Introduction to writing creative non-fiction: from memoir to personal essay ADED12002E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

When life is stranger than fiction, creative non-fiction memoirs, essays, travel, nature and other forms of observational writing can help us make sense of it. Join this course to learn the art and craft of writing truthfully about your life and the world around us. Reading and discussing notable examples of different types of creative non-fiction we'll learn some of the forms and techniques needed to write compelling true accounts. Writing exercises will enable us to practise these skills in our own writing and share our work for group feedback. We will also discuss helpful habits and ideas that help us write creative non-fiction and the ethical implications and options available when drawing on real life for inspiration. While the main purpose of this course is literary and creative and not therapeutic, personal reflections are welcome. Overall, this practical course offers students a welcoming first step and reinvigorating new approach to writing about real-life.


Blocks 1 & 2

2 hours per week for 20 weeks

Tuesdays 19:00-21:00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





To assess ILOs 1 and 2:

Portfolio one (1,500 words) of original creative non-fiction writing in the form of several shorter pieces, extract(s) from a longer work or one singular complete piece (40%)


Portfolio two (1,500 words) of original but different type of creative non-fiction writing in the form of several shorter pieces, extract(s) from a longer work or one singular complete piece (40%)


Note: students opting to submit a revised version of work that has already submitted for credit on another course must clearly highlight any passages from that work and they should not exceed 10% of the entire wordcount to avoid auto or self-plagiarism as per the University of Glasgow's plagiarism statement 32.2



To assess ILO 3:

Self-reflective essay (500 words) explaining a piece of feedback or a writing habit taken on board during the course and how this contributed towards the production of either or both portfolios (20%).

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ Introduce students to some of the key stylistic features, formal structures and/or compositional methods of several different types of creative non-fiction writing through textual analysis of notable examples

■ Encourage individual, creative approaches to different types of creative non-fiction through practical writing exercises that encourage students to write their own creative non-fiction in response

■ Build students' confidence by submitting their creative writing for peer and tutor feedback, and via discussion of helpful writing habits

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify some of the key literary features, formal structures and/or compositional methods involved in different types of creative non-fiction writing and apply these to their own work

■ Compose persuasive, artistically coherent and technically competent creative non-fiction that responds to some of the stylistic features, structures or compositional methods discussed on the course

■ Reflect upon their own creative process and that of others, including helpful writing habits

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.