ENG32600 Creative Non-Fiction

Academic Year 2023/2024

This third-year module begins with Michel De Montaigne, and his popularizing of the essay as a literary genre. It will initially follow that thread, and his influence (Descartes, Emerson….) but then focus on 20th and 21st century writers of the essay, taking in interesting shifts, such as 1960’s “New Journalism” (Wolfe, Didion), as well as allowing space to marry explorations of writers like George Orwell with Zadie Smith, and Isaiah Berlin with Jia Tolentino, for example.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module the students will;

-have a knowledge of the essay as a distinct literary genre, and its evolution.
-have a knowledge and understanding of key essays from 20th and 21st century writers, across a wide variety of periods, identities, and styles.
-understand the context each essay emerged from, and how each essay impacted the form.
-see how, although patterns and ways of writing might shift, some preoccupations remain the same, there are constant recurring themes and motifs (comparing writers from different periods, for example).
-understand the role of non-fiction, and the essay, as a key form in creative writing.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Each seminar will be based around an essay. I will provide context, and the position of each essay, in the progression and shifting of the form.
Each seminar will also be based around a class discussion of the essay; the context, the style, the impact.

There will also be a presentation element, with a seminar dedicated (in the later part of the semester) to a 5 minute presentation on an essay of the students choosing, to allow them to connect with the styles that relate most to their own writing, and that they find instructive.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Students will be assessed on class discussion, as well as written responses to a selection of the essays we will be exploring Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Portfolio: Students will be assessed by a final short portfolio of essays for assessment at the end of semester. This portfolio can be either creative or critical work, or a combination of both. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
Repeat Within Two Trimesters
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on continuous assessment will be given throughout the trimester; feedback on the portfolio will be given through Brightspace.

Name Role
Miss Siobhán Kane Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Wed 13:00 - 14:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 13:00 - 14:50