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The Creative Writing Society gives you the time, space and feedback needed to develop your writing skills in a relaxed and friendly environment. We meet once a week to explore different writing styles and genres, always ensuring we get some good writing down on paper. If you want to deepen your skills, help listen and give feedback to others or just meet nice individuals to share stories with we are willing to provide the place. We also provide biscuits!
All of our clubs and societies are run by a committee.
A committee is a team of people that lead, organise and publicise a group within your Students’ Union.
It can be really rewarding as well as being a great way to gain experience and invaluable skills for your future career.
ADVERTISE TO STUDENTS
2022 Creative Writing Prizes
Read all the winners’ and runners’ up entries here .
The tale of how Evan Evans scrapped wi Evan Nichols – Jo Higgs
1 st Runner Up – Three Sangs o Derkness an Licht – Dorothy Lawrenson
2 nd Runner Up – let mi spik – Heather Dunnett
3 rd Runner Up – To Live and Die Out Your Nugget – Declan Kelly
Grierson Verse Prize
What You Wish For – Olivia Thomakos
1 st Runner Up – Putting it this way – Beth Grainger
2 nd Runner Up – Some Time Afterwards – Carl Alexandersson
3 rd Runner Up – She Will – Tim Tim Cheng
To the Mountain – Malika McKenney
Struggling – Shelby Shumacher
Husband – Ben Underhill
Pink Flower – Chiara Toone
Haiku Sequence – Jemma Jenkins-Ferrett
Menhirs – Georgia Bennett
Growing Fragile – Sarah Dukic
Lewis Edwards Memorial Prize
Hills of Basalt – Armaan
1 st Runner Up – Semiotics – Hattie Atkins
2 nd Runner Up – Fengxian – Siru
3 rd Runner Up – Augurs Alone – Ailsa Fraser
Absence – Marguerite Fox
Friday, 7 th January (and Saturday 8 th , Sunday 9 th , Monday 10 th , etc) – Jemma Jenkins-Ferrett
In my mind’s eye – Marisa Lee
Us or Self-reflection in a Sink – Magnus McDowall
Therapy – Devki Panchmatia
Terracotta Rose – Flora Leask
A Pistachio Croissant – Jack Miller-Smith
Of All the People – Grace Murray
Diego – Scarlett Smyth
Children of the Internet – Sebastian Szapary
Times That Were and Weren’t, Are and Aren’t – James Ternent
Generational Trauma – Brianna Zapata
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- Creative Writing
8th July – 3rd August 2024
This 4-week course offers developing writers a supportive environment in which to further their writing skills in fiction, poetry, and drama. Students have a unique opportunity to develop their own critical analysis by attending Modernism and Contemporary Literature lectures, as well as author-led Masterclasses. SUISS tutors, who are published writers and experienced teachers, lead the students in 3-hour group seminars and individualised mentoring sessions.
In addition, our Creative Writing students have the opportunity to attend private readings by well-known British authors, many of who will be reading at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.
The Creative Writing course offers:
- Workshop Seminars: SUISS tutors lead small group writing seminars catered to students’ writing interests.
- Author-led Masterclasses: Prominent contemporary British writers offer students an opportunity to engage in unique discussions and activities.
- Lectures: Students attend select Modernism and Contemporary Literature lectures to gain additional perspectives of critical analysis.
- Individual Mentoring Sessions: Students receive 30min of individualised mentoring sessions with a SUISS tutor per week.
- Publishing Lecture: A Literary Agent identifies key aspects of the publishing industry in an exclusive lecture for the students.
- Editorial groups: According to shared interests, students discuss their work with their peers in an informal, interactive environment.
- Northern Light : An opportunity to be published in our biennial publication.
Creative Writing students attend selected lectures from our Modernism and Contemporary Literature courses. Students are strongly advised to read as many of the texts as possible before arriving in Edinburgh, as time will be limited once the programme is underway. The lectures are pitched high, and lecturers are advised that all students will be familiar with the texts at the time of lecture.
