SEL2209 : Poetry and Prose Workshop

  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Bill Herbert
  • Owning School:
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


•       Introduce students to a range of writing styles and techniques used in poetry and fiction
•       Enhance appreciation of the craft of poetry and prose writing
•       Assist development of voice and style to produce a poem or short piece of fiction with consideration of intended audience
•       Increase awareness of and engagement with the critical process
•       Appreciation of the basic elements of poetry e.g. lineation, metrics, rhyme, imagery and of fiction e.g. story arc, plot, narrative point of view, dialogue
•       Develop imaginative skills in relation to own creative work
•       Develop reading and writing skills in poetry and in prose fiction
•       Offer practice and support in drafting and revising in response to peer and tutor feedback

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1
One 1 hour plenary session: Creativity and Writing Skills. At this session students will decide to take either the poetry or prose strand of the module and will be divided accordingly into two groups of 60 (there will be a cap of 60 for each strand to ensure even numbers). There will be two hours of seminars (one set for those who have opted to take poetry, and one set for prose fiction).
Weeks 2-8
This section of the module consists of weekly 2 hour lectures and the continuing weekly 2 hour seminars (one set for poetry, one set for prose).
Weeks 9-11
Students will attend one 1 hour plenary session, and continue to meet for the weekly 2 hour seminars. During this period there will be individual half hour tutorials at which submission plans will be discussed.
Seminar Guidelines
Each student will be offered at least one opportunity to present a passage of their own writing for constructive criticism from their tutor and their peers.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading184:3084:30N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops10:300:30Individual tutorial with each student
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study135:0035:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The weekly lecture gives an overview of the course’s aims, introduces the students to formal questions about poetry and prose, and sets tasks and exercises to help them write. The weekly workshops enable the general principles of the course to be applied in practical critique of individual pieces of writing, led by the tutor. Students learn how to discuss each others’ work with constructive rigour, and to relate their own writing to the work of a peer group. The individual tutorial focuses the student’s attention on the revision process, leading in the commentary to an overview of techniques and themes, and a contextualisation of their work in relation to contemporary writing.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will submit ten to twelve poems, depending on length (14-40 lines is an acceptable average length), OR 2,5000 words of original creative prose (this could either be a passage from a novel, preferably the opening, or a short story or short story collection.

A critical commentary of 1500 words will also be submitted. In this students should discuss their drafting process, and their principles of selection. They should also discuss any relevant information about genre, influences and themes explored in their work. It must include a bibliography of books read and events attended as part of this module.

The submission of creative work allows students to develop the range of skills and knowledge associated with the course. The accompanying commentary enables to student reflect critically upon their own creative processes, and to relate these to contemporary literature.

The mark is divided between creative and critical submissions by a ratio of 80:20.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.