Creative Writing

8th July – 3rd August 2019

Little Sparta

Alasdair Gray Book Signing

Portobello Beach









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.

Reading List

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 in order of study.

Selected imagist poetry*
Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories (Oxford World’s Classics edition, 2008, ed. by Angela Smith)
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song
John McGrath, The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black, Black Oil
Gregory Burke, Black Watch
Edwin Morgan and Liz Lochhead, selected poems*
A.L. Kennedy and Janice Galloway, selected short stories*

*NB: 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.

For more information on the course, see our SUISS Creative Writing Syllabus.