Core texts and lectures for the Creative Writing summer programme, on which the tuition will be based, are listed below.
Essential reading (in alphabetical order) :
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Harry Josephine Giles, Drone
James Joyce, Dubliners China Miéville short stories (from Three Moments of an Explosion )*
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta Selected imagist poetry*
Ali Smith: selection of short stories*
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
Suggested further reading**:
Neil Astley (Ed.), Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times John Gillard, The Very Short Story Starter: 101 Flash Fiction Prompts for Creative Writing Louise Glück, Proofs and Theories: Essay on Poetry Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within Robert Hass, A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry Stephen King, On Writing Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird Alice LaPlante, The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing Alysoun Owen (Ed.), Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2023 Deryn Rees-Jones, Consorting with Angels Calum Rodger (Ed.), makar / unmakar: twelve contemporary poets in Scotland
*Students are not required to purchase volumes of poetry or short stories – specific reading selections for these lectures and seminars will be circulated to all students in advance.
**NB: Students are not required to read texts listed in ‘further reading’. However, if you are interested in complementary material, these texts will expand your knowledge and discussion of the essential reading list as well as the subject of creative writing more broadly. All of the further reading is available to loan from the University of Edinburgh library or the SUISS library.
For more information on the course, see our Sample Creative Writing Syllabus .
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find your perfect postgrad program Search our Database of 30,000 Courses
The university of edinburgh: creative writing, doctor of philosophy - phd, full-time, 3 years starts sep 2024.
The PhD in Creative Writing offers committed and talented writers the opportunity to study Creative Writing at the highest level.
Supported by an expert supervisory team you will work independently towards the production of a substantial, publishable piece of creative writing, accompanied by a sustained exercise in critical study.
The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, including well-published and prize-winning writers of poetry, prose fiction and drama. They include:
- Dr Jane Alexander - Fiction
- Dr Lynda Clark - Fiction
- Dr Patrick Errington - Poetry
- Dr Miriam Gamble - Poetry
- Dr Alan Gillis - Poetry
- Nicola McCartney - Drama
- Dr Jane McKie - Poetry
- Dr Allyson Stack - Fiction
- Kim Sherwood - Fiction
- Alice Thompson - Fiction
Part-Time, 6 years starts Sep 2024
Full-time, 1 years starts sep 2024.
Based in the first UNESCO World City of Literature, this one-year, full-time taught Masters programme is tailored towards your practice in either fiction or poetry.
There is a strong practical element to the programme, helping you develop your creative skills through:
- presenting your work for peer discussion
- hearing from guest writers and other professionals on the practicalities of life as a writer
You will also sharpen your critical skills through:
- seminars exploring the particulars of your chosen form
- option courses in literature, helping you move from theoretical considerations to practical applications
The programme culminates with the publication of ‘From Arthur’s Seat,’ an anthology of student work.
Literature has been taught here for over 250 years, and today Edinburgh thrives on its designation as the first UNESCO World City of Literature. The city is home to the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Poetry Library, and a number of celebrated publishing outlets, from Canongate and Polygon, to Luath Press, Birlinn and Mariscat. The University hosts the prestigious James Tait Black Awards, established in 1919 and one of the oldest literary prizes in Britain.
There are lots of opportunities to write and share your work, from ‘The Student,’ the UK’s oldest student newspaper (founded in 1887 by Robert Louis Stevenson), to The Selkie, which was founded by Creative Writing students in 2018 to showcase work by people who self-identify as underrepresented.
Around the city, you will find:
- library readings and bookshop launches
- spoken word gigs
- cabaret nights
- poetry slams
We team teach our programme so that you benefit from the input of a range of tutors, as well as your fellow students and our Writer in Residence, the poet and author Michael Pedersen, who also co-ordinates a range of student writing prizes and our annual industry and networking event.
- Dr Lynda Clark
- Dr Patrick Errington - Poetry/Fiction
- Professor Alan Gillis - Poetry
Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings. Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. Our …
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Research interests relating to the Creative Writing research group include:
- poetry and poetry in translation
- the short story
- life writing
- the literary essay
- travel writing
Publications, prizes and honours
Among the publications to which members of the group have contributed are The New Yorker , The Guardian , The Times , Libération , Harper's Magazine and The Paris Review , among many others.
