The warwick writing programme

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Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies
Master’s Programme in Writing
Welcome to the MA in Writing programme. We are delighted that you have chosen to come and study with us at Warwick! This is a dynamic and interactive degree and this handbook changes to meet the needs of students and to allow university staff to bring the latest academic developments and writing to the course.
There are therefore two important pieces of advice concerning this degree and handbook:

  • DO get a Warwick University e-mail as soon as possible and read your emails to keep up to date.

  • DO NOT read this handbook out at the beginning of the academic year and expect everything in it to hold true to the end of the year. It is a guide, a help, nothing more. Please look at the foot of the page. In addition to the page number will be the date of the version you are reading. It will be updated regularly so please do not read a version that is more than one term old.

The handbook contains practical information on matters such as registration for options, mail and messages, use of Common Room, IT services, transport, portfolio / essay binding, complaints procedures, and so on. Please consult your personal tutor if you have questions not answered by this handbook.

If some information is missing or unclear, please contact Tracie Williams (, and she will be happy to help.

If you are reading this because you are thinking about coming to Warwick to do an MA in Writing, hopefully you have also found the general introduction to postgraduate studies at

The Warwick Writing Programme and The Writing Centre are located in Millburn House. The office entrance is through door G06. You will be taught in both the WWP suite of rooms as well as the main English Department rooms in the Humanities building. Please note all rooms with an ‘H’ in front are based in the Humanities building on central campus. All rooms with ‘G’ are based in Millburn House in the Writing Programme suite. There may be teaching in other rooms on campus depending on available space. Please make sure you note where they are on the campus map.
The WWP Office is open all day if you have your student card. As this is a haven and creative space for all of us, please respect the space and each other by tidying up after yourselves (replacing chairs, throwing away rubbish, etc).
Our administrator Tracie is in the office from 9:30 until 2pm Monday through Friday.
Section Page

Introduction and Staff Information 3

Important Dates for Your Diary 5

Things to Note for All MAW Students 6

Induction Day Information 8

Full-time Students’ Information 9

Part-time Students’ Information 12

Research for Writing for the MAW 15

The Long Project 16

MAW Workshops 17

Auditing Modules 17

Warwick Thursdays (formerly LitBiz) 17

Monitoring Student Progression 18

Student Support 20

Portfolios and Plagiarism 23

Marking Practices and Conventions 25

Supplementary Creative Criteria 26

Failure and resubmission, Board of Examiners 27

Mitigating Circumstances and Appeals 27

MAW Module Timetable 29

English Department MA Module Timetable 31

Coversheet for all assessed work 32

Further University Information 33

Campus Contacts 34

Personal Sickness Certificate 35

The MA Programme in Writing
The degree is intended for students who are already experienced as well as ambitious practising writers, whether published or not. While we don’t believe that creativity, as such, can be taught, or that it is only fulfilled in ‘the marketplace’, we do aim to help develop technical writing skills which students will find useful professionally, whether in full-time authorship or in related professions such as publishing, the media, or teaching.
Course content and methods of teaching and assessment involve a mixture of approaches based on workshops and portfolios, combined with more traditional academic pedagogies. At least as important as the teaching, though, are the space and stimulus to write within a community of people who have similar aspirations and are facing similar practical, imaginative and intellectual problems. The literary community at Warwick is a scholarly as well as a creative one: the University is one of the most highly ranked research institutions, nationally, to offer such a degree. Much of the value of the course comes from students’ working on the University campus and making use of the full range of activities which it offers.
For more detailed information on the degree course, modules and other aspects please go to this link:

Director of the Warwick Writing Programme

Dr Sarah Moss Term 1/ Prof Ian Sansom Terms 2 & 3

Room G02/G04B

02476 150338/02476150337

WWP Secretary and MAW Secretary

Mrs Tracie Williams


02476 523632

MA in Writing: Convenor and Examinations Secretary

Dr Sarah Moss Term 1/ Prof Ian Sansom Terms 2 & 3

Room G02/G04B

02476 150338/02476150337

MA in Writing: Admissions Tutor

Dr Jonathan Skinner Term 1

Room G01



Director of Graduate

Dr Christina Britzolakis


02476 522820

Graduate Secretary


Room H504

02476 523665

MA in English Literature Convenor

Dr Teresa Grant




Departmental Secretary

Miss Heather Pilbin

Room H504



English Department Reception

Mrs Caroline Griffin/Ms Sarah Box

Room H506



Writing Programme Staff and Tutors
Permanent Staff Room Phone Email

Maureen Freely (Chair of Arts Faculty 2014-15)

Room G04A

02476 523348

Michael Hulse

Room H544 (in Humanities)

02476 522335

A.L. Kennedy



David Morley (HoD)

Room H522/G05 (T1)

Prof Ian Sansom

Room G04b


Dr Sarah Moss

Room G02


Dr Jonathan Skinner

Room G01


Prof David Vann (Term 1 Only)

