globe
This list has a newer version. Click here to view
  1. Introductory Reading - Guides to Writing / Being a Writer 7 items
    There is no set reading list for this module in the conventional sense. Rather, each tutor - all of them are practising writers - teaches to their own strengths and interests and consequently will assign core reading on a week-by-week basis, tailored to the trajectory of the course, providing photocopies or scans on Blackboard. However, should you wish to do some preparatory work of your own, the titles in this list represent a good place to start: they are all guides to writing. Added to which, it is worth remembering that the best way to develop your abilities as a writer is to read as widely as possible in your chosen creative field, whether that be fiction, poetry, the essay. With this in mind, if you're looking for preparatory creative reading, dig around in the 'interesting writers' section below and see what takes your fancy. In all cases, read with a pen in your hand and your writer's notebook by your side, enabling you to scrawl down things that strike you as interesting.
    1. Becoming a writer - Dorothea Brande 1996

      Book Further Reading This is a rather old-fashioned book, originally published in 1934, but it is a very good guide to practicalities (and spiritualities for that matter) associated with becoming a writer. In some ways, it's a little like being instructed in the ways of being a writer by an American maiden aunt, the kind you might find in a P. G. Wodehouse novel. It's all useful, but I would direct your attention in particular to 'Chapter 9: Reading as a Writer', which provides gold standard advice on how to develop your writerly understanding (namely, about the way in which creative work operates) from your own engagements with fiction and poetry.

    2. Where the stress falls: essays - Susan Sontag 2002

      Book Further Reading Susan Sontag was an extraordinary figure. A brilliant writer, essayist and thinker, she devoted great energy of thought to the business of considering what it means to be alert and alive in the world. Reading her work will never be a waste of time. In the case of this book, if you want to think about why it is you might be interested in becoming a writer, or at least trying it out for a semester, I would suggest you turn to her chapter 'Writing as Reading' (p. 263 in my edition). As she writes: 'Reading usually precedes writing. And the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading. Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer.' True words. On that note, get out and read, try to discover what fires the impulse to write in you.

    3. The art of writing fiction - Andrew Cowan 2011

      Book Further Reading This is an excellent and practical guide to the Art of Writing Fiction, by our very own supremo of Creative Writing here at UEA, Andrew Cowan. If you're looking for preparatory work before the semester starts, have a read through and try some of the exercises.

    4. Writing poetry - W. N. Herbert 2010

      Book Further Reading A little like the Cowan volume for fiction writers, this is a very useful guide to the principles of writing poetry, written by an eminent contemporary poet. Again, if you'd like to do some preparatory work before the course starts, take a look at this and try some of the exercises.

    5. Paris Review - Susan Sontag, The Art of Fiction No. 143

      Webpage Further Reading Interviews with writers can be a good place to find both inspiration and an understanding of craft. The Paris Review archives are a great place to find such interviews and I've selected a small handful which seem to me to be particularly interesting: Susan Sontag, James Salter and Claudia Rankine.

    6. Paris Review - James Salter, The Art of Fiction No. 133

      Webpage Further Reading Interviews with writers can be a good place to find both inspiration and an understanding of craft. The Paris Review archives are a great place to find such interviews and I've selected a small handful which seem to me to be particularly interesting: Susan Sontag, James Salter and Claudia Rankine.

    7. Paris Review - Claudia Rankine, The Art of Poetry No. 102

      Webpage Further Reading Interviews with writers can be a good place to find both inspiration and an understanding of craft. The Paris Review archives are a great place to find such interviews and I've selected a small handful which seem to me to be particularly interesting: Susan Sontag, James Salter and Claudia Rankine.

  2. Introductory Reading: Interesting Writers of Fiction 13 items
    It is often said that in order to become a writer it is necessary first to be a reader. I think that’s true. While you obviously have many demands on your time, you should try to find time to read for pleasure. There are a lot of books out there and finding a place to start can seem daunting. One approach is to read as promiscuously as possible, picking things up, testing them out, putting them down if they don’t grab you, but pursuing interests or passions when they do. In this way, you can begin to find your own path through the great morass of published and unpublished work. Not only that, but you will begin to develop your own tastes and inclinations and those developing tastes and inclinations can provide clues and guidance for your own writing. Indeed, most questions relating to writing can be answered through close attention to the writers who came before you. This is particularly true of structures and layout: if you are struggling with the layout of a story, take a look at a handful of published books and see how they set out paragraphs, line breaks, dialogue etc. These things are important and are covered in the mark scheme, so it is worth getting to grips with them now. What follows is a selective list of writers who have done or are doing interesting things, with an emphasis on the contemporary. You won’t be able to read them all – nor should you try – but pick a couple and dive in, see what happens.
    1. The essential tales of Chekhov - Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Constance Garnett 1999

