauris Parke.
Spark, M. 2012. The prime of Miss Jean Brodie / Muriel Spark. New York: Open Road Integrated Media.


Boyle, D. 1994. Shallow grave. 110 mins.
Boyle, D. 1996. Trainspotting. 110 mins.
Gilling, J. 1960. The flesh and the fiends. Regal Film Distributors. 94 mins.
Neame, R. 1969. The prime of Miss Jean Brodie. 125 mins.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Presentation and evaluation of evidence and argument; use of different registers of language in discussion and written assessments; independent autonomous learning to research; produce written assessment work.
KeywordsCreative Writing,Poetry,Prose,Scriptwriting,English,Literature,Scottish,Edinburgh,Writing Retreat
Course organiserMs Malgorzata Bugaj
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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