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English - Creative Writing A Level
Are you the sort of person who loves to express yourself through writing, for example in the form of blogs, diaries, fiction, or poetry? This course explores different kinds of texts through reading widely and experimenting with forms, genres and techniques. You will get the most out of this course if you: enjoy talking about writers’ ideas and techniques, can write accurately, are willing to work in a collaborative environment, and have ideas and/or imagination to bring to writing tasks.
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A Level Requirements for Creative Writing
Are you trying to figure our what a-levels to take for creative writing? There are so many combinations of A-Levels that it can be hard to know which one is right combo for you.
And if you get it wrong, you might miss your dream university course.
That’s why we ensure that our creative writing summer course students have 1:1 personalised tutorials with world-renowned tutors. So they’ll have the best guidance in deciding their next steps in education.
We’ve also done the research for you and have come up with the A-Level requirements of the best Creative Writing universities in the UK. Plus, we’ve given practical tips to help you become a better Creative Writer.
Read on to find out more!
What Is Creative Writing?
Creative writing is a form of writing that expresses emotions, feelings, and thoughts in an imaginative way. Types of creative writing include:
- Short stories
- Television scripts
- Personal Essays
- Journals/Personal memoirs
It’s different from academic or technical writing, which requires one to stick to the facts without personal additions.
When writing stories, creative writers use the elements of creative writing, such as:
- Plot – series of events consisting of the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
- Setting – the time and place of the story
- Characters – the ones who experience the plot and the setting
- Point of View – the lens through which the reader experiences the story
- Theme – the idea or message the author wants to relate to the reader
Creative writers use strong verbs and adjectives to describe their characters and settings. They also use figurative language such as metaphors and similes to appeal to the readers’ emotions and imagination.
If you want to learn more about creative writing, check out our full what is creative writing guide.
Why Study Creative Writing?
Because when you want to persuade or entertain by appealing to the readers’ thoughts and emotions, Creative Writing is a powerful medium. When was the last time you were moved to tears when reading a character’s tragedy in a novel? What song did you listen to recently that gave you strong nostalgia, bringing up memories of a time long gone?
In Creative Writing, the author shares their human experience that the readers can relate to. You can move hearts and minds by sharing your experiences following Creative Writing principles.
What are real-world examples that call upon you to exercise Creative Writing?
- During university applications, when you need to submit your personal statement
- Sharing what you’ve learned from a module in an essay format as part of academic assessments in the university
- Writing a letter to your family, friend, or loved one to greet them during important milestones
- Encouraging potential customers to avail of your products or services
- Making a cover letter to convince a company to recruit you as part of the team
- Composing a song to woo a lover or attract listeners to buy your music.
- Creating a Youtube script for your vlogs
- Writing a book to promote your personal brand
Do you see how Creative Writing is everywhere? Here are some of the many benefits of learning creative writing:
- Enhances your written communication skills for improved confidence and self-expression
- Sharpens your critical thinking and reasoning skills
- Increases your chances of career success because many job positions require creative written work, especially in marketing and customer service
- Deepens your empathy because Creative Writing requires you to think from another person’s shoes
- Expressive writing, especially about painful life events, is a therapeutic tool. That’s why therapists encourage patients to write in their journals daily.
- Strengthens your imagination and encourages you to think outside the box, which improves your problem-solving skills
Creative Writing is an essential skill you must learn to thrive in the hyper-information age we live in today.
Is There an A-Level for Creative Writing?
There isn’t an official A-Level for Creative Writing as there is for Maths or Chemistry. But there is an A-Level for:
- English Language
- English Language and Literature
- English Literature
Are you looking for an A-Level for Creative Writing because you want to get a feel of what Creative Writing study is like in a school setting? Do you want to experience Creative Writing at the university level before studying it in higher education? Consider taking the Immerse Education Creative Writing summer course for 13-18 years old at the University of Cambridge, Oxford, or Sydney.
You’ll gain 1:1 personalised tutorials from expert Creative Writing tutors from Oxford and Cambridge. So you can make well-informed decisions for your next steps in education.
Is Creative Writing an English Major?
Yes, Creative Writing can be an English Major. You’ll often encounter it as “English Literature with Creative Writing BA” or “BA English and Creative Writing.” Top schools that offer such Creative Writing degrees include:
- English Literature with Creative Writing – University of Leeds , University of Warwick , Newcastle University , University of East Anglia UEA
- English and Creative Writing – University of Strathclyde , University of Birmingham , Royal Holloway University of London , Lancaster University , University of Nottingham
But some universities offer Creative Writing as a standalone BA course, such as the University of Plymouth .
