• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English

Who would not wish to be a published author? This course provides an introduction to creative writing of various kinds, chiefly short fiction and poetry, in a workshop situation in which recent and, in particular, contemporary writing, made available in a reading brick, will be critically analysed and, where appropriate, used as a model. Stylistic diversity will be encouraged and the workshop will ensure close discussion of, and feedback on, student work. The course will include some consideration of the practical process of publishing.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Create poems and prose pieces in different forms and styles
  2. Experiment with and revise creative work, integrating suggestions from writing workshops and/or utilising analysis of published or other students’ creative work to modify your own.
  3. Perform a detailed formal analysis of a published work, making a coherent argument about the relationship between form and content in that work.
  4. Describe, analyse and make editorial suggestions for peers’ poetry and prose
  5. Reflect on your own creative work in relation to its formal qualities, your writing process and published work in a similar style or genre

Indicative Assessment

1. Portfolio of Creative Work (60%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 5]
Comprising drafts and rewrites of 3 poems and one story of approximately 3,500 words.

2. Written and oral comments on peers' work (15%) [Learning Outcome 4]

3. 1,000 – 1,500  word essay (25%) [Learning Outcomes 3, 5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


3 contact hours per week. Students are expected to commit up to 7 hours of independent study per week for this course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed atleast 48 Units of total Courses including 6 Units of English (ENGL) courses. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Ebrick of readings, including:

Lecture 1
Garner, Helen. ‘I’. Meanjin. 61.1 (2002): 40-43

Pamuk, Orhan. “My Father’s Suitcase.” Nobel Lectures. December 7, 2006. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2006/pamuk-lecture_en.html

Rilke, Ranier Marie. “Letter 1.” Letters to a Young Poet. Trans. Herter Norton. New York: Norton, 1934

Lecture 2
Joyce, James. “Araby.” 1914. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. 6th Edition. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2003

Wood, James. “Narrating.” How Fiction Works. London: Jonathan Cape: 5-31

Barth, John. “Lost in the Funhouse.” 1967. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. 6th Edition. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2003

Lecture 3
Munro, Alice. “A Wilderness Station.” Open Secrets. New York: Knopf, 1994

LeGuin, Ursula. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” 1976. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. 6th Edition. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2003

Lanagan, Margo. “Singing My Sister Down.” Black Juice, St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2004, pp 3-7

Lecture 4
Chekhov, Anton. “The Lady with the Little Dog.” 1903. The Lady with the Little Dog and Other Stories. Trans. Ronald Wilkes. London: Penguin, 2002

Bobis, Merlinda. “White Turtle.” The Kissing. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2001

Maupassant, Guy de. “Introduction.” 1887. Pierre and Jean. Trans. Leonard Tancock. London: Penguin, 1979

O’Brien, Tim. “The Things They Carried.” 1986. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. 6th Edition. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2003

Lecture 5
Cooper, Barry. “9.7 Milligrams of Heaven.” Best Australian Stories 2007. Ed Robert Drewe. Melbourne: Black Inc., 2007

Moore, Lorrie. “People Like That Are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk.” Birds of America. New York: Picador, 1998

Enright, Anne. “Until the Girl Died.” Yesterday’s Weather. New York: Grove Press, 2008

Lecture 6
Carver, Raymond, “What we talk about when we talk about love.” Stories of Raymond Carver.  London : Picador, 1985, c1983, pp. 270-281

Hartnett, Sonya. “The Colour of Success.” Australian Author. December, 2004, pp 8-12

The New Yorker, "Beginners," edited: the transformation of a Raymond Carver classic. New Yorker.  New York: The New Yorker Magazine, Dec 2007

The New Yorker, “Rough crossings: the cutting of Raymond Carver.” New Yorker. New York: The New Yorker Magazine, Dec 2007

Forche, Carolyn. “The Colonel.” The Country Between Us. New York: Harper and Row, 1981 online at: http://poetrydispatch.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/carolyn-forche-the-colonel/

Lecture 7
Collins, Billy. “Passengers.”  Picnic, Lightning. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998. Online at: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2004/12/07

Kunitz, Stanley. “The Abduction.” 1985. The Collected Poems: Stanley Kunitz. New York: W. W. Norton, 2000 Online at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19249

Cronin, M.T.C. “Eating Paint.” 1999. New Music: An Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry. Ed. John Leonard. Wollongong: Five Islands Press, 2001.

Lea, Bronwyn. “Ars Poetica.” The Other Way Out. Sydney: Giramondo, 2008

Lecture 8
Dobyns, Stephen. “Metaphor and the Authenticating Act of Memory.” Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry. 3rd Ed. New York: Palgrave, 2003

Pollitt, Katha. “Archeology.” Antarctic Traveller. New York: Knopf, 1983

Neruda, Pablo. “Walking Around.” 1935. Residence on Earth. Trans. Donald Walsh. New York: New Directions, 1973

Howe, Marie. “The Attic.” What the Living Do. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998

Holland-Batt, Sarah. “The Art of Disappearing.” Young Poets: An Australian Anthology. Melbourne: John Leonard Press, 2011

Lecture 9
Baudelaire, Charles. “L’Albatros.” 1857. Les Fleurs du Mal. Trans. R. Howard. London: Picador, 1987

Creeley, Robert. “I Know a Man.” The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1982. Online at: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171564

Kinzie, Mary. “Line and Half-Meaning.” A Poet’s Guide to Poetry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999

MacLeish, Archibald. “You, Andrew Marvell.” 1952. The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. Ed. Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. New York: Norton, 2001

Lecture 10
Yeats, W.B. “Leda and the Swan.” 1923. The Variorum Edition of the Poems of W.B. Yeats. Eds. Peter Allt and Russell K. Absprach. New York, MacMillan, 1957

Lawrence, C.A. “First to Go.” A Return to Poetry 2000. Sydney: Duffy and Snellgrove, 2000

Thomas, Dylan. “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Ed. Allison, Barrows, Blake, Carr, Eastman and English. 3rd Ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1983 p. 1181-2

Owen, Wilfred. “Anthem for Doomed Youth” (1917) and “Arms and the Boy” (1918). Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry. 4th edition. J.F. Nims and D. Mason. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2000

No author. Traditional Malay Pantun. More than a Pantun: Understanding Malay Verse. Katherine Sim. Singapore: Times Books International, 1987

Lecture 12
Moore, Marianne. “Poetry.” Observations. New York: Dial Press, 1924

Moore, Marianne. “Poetry” (2 versions). The Complete Poems. London: Faber & Faber, 1968

Voigt, Ellen Bryant. “Amaryllis.” 1987. In: Dobyns, Stephen. Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry. 3rd Ed. New York: Palgrave, 2003

Preliminary Reading

As per prescribed texts




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4262 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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