Welcome to 139.123: Creative Writing at Massey Albany.

This year, 2020, the course will be taught by Dr Jack Ross (course coordinator), with the help of colleagues from the School of English and Media Studies.

So what exactly does the term "Creative Writing" cover, in this particular case? Here's what's up on the Massey University website:

Course Number:

Course Title:
Creative Writing

Credit Value:
15 credits

Calendar Prescription:
An exploration of the processes involved in writing poetry and short stories. Students learn the fundamental elements of craft, such as metaphor, structure and plot, through the close reading of published poetry and fiction, through their own practice as creative writers, and through providing and receiving workshop feedback.

This course teaches the fundamentals necessary to craft original poems and short literary fiction. Since good writing requires good reading, we will take apart excellent poems and stories to see what makes them tick: We’ll investigate what a poem is by exploring such elements of craft as image. metaphor, and form, and become better readers of fiction by attending to such techniques as character, plot, and point of view. Throughout, we’ll work closely with the “body” of language, learning to use it more fully than most people do. With all of this in mind, you will write and revise your own poems and stories and, along the way, learn to give helpful feedback to other writers.

The main goal of this course is to help you develop as a writer. A related aim is to show you that creative writing is a skill like many others, one that can be improved with attention, effort, and, most of all, substantial and serious revision.

Pre and co requisites:

Semester 1

Auckland (Albany)


Online Category:
Partially Taught Online

Course Coordinator:
Dr. Jack Ross
School of English and Media Studies
Atrium Building Level L2.32
Albany Campus
Phone: 414 0800 x 43338

Teaching Timetable (internal only):
Please see for timetabling information

Learning Outcomes:
Students who successfully complete this paper should be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the creative writing process as founded on craft, from which meaning and pleasure are derived.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of the structures and conventions of poetry and the short story.
  • Apply the fundamental elements of creative writing, such as imagery, metaphor, language, form, character, plot, structure, and point of view.
  • Critique the work of peers honestly but gently and accept constructive criticism.
  • Understand the role of revision in the creative process and rigorously incorporate comments from tutor and peers in those revisions.

Major Topics:
We cover the major elements of poetry and fiction: image, metaphor, denotation and connotation, plot, character, point of view, and structure.

Assessment Proportions:
Internal Assessment: 100%.

Description of Assessment Activities:
You will read poems and stories and, using these as models, write poems, stories, and short essays reflecting on your work and that of your peers.

Due Dates / Deadlines:
The due dates for assignments (and any other internal assessment components) will be advised at the start of the semester.

Penalties for late assignment submission:
Two percentage marks deducted per day. It will receive no comments if it is more than one week late without prior arrangement.

Assignment turnaround:
Three weeks.

Any specific requirements for passing the paper:
Each student should take 1 hour of Lectures and 2 hours of Tutorials per week in which you receive feedback on your own work and give feedback on the work of your peers. A class website is available.

Principal Textbook:
School Anthology of Readings, available from Student Notes in the basement of Quad B.

Diana Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual, 4th or 5th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s.

The information contained in this paper outline is correct as of 26 February 2018. Any changes will be notified to students at the beginning of the course.

I'd also like to invite any of you who'd like to be a class representative / Advocate for 139.123 this semester to visit the Albany Student's Association site here and sign up online. There are details there about the duties, the training session, and so on, but the main point is that even if there's already a Student Rep / Advocate for the paper, we can always do with another - the more the merrier, in fact.

You should also check out the Centre for Teaching and Learning's webpage. They run a variety of useful courses on this campus which you may wish to attend.

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