What Creative Writing Degrees Can You Study?
We’ve previously mentioned these undergraduate Creative Writing degrees:
- English Literature with Creative Writing
- English and Creative Writing
- Creative Writing
- American Literature with Creative Writing – University of East Anglia UEA
- Journalism and Creative Writing – Falmouth University , University of Leicester , University of Lincoln ,
- Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance – University of York
What A-Levels Do You Need To Apply For a Creative Writing Degree?
To determine what A-Levels you need to apply for a Creative Writing degree, let’s take a look at the entry requirements of the Top Universities for Creative Writing :
- University of Strathclyde English and Creative Writing – ABB-BBB, with English Language or English Literature at B
- University of Birmingham English and Creative Writing – AAB with B for English Literature
- University of Leeds English Literature with Creative Writing – AAA with English Language, or English Literature, or English Language and Literature
- University of Warwick English Literature with Creative Writing – AAA or A*AB, with A in English Literature or English Language and Literature
- Newcastle University English Literature with Creative Writing – AAB, with English Language or English Literature
Based on what the top UK Universities for Creative Writing require, English Language or English Language and Literature are common requirements. What should you take for the remaining two subjects? Anything from science/maths and arts. Taking a wide range of A-Level subjects is most preferred by a majority of schools and by a vast range of courses. It’s best to keep your options open!
What Topics Does a Creative Writing Degree Cover?
The usual topics a Creative Writing degree covers include:
- Creative Writing foundation
- English studies
- Mediaeval and Early Modern literature
- Contemporary cultures
- Modern fiction
- Poetry writing
- Prose writing
- Drama and Media Writing
- Drama, Theatre, and Performance
Creative Writing with English Literature often involves reading literature in various styles and eras, from the middle ages to modern times.
How Will You be Assessed?
The specifics of assessments differ from one university to another. But here are the common ways Creative Writing students are assessed:
- Written work, including essays, poetry, plays, fiction, and short fiction
- Oral presentation
- Individual and group presentations
- Formal exam
- Research project
How To Do Creative Writing
Do you want to start your Creative Writing journey but are unsure how? We know exactly what you’re looking for. Here are 4 practical tips to help you get started:
1. Read, read, and read some more!
There’s a reason why English and Creative Writing courses require you to read tons of material. How else will you learn how to write if you do not have the inspiration to draw from? Reading gives you a wellspring of ideas. It serves as the fuel for your imagination and creativity.
When you read something that captivates you, take note of it. Dissect it! What words and sentences made the most impact on you? What are the very first words of the text? How did it catch your attention? Study each chapter and examine how it begins and ends. What strategies did the author use to make you want to read the next chapter?
Do you see where we’re going? You don’t have to develop a new and untried formula when doing Creative Writing. All you need to do is choose a formula that has worked throughout the centuries, tweak it according to your intention and audience, and double down on making each sentence valuable and imaginative.
Let’s look at storytelling, for instance. Take Romeo and Juliet. Is forbidden love a new concept? Nope. Forbidden love has been a repeated theme throughout human history. But it’s the way Shakespeare crafted the characters that captured the readers’ hearts and made them feel the intense tragedy of the star-crossed lovers.
So when you read, remember to gather notes and inspiration. And when you feel like there’s zero creativity going on, look at the writings you’ve included in your collection. You’d be surprised at how it can revive your imagination!
2. Never Stop Writing
The classic adage “practice makes perfect” especially rings true in Creative Writing. Do you know expert writers have a habit of daily writing? They may use Creative Writing prompts and exercises to practice turning thoughts into the right words.
Do you dream of having the ability to write in a smooth flow? Start by doing the 10-minute free-flow writing. It’s called “free-flow” because the rule is to write everything that comes to mind immediately.
It doesn’t have to make sense. And for 10 minutes, you can throw the spelling and grammar rules out the window. The goal is to remove the fear of the blank page by writing without self-judgment. Try out our creative writing prompts if you’re lacking creativity – there are over 300 of them!
You’ll be more comfortable writing when you practice this simple exercise daily. Once you reach a certain level of comfortability, begin recording random ideas that pop into your head. Maybe you had thought of writing a mystery story in a World War II setting. Perhaps you witnessed an exceptionally breathtaking sunset that inspired you to write a poem.
It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a bad idea. Put it in your writing journal! Who knows? You might come back to it later, and it’ll become one of the most remarkable pieces of writing you’ll have the pleasure of creating.
3. Try Out Writing Courses
What better way to hit the ground running than to learn from experts who’ve been where you want to be? There are many Creative Writing courses you can try.