Prizes won by members of the group include the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize, the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, Le Prix Madeleine Zepter (France), the Commonwealth First Book Prize and many others.
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Edinburgh Napier University
Full of creative writing talent and ideas? Let us add the expertise.
Unique is a great way to describe the postgraduate creative writing programme at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland. For a start, we put genre fiction front and centre in our course. If you love science fiction, fantasy, crime or horror, most MFAs and MAs don't want to know - but we embrace great genre writing and people who want to write it. Another unique focus at Edinburgh Napier is comics and graphic novels , which most other programmes ignore. In fact, we love this medium so much we devote an entire module about it, Writing Graphic Fiction. [Good news: no talent for drawing required!] We also specialise in Young Adult fiction , with acclaimed YA author Laura Lam leading a new module on this.
Edinburgh Napier's creative writing MA does not offer a poetry option. We repeat, poetry is not a requirement . There are plenty of other great courses with brilliant poets on the faculty - if you want to study poetry, seek them out. We have had prize-winning poets as students on our programme, but we don't teach or critique poetry.
No peer review workshops?
There are also no peer review workshops in Creative Writing MA classes at Edinburgh Napier. We repeat, no peer review workshops. This boggles the mind of some people, as such workshops are the dominant teaching method for creative writing pretty much everywhere else. But we don't have them in our classes. Not one! Instead, we set frequent writing assignments and expect you to bring the results to class. You're encouraged to critically self-reflect on your work [with prompts from us], and to share that thinking. You get professional editorial feedback on your writing and your self-reflection skills, delivered masterclass-style in class. And you get six hours of one-to-one mentoring .
- Load more from the gallery
Introducing our Creative Writing tutors - David Bishop, Elizabeth Dearnley, Nicholas Binge and Noelle Harrison. Learn more about their backgrounds and their impressive careers in writing so far.
Through her work, Jenny Bloomfield has always strived to make a difference. Now she's looking to do it through an alternative medium - creative writing.
Write Together: Edinburgh Napier & Seton Hill
As a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University, you can now earn your MFA – and finish the book you started at Edinburgh Napier – through the Writing Popular Fiction programme at Seton Hill.
Beginning in January 2017, alumni from Edinburgh Napier University can enroll in the Writing Popular Fiction programme at Seton Hill and earn an MFA by taking 34 credits (instead of the usual 54) and attending four residencies (instead of six).
2015 graduate Ashley Stern is now working towards her MFA in popular fiction at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. We catch-up with her as she looks back on her time in Edinburgh.
Want an insight into the course and its going-ons? Visit the MA Creative Writing blog today.
MA Creative Writing Full-Time
Ma creative writing part-time.
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Writing Tips Oasis
8 Top Writing Groups in Edinburgh
By Kevin Chan
Joining a writing group can be very helpful in getting feedback on your writing, helping others with their works in progress and a great way to make some new friends. Below we’ve featured 8 top writing groups in Edinburgh.
1. Edinburgh Creative Writers Club
Edinburgh Creative Writers Club is a writing group found in Edinburgh, Scotland. Group organizer James Gibson leads the group of over 2,200 local writers and welcomes any writers, professional or amateur, in the area to join their ranks. Meetings happen every Tuesday from 7 to 10 PM.
Writing meetings are currently held online to make it more comfortable and possible for more writers to participate. Every meeting allows writers to bring in their own writing to share with other participants. Interested participants can apply for membership to Edinburgh Creative Writers Club by submitting a real photo of themself and a response to the membership application question.
Speak to Edinburgh Creative Writers Club.
2. New Edinburgh Writers
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, New Edinburgh Writers is a writing group that supports local writers who are looking for a support network or group of fellow writers to join for inspiration, motivation and constructive criticism. New Edinburgh Writers is led by group organizer Raymond Bell.
