Swansea's Creative Writing MA course has from the outset attracted many times more applicants than we have had places to offer, and our students have subsequently published work in several fields and genres. Since its launch in 2003 by dramatist Alan Plater, the ground-breaking MA has offered a wide spectrum of skills for those eager to become professional writers. The MA in Creative Writing is a skills‐based degree which offers students a comprehensive introduction to fiction, poetry, screenwriting, feature‐writing and drama. Current students and alumni include award-winning writers Rebecca F. John and Sarah Reynolds.
Swansea University's Creative Writing MA offers its student writers opportunity to dedicate themselves to learning the craft of writing under expert supervision. Our MA also offers knowledge of and some access to the professional world of publishing: we have close links with London publishers and agents, as well as with Welsh presses, with Literature Wales, the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Books Council. For the MA we try to identify applicants who can demonstrate, in short portfolios of writing samples, that they have what we think of as a seed‐corn talent, together with the determination, passion and patience to develop it. With some, such as those who have already been published by mainstream publishers, their claim to acceptance is obvious; others, perhaps, have published nothing and written little, and yet that promising 'something' is there on the page, and we can offer places on the course, in the belief that guidance, encouragement and group work will lead to a more mature engagement with the art and craft of writing.
Swansea’s Creative Writing PhD
The establishment in 2005 of a PhD via the path of Creative Writing has created a flourishing writerly community. Working closely with specialist supervisors, our research students are also members of the popular monthly Research Methodology Workshop, attended by staff members and presided over by course director, Professor Stevie Davies. Many of our students, including novelists Roshi Fernando and Jennifer Cryer, have published their theses. Our Creative Writing PhD students are also offered (when possible) the opportunity to gain invaluable teaching experience assisting as tutors in seminars for the first year undergraduate cohort.
Swansea's English with Creative Writing BA is a degree scheme that will introduce the student to a variety of fiction genres through lectures, discussion, and the independent reading of established writers, while also studying Literature. Creative Writing seminar sessions focus each student on a variety of practical skills with which to write in a specific genre.
The Creative Writing Department is based within the Department of English and has strong links to all the other subjects in the College of Arts and Humanities. In 2006, course director and fiction tutor, Professor Stevie Davies, and poetry tutor, Nigel Jenkins, were joined by novelist and critic, Dr Fflur Dafydd, by the playwright and radio dramatist, Professor D.J. Britton, and the novelist Dr Alan Bilton.
Currently the department includes broadcaster and fiction writer Jon Gower, the poet and academic Dr Jasmine Donahaye, along with the novelist Dr Anne Lauppe-Dunbar – whose novel has been shortlisted for the Sports Writing Prize 2016. Anne is the convenor of the BA English with Creative Writing. Dr Al Kellermann joined us in 2014 as a poet and writer, along with media specialist Dr Nicola Vaughan. Novelist and short story writer Dr Francesca Rhydderch was appointed to the Creative Writing team in 2015. The current Programme Director is Professor D.J. Britton.
Other news: Swansea University hosts the annual Dylan Thomas Prize, which this year takes place at the university’s new Bay Campus on Saturday 14th May. We are also delighted to be working in partnership with Swansea University’s Professor of Creativity, Owen Sheers, to bring a stellar group of agents and foreign rights specialists to advise our students on the publishing industry and to meet with them informally prior to the Dylan Thomas Prize ceremony.
In addition, we are in 2016 celebrating the third year of the English with Creative Writing. A very successful year saw 98 undergraduate students learn about genre writing and writing styles. Creative Writing and English Literature lecturers joined forces to offer a varied programme, which covered thriller writing, film, TV and web design, to writing for the stage and poetry.