Check out our creative writing summer courses . You’ll have world-class tutors from prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge who are eager to share their expertise with you.
Why is it an excellent idea to take courses? Because it’ll accelerate your learning process and boost your confidence.
4. Join Writing Communities
There’s nothing like having a group of like-minded people enthusiastic about Creative Writing as much as you are, and even more so! When you join Creative Writing communities, you’ll have the opportunity to hear other peoples’ writing stories and strategies.
In addition, you can share your struggles to receive the support you need to keep going! Some even go as far as reading each other’s works and giving constructive feedback.
What Are the Postgraduate Opportunities For Creative Writing?
Here are the common postgraduate opportunities available for Creative Writing:
- MA in Creative Writing
- MA Screenwriting
- PhD in Creative Writing
Not interested in postgraduate education? Learn about creative writing career choices that have high paying salaries.
What Are Similar Subjects to Creative Writing?
Similar subjects to Creative Writing include:
If you’re pursuing a career in creative writing, it’s important to take the right A-Levels. English Language and English Literature a-level are two of the most common subjects for aspiring writers, but other options are also available.
Creative Writing courses can be found in several prestigious universities, so it’s important to have a strong foundation in your chosen subject. Taking the right A-Levels will set you up for success in your future writing career.
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Creative Writing Axed
We were dismayed to hear that the DfE has decided to turn down the AQA submission for Creative Writing to continue as an AS and A Level subject from 2017 onwards. This means an abrupt end to a subject that was only introduced in September 2013, after many, many years of development and collaboration with H.E., schools and regulators. It has been flourishing in the two years of its existence. Here at EMC, we have been delighted to run CPD for teachers on this subject, have included superb articles about it in emagazine and have witnessed the energy and enthusiasm that it has generated. The DfE rationales for axing it – that it is too close to English Literature and that it is too skills-based – both fail to understand its contribution as a subject and show little respect for its growth in H.E. and the respect with which it is regarded as a valid subject for study. Students in H.E. study it at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels as a fully accepted academic discipline. The current specification, and the subject content that was submitted to the DfE, are both firmly rooted in the practices of H.E. and involve significant study of texts with a view to understanding the processes and practices of writing. Creative Writing A Level is both very different from English Literature and rich in content and analysis but the DfE seem to have been unable to understand either of these points.
As publishers of emagazine, we have recently received an unsolicited piece from a current Creative Writing student, Alexia Kirov, sharing her huge enthusiasm for the course she has been following. It is due to be published in one of this year's magazines. However, in response to the DfE decision, the editors have decided to publish it here and now, on our website. We want to make it available to demonstrate to people just how much will be lost by the loss of this subject.
One Thursday in Year 11, my classmates and I were each handed a booklet outlining the various subjects available for us to study at A Level. I was immediately excited when I saw that Creative Writing was an option. However, my initial excitement was initially dampened. And just to show off the skills I’ve learn studying the subject, here’s a short script showing what happened to lower my spirits:
INT. CLASSROOM – DAY
An autumn afternoon. GIRL 1 and GIRL 2 are discussing A Level options.
GIRL 1: So… what do you think you’re going to do?
GIRL 2: English Literature,
GIRL 1 nods
GIRL 2: Latin,
GIRL 1 nods and smiles
GIRL 1: Yeah, me too!
GIRL 2: Creative Writing…
GIRL 1 looks confused
GIRL 1: Wait… what?
GIRL 2: Creative Writing – look, it’s in here!
GIRL 2 points at booklet, slightly annoyed
GIRL 2: Have you even looked through it?
GIRL 1: Yeah… But, I mean, is that even a real subject?
However, my initial dismay only lasted until my next GCSE lesson and the reminder that creative writing is a huge element in this, one of Britain’s most important academic qualifications. Therefore, surely the continued study of it at A Level makes perfect sense?
Creative Writing as an academic discipline is also well established in Higher Education; the University of East Anglia first offered its pioneering Creative Writing course over 40 years ago. Therefore, studying the subject at A Level bridges the gap between the creative tasks done at GCSE and the study of Creative Writing at degree level perfectly.
