United Kingdom, Cambridge

Creative Writing

when 6 August 2017 - 19 August 2017
duration 2 weeks

This programme builds on a rich literary tradition at Cambridge. It is designed for those wishing to develop their existing writing skills, either for professional use, or out of personal interest.

The academic programme
• One course per week (course workshops take place twice a day)
• Plenary lectures
• Evening talks

Programme description
Courses will focus on the writing of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, in a range of genres and styles. Course Directors – all established writers – will set practical writing tasks and guide students in critical reflection on their own work and that of their fellow students, as well as on the work of published writers. Students will be expected to put in a minimum of two hours of writing per weekday as private study. You may elect to use free time at weekends for a sustained period of writing. The programme is intentionally rigorous, and all applicants must demonstrate a high level of fluency in English in their application by providing a 300-400 word piece explaining their reasons for applying.

"The ideal programme for those seeking to develop their writing skills through practical work and informed discussion
in a supportive academic context." Professor Jem Poster, Programme Director, Creative Writing Summer Programme


You choose one course per week from four practice-based courses. You are required to write 350-500 words four days a week for discussion in class the following day. The maximum class size is 15 participants.

Week 1 (6 – 12 August)

9.15am – 10.45am and 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Wa1 - The art and craft of fiction I. Writing plot. What's the big idea?
Wa2 - Adventures in poetry
Wa3 - Writing short stories I. Memory, imagination, research
Wa4 - Writing non-fiction I. Lives - past and present

Week 2 (13 – 19 August)

9.15am – 10.45am and 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Wb1 - The art and craft of fiction II. Writing character. Who and why?
Wb2 - Adventures in fiction
Wb3 - Writing short stories II. Place, character, voice, action
Wb4 - Writing non-fiction II. People and places

Plenary lectures
Morning plenary lectures will be given by visiting novelists, poets and other figures from the world of publishing, who will address a variety of matters related to their own work and to the craft of writing more generally.

Evening talks
Eminent speakers will present a variety of general interest talks. These are shared with students on our other programmes.

New for 2017 Creative Writing Retreat (19 – 25 August)

Make the most of your programme by staying on for a Creative Writing Retreat at the Institute's stunning 16th-century mansion, Madingley Hall, renowned for its beautiful gardens and award-winning cuisine. Optional tutor-led writing exercise sessions start each day, and group members meet over meals, but the days are yours for self-directed work on your own projects in this inspirational setting. Optional 1:1 supervisions with our Creative Writing tutors are available at an additional cost. Places are limited. Contact us to book, or for further information.

Application deadline: 24 July 2017

Course leader

Dr Jem Poster

Target group

We welcome applications from all adult learners including university students, professionals and those with other experience who have an interest in the subject, regardless of educational background.

Fee info

GBP 0: See official website