Room G01


Dr Rochelle Sibley (The Writing Centre)

Room tba

Mr Will Eaves (Term 2 Only)

Room G04b

Mrs Tracie Williams

Room G06


Contracted Tutors

Mr Jack McGowan


Mr Tim Leach


Ms Leila Rasheed

Tba Term 1 only


How to contact us in an emergency:
If you need to be absent from your class for any reason you MUST contact your class/module tutor as soon as possible and preferably before the start of class. You can do this by either email or phone call/message.
If you need to contact the department for other emergencies please contact Tracie in the first instance or Heather Pilbin in the second (if outside of Tracie’s working hours of 9:30-2, please contact Heather Pilbin between the hours of 9-5.)
Any other emergencies such as needing paramedics or other medical assistance please contact Security. The Security Services team operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They can be contacted on the non-emergency number 024 7652 2083 (extension 22083).

In the event of an incident requiring the emergency services (ambulance, police or fire and rescue) telephone 22222 (internal) or 024 7652 2222 (external).

How we will contact you:
We will ALWAYS use your Warwick email account and email is the way we communicate with all our students. Please ensure you check your Warwick email account daily. In the event of a cancellation of classes, the tutor or the office will email you. We’re aware you may live some distance away and will therefore notify you as soon as possible.

IMPORTANT DATES 2014-2015 (please put in your diary)

Thursday 25th September MAW New and Returning Students Induction/Introductory meeting 12-2pm in the Writer’s Room in Millburn House (Attendance is compulsory as it is a monitoring point. If you can’t make it for any reason, please email Tracie excusing yourself with a reason. Medical reasons will require a medical note.)
Monday 29th September 2014 Beginning of Autumn Term

Tuesday 30th September All module choices for the Autumn term to be finalised. Hand in your form to Tracie in G06.

Monday 1st December Research for Writing exercises to be submitted

to the English Office (H506) by 12.00 noon
Saturday 6th December End of Autumn Term
Monday 5th January 2014 Beginning of Spring Term
Monday 9th February 1st Autumn Term portfolio to be submitted by 12 noon both on Tabula and in hard copy (see page 29)*
(week 6)
Part-time students can choose to submit their
first term option module portfolio for this
deadline or the next deadline.
Saturday 14th March End of Spring Term
Monday 20th April Beginning of Summer Term
Monday 18th May 2nd Autumn Term portfolio to be submitted as above*

Part-time students who did not submit their

first term option module portfolio for the
February deadline MUST submit for this
Monday 22nd June 1st Spring Term portfolio to be submitted.*
Saturday 27th June End of Summer Term
Tuesday 1st September Submit all remaining portfolios and/or Long
Projects by 12.00 pm
Wednesday 28th October 2015 Taught MA Examination Board

* - You have a choice as to which option module essay you submit for which deadline, Please see the submission deadline which is located HERE (insert link)

Things to Note for ALL MAW Students


You must enrol as soon as you can after receiving an email from Student Records inviting you to do so. They will email you the link you need but in case you need it again it is:

Module Information: (full or part-time regardless of route being taken)

  • ALL students MUST take Research for Writing in the first term of the year they start their degree. (Part-time students may not choose to take this in their second year.) Please see page 14 for further details on this module.

  • Students should allow time for participation in workshops and other events throughout the entire year.

  • Module convenors for the Warwick Writing Programme modules are listed in the timetable on page 28.

  • If you choose modules selected from those offered at MA level by the Faculty of Arts, you are subject to the permissions both of the director of the MA in Writing and of the module convenor.*  Modules change from year to year and may be restricted in terms of student numbers. Please check with the module’s home department for availability. In the case of English,

*Because some Warwick MA programmes involve foundation elements such as a preliminary training in literary theory, students interested in a particular module should be careful to find out whether their previous academic experience gives them sufficient grounding for it.

  • We try not to make last-minute changes in course plans but modifications are sometimes necessary because of staff illness or other unforeseen circumstances. 

  • You must register your modules on the Electronic Module Registration system (EMR). You will be sent information from the Academic Office once you have enrolled on your degree course.

Deadlines and Extensions:

-All deadlines are final. No late work will be accepted without the written permission of the MA in Writing (MAW) Convenor, Dr Jonathan Skinner (term 1) and Prof Ian Sansom (terms 2/3) which shall not normally be given without documented medical evidence or equivalently serious cause. It is expected that students in difficulty will request an extension which can only be granted by the MA Convenor, who can be contacted directly.

-The request for extension can be discussed with your Personal Tutor as well beforehand, but please remember that she/he cannot approve an extension. This can only come from the Convenor.

-A medical note will be required in case of illness.

-Work which is late without permission will be penalised by 3 marks a day.

Presentation and submission of work:

-All assessed work must conform to the stated maximum word lengths. The maximum word lengths are inclusive of quotations and footnotes but not of bibliography. You will be asked to provide a word count of your essays on the cover sheet which you complete when the work is submitted.