A year and a half on from choosing Creative Writing as one of my subjects and I can certainly say it’s been the best decision of my academic life. I mean this in the least uber-nerdy way possible, but as A Levels go, it’s a lot of fun. This isn’t some sort of love letter to a subject – I think the declarations of adoration should be left firmly in the capable hands of sonneteers - but if I did begin with ‘Creative Writing – How do I love thee? Let me count the ways’, I could certainly list many.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t love English Literature just as much as Creative Writing. However, becoming a better essay writer and getting an introduction to Tennessee Williams aside, in simple terms, the eventual sum of my AS English Literature coursework has been a grade on a sheet on results day. On the other hand, the poems from my Creative Writing coursework are a body of work that I can be truly proud of, that will not only stay with me but have also gone out into the world; I have had one of my poems published in the Morning Star, and read some of them at events at the Southbank and at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Of course, you could be studying Physics and still be writing poetry - but whilst I have always enjoyed writing, when occupied by staggering stacks of homework and other commitments, it can often be forced to take a back seat. Equally, I have found that when your homework actually is to write a poem, you are spurred on to take your writing much more seriously and become far more dedicated to writing regularly.
You might be thinking that that is simply the voice of poor organisation and procrastination talking – if you truly wanted to write you would simply make time for it. Whilst there might be some truth in that, before I took the subject, I certainly wasn’t going around showing other people what I’d been writing. The feedback from others whilst workshopping in lessons is hugely beneficial. Other people will always see things that you don’t in your own writing – both good and bad. But when they do genuinely like your work, it is always a fantastic feeling. Creative Writing A Level has also given me the opportunity to work with poets Mario Petrucci and Daljit Nagra – invaluable experience involving expert feedback and fantastic advice that I wouldn’t have otherwise gained.
Whilst English Literature has a prescribed set of texts, Creative Writing has no rigidly defined reading lists. This exposes you to a huge variety of writers, from Paul Farley to Chaucer, and a huge range of genres, from travel writing to scriptwriting. This makes you a more well-rounded reader and a better writer, revealing to you forms you may have never heard of and themes you may never have thought about before. By reading a wide variety of content, you not only find what you do enjoy, but also what you’re less keen on, as well as where your own strengths in writing lie. The openness of the specification also allows your study to be much more driven by your own interests. This is something that prepares you for degree level study, where you will be selecting modules that interest you; a benefit of this A Level that I have found in no other subject I take.
The AS exam requires you to write two non-fiction pieces - for example, from a set of journalist’s notes you will have to craft a restaurant review. Countless times when mentioning the exam format to friends, I have been met with ‘but you don’t even have to revise for that!’. No, there isn’t a great deal of revision you can do for the exam – it’s not something you can stay up all night cramming 26 pages of facts for. It’s much more a test of consistent effort and how well you’ve understood the techniques and skills used in each literary form you’ve explored throughout the year. Each question involves writing to a tight journalistic brief of 300 words. I would argue that the exam provides much better preparation for writing in the ‘real world’ of journalism than writing an essay on Frankenstein in an hour does; this A Level has a very definite practical application, surely one of the best defences of the subject there is.
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The Creative Writer, Level 1
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Young writers of fiction and poetry learn vital skills such as point of view, characterization, plotting, dialogue, and description with this creative writing curriculum for middle schoolers (roughly 6th- to 9th-grade).
The Creative Writer, Level 2
The Creative Writer, Level Two guides middle- and high-school students through an innovative, compelling series of exercises, each one designed to build your skill in the essential ingredients of fiction and poetry.
The Creative Writer, Level 3
The Creative Writer, Level Three builds on the foundation laid in earlier volumes. Exercises scaffold on each other, empowering the writer to complete full creative pieces in both fiction and poetry.
The Creative Writer, Level 4
The final book in the series guides young writers from initial idea to polished short story or poem, while also discussing the practical aspects of writing life: developing discipline, submitting your work, and persevering in the face of rejection.
In this creative writing curriculum for middle schoolers (roughly 6th- to 9th-grade), young writers of fiction and poetry learn vital skills such as point of view, characterization, plotting, dialogue, and description. Simple but innovative exercises encourage young writers to strengthen their vocabulary and become aware of the patterns of sentences.
Unlike most “how to write” books, The Creative Writer is designed to be used in a mentor/student relationship, with teaching, guidance, and evaluation tips provided for the mentor or teacher. The Creative Writer, Level One can be used as a complement to our non-fiction writing book, Writing With Skill , or it can be used on its own.
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Paula Stiernberg – November 18, 2021
I can’t see a sample lesson
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WTM Answer Desk – November 18, 2021
Look directly under the illustration of the product on this page and click on Read Sample to see a lengthy excerpt from the book.
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Reham Zia – May 5, 2021
Is this secular?
[email protected] – September 18, 2019
Is there a teacher manual that goes along with this? How do we evaluate students’ work?
WTM Press Minion – September 18, 2019
There is not a separate manual for the teacher. There are “Mentor Materials” (you’ll find them at the end of the Fiction section and at the end of the Poetry section) that give tips for teaching and evaluating each week’s exercises.
