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Module Reading List

Foundations of Creative Writing, 2021/22, Semester 1, 2
Professor John Whale
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Set texts

Atwood, Margaret, 'Communion: Nobody to Nobody', Negotiating with the dead : a writer on writing ISBN: 0521662605 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002)    Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva     

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly, Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention (London: Harper Perennial, 1996)         Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Levertov, Denise, 'The Prime Necessity', in Sleeping with One Eye Open: Women Writers and the Art of Survival, ed. by Marilyn Kallet and Judith Ortiz Cofer (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999)  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (IK 25/09/2019)       

Levy, Deborah, Things I don't want to know : a response to George Orwell's 1946 essay 'Why I write' (London: Penguin, 2014)         Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Lorca, Federico García and Christopher Maurer, trans., 'Play and Theory of Duende', in In search of duende  (New York: New Directions, 2010)  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (afp 21/09/2018)   OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (IK 25/09/2019)    

Orwell, George, Why I write : thoughts on the craft of fiction (London: Penguin, 2014) This text is available online here.              Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Morley, David, The Cambridge introduction to creative writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (afp 21/09/2018) See below for additional texts to purchase.  

Morley, David and Philip Neilsen eds, The Cambridge companion to creative writing [electronic resource] ISBN: 9781139028417 (ebook); 1139028413 (ebook); 9780521768498 (hdbk.); 0521768497 (hdbk.); 9780521145367 (pbk.); 0521145368 (pbk.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)  

Raisin, Ross, Read This If You Want to Become a Great Writer (London: Laurence King Publishing, 2018)   

Westbrook, Steven and James Ryan, eds, Beyond Craft: An Anti-Handbook for Creative Writers (London: Bloomsbury, 2020)    

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Additional texts for purchase

You will be instructed to purchase five additional texts (one novel, one short story collection, one poetry collection, one book of non-fiction memoir and one play from the lists below). These allocations will be made in Week One. You will also be provided with supplementary links to readings on MINERVA.

Poetry Collections

1 Allen-Paisant, Jason, Thinking with Trees (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2021)       

2 Ramlochan, Shivanee, Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting (Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 2017)       Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

3 Sexton, Steven, If All the World and Love Were Young (London: Penguin, 2019)      Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Additional Poetry Reading

Bower, Rachel, 2 poems in Wild Court, available online here

Campanello, Kimberly, 4 prose poems in Junction Box, available online here.

extracts from Jeffers, Honorée Fanonne, The Age of Philis (Middletown: Wesleyan Univerisity Press, 2020) Students, please explore this e-book.      

Ní Churreáin, Annemarie, 'The Foundling Crib', available online here. Students, please read this entire poem.

extracts from Raymayya, Nisha, States of the Body Produced by Love (London: Ignota Books, 2019)    Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva Students, please note as Ramayya's texts have not yet been digitised, please read poems from the following online publications (these poems later appeared in the full collection): TANKThe White Review, Blackbox Manifold, Granta

Short Story Collections

1 Ash, Alice, Paradise Block (London: Serpents Tail, 2021)        

2 Fragoza, Carribean, Eat the Mouth that Feeds You (San Francisco: CIty Lights Books, 2021)       

3 Thompson-Spires, Nafissa, Heads of the Coloured People (London: Vintage, 2019)          Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Additional Short Story Reading

Fisher, Clare, 'A Place to Put your Soul' in Minor Literatures, available online here.  

Machado, Carmen Maria, Her Body and Other Parties (London: Serpents Tail, 2019) Many of Machado's writings are available online via her website

McGregor, Jon, This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You (London: Bloomsbury, 2012) 

Saunders, George, 'Semplica Girl Diaries', Tenth of December (London: Bloomsbury, 2013) [e-copy available online through Leeds library] 


Nelson, Caleb Azumah, Open Water (London: Viking, 2021)      Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Sauma, Luiza, Everything You Ever Wanted (London: Hamish Hamilton, 2019)      Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Vuong, Ocean, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (London: Cape, 2019)     Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva  

Additional Novel Reading

Booth, Naomi, Sealed (Liverpool: Dead Ink, 2017)      Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Luiselli,Valeria, Lost Children Archive (London: 4th Estate, 2019)     Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

McCormack, Mike, Solar Bones (Dublin: Tramp Press, 2106)      Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

O'Loughlin, Pascal, Now Legwarmers (London: Henningham Family Press, 2018)      Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Creative Non-fiction

Boyer, Anne, The Undying (London: Allen Lane, 2019)     Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva  

Machado, Carmen María, In the Dream House (London: Serepents Tail, 2020)       

Nelson, Maggie, The Argonauts (London: Melville House, 2016)         