New Edinburgh Writers writing meetings take place in person at Fountainbridge Library on Dundee Street. The facility has accessibility features such as disabled toilets, automatic doors and ramps at each exit. Meetings take place once a week on Wednesday evenings at 6 PM.
Connect with New Edinburgh Writers today.
3. Corstorphine Writing Meetup
Corstorphine Writing Meetup is a writing group that supports writers in the west of the capital city, Edinburgh. This group meets to support local writers who are focused on writing fiction novels, short stories, and scripts, among other genres.
Writing meetings usually take place in person at The Gift Tree, an independent cafe that is conveniently located on bus lines and has free parking nearby. Writing meetings happen once a week on Monday afternoons. Writers are encouraged to bring samples of their writing to the meetings to get feedback from other participants.
Contact Corstorphine Writing Meetup.
4. Indie Writers of Edinburgh
Located in Edinburgh, Scotland, Indie Writers of Edinburgh is a local writer’s group that supports writers who are planning to go down the road to independent publishing through services like Wattpad, Amazon, Nook and others. Group meetings cover writing-related topics such as developing characters and action, outsourcing as an indie publisher and descriptive writing.
Writing group meetings happen on the first Tuesday of every month. Prospective participants can look forward to enjoying discussions with other group participants about their own writing and road toward publication. The group is a welcoming, open group of individuals who are all passionate about writing and are eager to meet others who are excited about the prospect of being an indie author.
Learn more Indie Writers of Edinburgh!
5. Let’s Write (Edinburgh Writing Group)
Let’s Write (Edinburgh Writing Group) is a writing group that supports individuals passionate about writing in Edinburgh, Scotland. Members of Let’s Write (Edinburgh Writing Group) meet up in person at local venues such as Starbucks cafe. Having a dedicated time for writing will be a benefit for writers who might have trouble staying focused on their own work
Writing meetings with Let’s Write (Edinburgh Writing Group) take place every Thursday evening. Writing meetings include a time for socialization and building relationships with other members, followed by an hour of dedicated writing. Writing meetings are intended to be a dedicated time to write on your own work-in-progress rather than share work with other writers.
Find out more about Let’s Write (Edinburgh Writing Group).
6. Rogue Writers Edinburgh
Rogue Writers Edinburgh is a writing group led by group organizer James Gibson run out of Edinburgh, Scotland. The group welcomes writers of fiction, non-fiction poetry and other genres of writing. Writers of all backgrounds and experience levels are all welcome to Rogue Writers Edinburgh.
Writing meetings are held online weekly on Sunday mornings. Writers are encouraged to bring in their work-in-progress to read to the group and get constructive criticism from other meeting participants. Writers interested in sharing with the group should prepare their text as an electronic text in Open Office, Libra or Word.
Plan a visit to Rogue Writers Edinburgh.
7. Sink or Swim
Sink or Swim is a writing group located in Edinburgh, Scotland, led by group organizer Helen Doig. The writing group believes in the power of swimming to help writers have a clear mind, which can then lead to better writing and the expression of ideas. Sink or Swim welcomes all writers who enjoy swimming and visiting the beach who think the idea of joining other writers for a swim and a writing session is a fascinating idea and something worth experiencing.
Sink or Swim’s writing meetings happen weekly on Sunday mornings. Writing meetings happen at their regular meeting place on Portobello Beach. Meetings consist of swimming in the ocean together as a group, followed by a time of relaxing conversation and writing in a clear state of mind.
Take a look at Sink or Swim!
8. Edinburgh Writers’ Club
Serving writers in Edinburgh, Scotland, Edinburgh Writers’ Club is a writing group that welcomes local writers to join them. Participants at Edinburgh Writers Club can benefit from many perks of joining the writing group, including membership to the Scottish Association of Writers (SAW) conferences and competitions and access to listening to talks from authors who hail from different genres of writing.