Rachel Ward – May 24, 2019
Is there something in a similar vein for Elementary Ages? We’ve completed WWE y 1-3 but I realized I wasn’t helping my child build her writing skills. I have other questions about some bumps I have experienced using these for the last three years but I figured I would start there.
julesmined – December 26, 2017
Could The Creative Writer Level 1 be completed in a semester or would that be rushing the concepts too much? Are there any additional materials needed for Level 1?
ailsaturner – September 11, 2017
What age is this book for?
WTM Press Minion – September 12, 2017
This book is suitable for grades 6-9.
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Creative writing to be offered at A-level
- Published 19 February 2013
Aspiring authors, playwrights and poets are going to be offered an A-level in creative writing, which is claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK.
The AQA exam board says it will offer the exam from the autumn.
Creative writing courses have expanded at university level - and it is now going to be offered at A-level.
AQA chief executive, Andrew Hall, said the course was designed to create "bold, confident writers across a range of styles".
The creative writing course, with exams and coursework, promises to cultivate "strong writing and communication skills", valuable to employers as well as providing the tools for novels and screenplays.
"Every day we hear business leaders calling for sharper writing skills," said Mr Hall.
The course, offered at AS and A-level, will examine forms of writing - such as prose and poetry - and different types of content, such as travel writing or a sonnet or a radio play.
As part of the exam, students will have to produce a piece of creative work in response to another published text.
Pupils will have to show that they understand the techniques and styles of the "author's craft".
Candidates will also have to produce a range of literary work, such as a short story or play or poem.
The exam board says that creative writing will be added to an existing range of subjects where examiners have to assess the quality of creative work, such as art, music, drama and dance.
The creative writing A-level will provide school and college pupils with a subject that has become increasingly popular at university.
There are now more than 700 different creative writing degrees on offer in the UK, often in combination with other subjects.
A pioneer of creative writing courses in the UK was the University of East Anglia, which began teaching the subject in 1970.
Novelist and professor of creative writing at the university, Andrew Cowan, welcomed the introduction of creative writing at a younger stage, saying this would help students going on to study the subject at a higher level.
"The earlier this engagement can be fostered the better, both for the benefit of the A-level students themselves, and for the further and higher education establishments that will receive them onto their courses, including our own."
He said it would help to give students a hands-on way of "acquiring literary knowledge and understanding".
The ultimate cure for writer’s block?
- 18 July 2012
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- Prospective students: Check out the Creative Writing page in Majors, Minors, and Concentrations
Courses in creative writing are designed for students who wish to develop their skills and appreciation of creative writing in a variety of genres (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting) and for those intending to pursue studies in creative writing at the graduate level.
Any English major may include one Creative Writing course in the major plan. Non-English majors may pursue a minor as described under Program Requirements and Opportunities . While there is no existing major in Creative Writing, exceptionally well qualified students have completed majors in Creative Writing through the Independent Major Program .
All students interested in Creative Writing courses must:
- Preregister using the Creative Writing B999 placeholder course.
- Please complete and submit this questionnaire by the end of the pre-registration period.
Bryn Mawr Reading Series
In the decades since presenting its inaugural readings in the spring of 1985, the Bryn Mawr Reading Series has brought major American and international writers in all literary genres to engage with students and the Philadelphia area community.
Creative Writing Program
Bryn Mawr College 101 N. Merion Avenue Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 Phone: 610-526-5306
The AQA Creative Writing A-Level is being cut. ... Despite campaigning and involvement in consultation with AQA, we are sorry to inform you all that the A level
Unfortunately, the Creative Writing A Level in the UK will soon come to an end. The last A Level exams for it will be sat in 2018. There's
An A-level in an English subject is respected by many employers and universities because writing skills are strengthened by close study of other writers and by
Are you trying to figure our what a-levels to take for creative writing? There are so many combinations of A-Levels that it can be hard to know which one is
Yes it does for paper two and part of its coursework component but a lot of it is technical so creative writing only serves part of it. I recently did my AS
Creative Writing A Level is both very different from English Literature and rich in content and analysis but the DfE seem to have been unable to
Professional Development (Green, 2008) and raises important questions for the teaching body in schools and lecturers in further education. What is the role of.
The Creative Writer, Level One can be used as a complement to our non-fiction writing book, Writing With Skill, or it can be used on its own.
Creative writing courses have expanded at university level - and it is now going to be offered at A-level. AQA chief executive, Andrew Hall
Courses in creative writing are designed for students who wish to develop their skills and appreciation of creative writing in a variety of genres (poetry