Additional Creative Non-fiction Reading

D'Gata John, 'Hall of Fame of Us' in Halls of Fame: Essays (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2013) extract available online at Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2000, pp. 31-37 here

Didion, Joan, 'Trouble in Lakewood', The New Yorker online, 19 July 1993 available here

Gleeson, Sinéad, 'Blue Hills and Chalk Bones', Granta online available here

Lahiri, Jhumpa and Ann Goldstein, In Other Words (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017)       

Rankine, Claudia, Citizen: An American Lyric (London: Penguin Books, 2015)     Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Stott, Rebecca, In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult (London: Fourth Estate, 2017) Available via the online course reading list here     OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 25/01/2021) 


Anderson, Wes, The Grand Budapest Hotel (London: Faber, 2014)      Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Churchil, Caryl, Love and Information (London: Nick Hern Books, 2016)       

tucker green, debbie, debbie tucker green plays one: born bad, dirty butterfly, generations, stoning mary, trade, random (London: Nick Hern Books, 2018)       

Additional Script Reading

DramaOnline Library available here by logging in with your Leeds credentials

BBC Writers Room Script Library available here

Barker, Howard, Barker: Plays one : Scenes from an Execution, Victory, The Europeans, The Possibilities (London: Oberon Modern Playwrights, 2006)

Churchill, Caryl, Caryl Churchill Plays Two: Softcops, Top Girls, Fen, Serious Money (London: Methuen, 1990)

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Suggested further reading

Reading 'like a writer' involves examining a wide range of periods and traditions, as well as developing a solid understanding of the diverse work of contemporary writers. As such, suggestions for further reading include the lists on all your literature modules. Additionally, you should hone your awareness of contemporary literary publications as indicated on the module's Creative Writing Resource Sheet.

Creative Writing Guides

There are numerous Creative Writing guides in the library that you should peruse, a selection of which are listed here:

Anderson, Linda ed., Creative writing : a workbook with readings ISBN: 0415372437 (pbk); 0415372429 (hbk) (Abingdon: Routledge in association with the Open University, 2006)

Armstrong, Julie Experimental fiction : an introduction for readers and writers ISBN: 9781441130570 (pbk.) : £17.99; 9781441189080 (hbk.) : £55.00(London: Bloomsbury, 2014)    

Behn, Robin and Chase Twichell, The practice of poetry : writing exercises from poets who teach ISBN: 006273024X (pbk.); 9780062730244 (pbk.) (London: Harper, 2005)

Bell, Julia and Paul Magrs, eds., The creative writing coursebook : forty writers share advice and exercises for poetry and prose ISBN: 0333782259 (London: Macmillan, 2001)

Booker, Christopher, The seven basic plots : why we tell stories ISBN: 9780826480378 (pbk.) (London: Continuum, 2009)

Burroway, Janet and Ned Stuckey-French and Elizabeth Stuckey-French, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (Boston: Pearson, 2015)

Cline, Sally and Carole Angier, Life writing : a writers' and artists' companion ISBN: 9781472527066 (pbk.) : £14.99 (London: Bloomsbury, 2010)   

Chivers, Tom, Adventures in form : a compendium of new poetic forms, rules & constraints ISBN: 9781908058010 (pbk.) : £9.99; 1908058013 (pbk.) : £9.99 (London: Penned in the Margins, 2012)

Singleton, John and Mary Luckh, eds, The Creative Writing Handbook: Techniques for New Writers  (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000)

Smith, Hazel, The writing experiment : strategies for innovative creative writing ISBN: 1741140153 (Northam: Allen and Unwin, 2005)    

Williams, Paul, Novel Ideas: Writing Innovative Fiction (London: Red Globe Press, 2019)  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (afp 04/02/2020)   

Wiltshire, Kim, Writing for theatre : creative and critical approaches (London: Macmillan, 2015)    

Wood, James, How Fiction Works(London: Vintage, 2009)    

Writers on Writing 

Herbert, W.N. and Matthew Hollis, Strong words : modern poets on modern poetry  (Newcastle: Bloodaxe, 2000)

Kundera, Milan, The Art of the Novel (London: Faber and Faber, 2005)    

Orwell, George, Why I write : thoughts on the craft of fiction  (London: Penguin, 2014)   

Prose, Francine, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Like Books and People Who Want to Write Them (London: Harper Collins, 2012)    

Shukla, Nikesh, The good immigrant, Asian and Minority Ethnic in Britain Today (London: Unbound, 2016) 

Smith, Ali, Artful (London: Penguin, 2013)    

This list was last updated on 05/01/2022