In addition to all the special events, conferences and socials the writing group hosts, Edinburgh Writers’ Club meets for writing meetings nineteen times a year. Edinburgh Writers’ Club memberships are £50 for annual membership from September to May, and there is a guest fee of £5 applicable to those who might want to visit Edinburgh Writers Club before committing to an entire year.
Discover Edinburgh Writers Club.
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Edinburgh: City of Inspiration
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.
Douglas Dougan: After working as a journalist, Douglas began his screenwriting career writing for series television at the BBC, Channel Five and ITV (Casualty, Family Affairs, Doctors, Holby City, The Bill, River City). In 2006, he set up his own production company. Among their credits are the BAFTA award-winning Run, Tony, Run!, Mono (BBC Three Film Award), Waiting for the 42 and Half Way Home. Douglas works regularly as a script editor and script consultant on UK film and television productions (credits include the multi-BAFTA award winning dramas Margaret, Small Island, Five Minutes of Heaven, Occupation, Killing Bono and ’71.) Douglas is Lead Practitioner for Moving Image Education in Scotland, working with Education Scotland to research and embed visual and narrative literacy into the national schools curriculum. He has been teaching writing and film at the Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh for over 20 years.
Caroline Dunford: Caroline has a love of putting characters in a crucible and turning up the heat. In fiction, as in real life, she believes that it’s only under times of pressure that human nature reveals it’s best - and its worst. She has had over thirty books published, seven plays performed and has a background in short stories and journalism. Her best loved fiction series, The Euphemia Martin’s Mysteries, about a young woman who, through no fault of her own, ends up as an agent in the SIS during WWI, now has a spin-off with The Hope Stapleford Adventures. She has also written science-fiction, thrillers and romance. Recently she broke in YA with Fake News, a story based around today’s slack attitude to the truth. Caroline has been a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh for over ten years.
Nicky (nick-e) Melville: Dr Nicky Melville is a poet, creative writing teacher, musician, and occasional artist with a PhD from the University of Glasgow. He has been grafting on and in the margins for over twenty years, developing a range of publications in a variety of forms: found poetry, erasures, visual poetry, lyric experiment, process poetry and a badge. His work takes aim at and interrogates the imperatives of capitalism, politics and ideology. Nicky’s most recent books are a selected poems, Decade of Cu ts: new and selected poems 2010-2020 (Blue Diode Press), and ABBODIES COLD: SPECTRE (Sad Press), which explores the neoliberal and fascist elements of Brexit through the lens of ABBA songs, aliens and James Bond. In 2022, Nicky served as a judge on the panel for the Janet Coats Memorial Prize at the Paisley Book Festival. Nicky teaches a wide range of popular creative writing courses at the Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh including Experimental Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction, Short Story Writing, Starting to Write and Poetry in Practice. He is also a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glasgow.
Classes will focus on examining creative processes and the role of revision in the writing process. Students will have the opportunity to explore different forms of creative writing including prose fiction, poetry and script writing in seminars. 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.
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). 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.
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. Seminar 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.
Week 1 and Week 2
Monday - friday (10:00-13:00), teaching method.
All classes will be delivered in person at the University of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Campus.
Assessment will comprise:
- 100% Coursework:
- Reflective commentary/journal 15% (750 words max)
- Creative writing 85%
Students will choose ONE option according to which format of creative writing they choose in week 2:
- Poetry (max. 120 lines)
- Script or screenplay (max. 20 pages)
- Prose (max. 3000 words)
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Distinguish and describe the effective elements of a piece of creative writing.
- Critique their own writing, diagnose problems, devise solutions and revise.
- Design, lay out, write and present creative work according to appropriate industry formats.
- Appraise and explore the formal qualities of modern and contemporary writing.
- Evaluate the use of different sources of inspiration for creative writing.
The course fee does not include accommodation during your study. Please see our Accommodation section for more information.
To ensure your experience at the University of Edinburgh's Summer School is memorable, we encourage students to embrace the city and its culture and take part in the variety of social activities available.
More about our social programme activities >
Ready to apply?
For full details including information on fees, visas and a link to the application form please visit our 'Apply Now' page.
Visit our 'Apply Now' page