      Book Further Reading

    2. Collected stories of Katherine Mansfield - Katherine Mansfield 1945

      Book Further Reading

    3. Dark lies the island - Kevin Barry 2013

      Book Further Reading

    4. The loudest sound and nothing: stories - Clare Wigfall 2007

      Book Further Reading

    5. The first person and other stories - Ali Smith 2008

      Book Further Reading

    6. TENTH OF DECEMBER. - Saunders, George 2011

      Article Further Reading

    7. Drown - Junot Díaz 1997

      Book Further Reading

    8. Interpreter of Maladies - JHUMPA LAHIRI

      Article Further Reading

    9. Things to make and break - May-Lan Tan 2014

      Book Further Reading

    10. Bad behavior - Gaitskill 2009

      Book Further Reading

    11. No one belongs here more than you - July 2015

      Book Further Reading

    12. Leaving the Atocha station: a novel - Ben Lerner 2012, c2011

      Book Further Reading

    13. Jesus' son - Johnson 2012

      Book Further Reading

  3. Introductory Reading: Interesting Writers of Poetry 9 items
    It is often said that in order to become a writer it is necessary first to be a reader. I think that’s true. While you obviously have many demands on your time, you should try to find time to read for pleasure. There are a lot of books out there and finding a place to start can seem daunting. One approach is to read as promiscuously as possible, picking things up, testing them out, putting them down if they don’t grab you, but pursuing interests or passions when they do. In this way, you can begin to find your own path through the great morass of published and unpublished work. Not only that, but you will begin to develop your own tastes and inclinations and those developing tastes and inclinations can provide clues and guidance for your own writing. Indeed, most questions relating to writing can be answered through close attention to the writers who came before you. This is particularly true of structures and layout: if you are struggling with the layout of a story, take a look at a handful of published books and see how they set out paragraphs, line breaks, dialogue etc. These things are important and are covered in the mark scheme, so it is worth getting to grips with them now. What follows is a selective list of writers who have done or are doing interesting things, with an emphasis on the contemporary. You won’t be able to read them all – nor should you try – but pick a couple and dive in, see what happens.
    1. Citizen: an American lyric - Claudia Rankine 2015

      Book Further Reading

    2. Meditations in an Emergency - Frank O'Hara

      Article Further Reading

    3. The harbour beyond the movie - Luke Kennard 2007 (electronic resource)

      Book Further Reading

    4. The book of Matthew - Matthew Welton 2003

      Book Further Reading

    5. Men in the off hours - Anne Carson 2000

      Book Further Reading

    6. 81 austerities - Sam Riviere 2012

      Book Further Reading

    7. Dear boy - Emily Berry 2013

      Book Further Reading

    8. So many moving parts - Tiffany Atkinson 2014

      Book Further Reading

    9. New collected poems - W. S. Graham 2004

      Book Further Reading

  4. Introductory Reading - On Writing Fiction 6 items
    1. The art of writing fiction - Andrew Cowan 2011

      Book Further Reading

    2. Becoming a writer - Dorothea Brande 1996

      Book Further Reading

    3. On becoming a novelist - John Gardner 1999

      Book Further Reading

    4. On writing: a memoir of the craft - Stephen King 2010

      Book Further Reading

    5. Mystery and manners: occasional prose - Flannery O'Connor, Robert Fitzgerald, Sally Fitzgerald 1972

      Book Further Reading

    6. The lie that tells a truth - Dufresne 2004

      Book Further Reading

  5. Introductory Reading - On Writing Poems 4 items
    1. Writing poems - Peter Sansom 1994

      Book Further Reading

    2. The poet's craft: a handbook of rhyme, metre, and verse - Sandy Brownjohn 2002

      Book Further Reading

    3. The art of description: world into word - Mark Doty c2010

      Book Further Reading

    4. The making of a poem: a Norton anthology of poetic forms - Mark Strand, Eavan Boland 2000

      Book Further Reading

  6. Introductory Reading - Contemporary Poetry Anthologies 5 items
    1. The Reality Street book of sonnets 2008

      Book Further Reading

    2. Emergency kit: poems for strange times - Jo Shapcott, Matthew Sweeney, Jo Shapcott 1996

      Book Further Reading

    3. The New Poetry - Neil Astley (Bloodaxe)

    4. Staying alive: real poems for unreal times - Neil Astley 2002

      Book Further Reading

  7. Useful, Readable Critical Works 3 items
    1. The art of fiction: illustrated from classic and modern texts - David Lodge 1992

      Book Further Reading

    2. How fiction works - James Wood 2008

      Book Further Reading

    3. Burning down the house - Baxter 2008

      Book Further Reading