-We allow a stated margin of up to 10% over or under-length for flexibility. Essays that are 10-25% over/under-length will incur a penalty of 3 marks. Essays that are more than 25% over/under-length will be refused and incur a mark of 0.

-Take note of when you choose to submit your work following the guidelines of this handbook and the submission deadlines as mentioned above which are found online.

-ALL work MUST be submitted electronically via Tabula. You must register your modules via MRM in order to be able to submit your work electronically. If you have any problems with registering your modules or accessing Tabula, please contact Tracie without delay. The link for Tabula is here:

-Hard copies for all Warwick Writing Programme modules must be handed in to the Programme Secretary (Tracie) in G06 in Millburn House. Essay/portfolio/work submission for English modules or modules from other departments must be submitted according to the module’s rules and procedures. It is your responsibility to check these rules and procedures and ensure you submit your work for these modules on time using the correct procedure.

-If you take an outside option module from those available to the MA in English Literature students, you must submit assessed work to your own degree’s word length (ie up to 10,000 words for MA in Writing students). Your work must be academic pieces and NOT creative pieces.


According to University regulation 36, attendance at seminars is compulsory.  The learning that goes on during seminars and workshops is an integral part of the MA programme.  If you cannot attend owing to illness or other personal circumstances, you should inform your module tutor, preferably in advance.  If you miss more than four seminars for any 10-week module, without good cause, then the English Department may not allow you to submit the essay for the module, and so will not be able to earn credit for it.  Students in this situation will need to make up the module(s) in another way, for example, by taking another module the following term, or changing to part-time status and taking the same or comparable module the following year. Also, attendance at Warwick Thursday (formerly LitBiz) is required for at least one session in each of Terms 1 and 2. (See Monitoring Policy and the LitBiz information page on 18.)

If you are ill and cannot attend you may use the Personal Sickness Certificate found on page 35.

NB Any students found to have submitted false information on this form or in connection with the self-certification process may be subject to the University Disciplinary Procedures.
Mobile Phones/Tablets/Laptops and Social Media

Please switch your phones to silent or off during classes to minimise disruption to your fellow students and the tutor. If you use your phone for note taking, please inform the class tutor of this as repeated and distracting use of your phone may result in you being asked to leave the class and your attendance marked as unexcused. Tablets and laptops are a welcome help to you in class so long as they are not distracting in any way to the tutor or other students.

The University of Warwick uses a variety of social media. The English Department’s twitter account is @EnglishWarwick. The WWP’s twitter account is @WWritingProgram. We encourage you to follow these as we will tweet events, news and important updates (such as cancellations due to adverse weather). Use of social media and email in the University of Warwick and in the English Department for means to discriminate, abuse or bully others is in contravention of the Equality and Diversity Policy and the Dignity at Work and Study policy set by the University and is, therefore, prohibited.
See link below for more information:

Please see Section 4.0-6.0 (pages 3-4) and ‘Guidance for Students’ on pages 6-8.

Induction Day

Induction/Introductory Day is Thursday 25th September 2014 from 12noon-2pm in the Writer’s Room in Millburn House. This meeting is important and therefore attendance is compulsory (see Monitoring Points on page 18). We’ll discuss the degree, modules and be on hand to answer any questions you have in the run up to the start of term which is on the following Monday. There will be an opportunity as well to say, in the form of a questionnaire, why you’ve chosen Warwick for your MA in Writing.

There will be a drinks reception on Monday 1 September from about 6:30 in H042 (in Humanities) for all MA and PhD students. This is a great opportunity to meet other postgraduates in the department as well as some of the tutors.
Milan Exchange

There will be an opportunity to study with Tim Parks at IULM in Milan, Italy from April to July. In the Autumn Term there will be an announcement (via email and on the webpages) about this and an information session scheduled. If you are interested you will be invited to submit some work for Tim to consider. He will then choose two MA in Writing students to join him in Milan.


There are two pathways through the Warwick MA in Writing.

Route A (TAUGHT): involves five taught modules, including Research for Writing plus four other modules, in which a wide range of written work is produced. 

Route B - the 'Long Project' route - involves three taught modules plus a long written project in any genre which the Programme is able to supervise.  Permission to follow the 'Long Project' route depends on an assessment of the student's prior experience of writing and of a proposal submitted before the course begins, as well as on the availability of a qualified supervisor or supervisors. (NB supervision of the Long Project begins in Term 2 and continues through Term 3)  Students enrolled on the module will receive an email about their choices during the summer vacation and are asked to respond by 1 September.

ROUTE A:  for full time students

Full-time students on this route take three modules in the autumn term and two in the spring.  The summer is given to ‘writing up’, supported by additional workshops and 1:1 tutorials. The course is structured so as to give students a strong basis in creative work in the first term, followed by an element of optionality afterwards.  What follows describes the normal pattern, but there is some flexibility over it.  For example, a student who chooses to switch to more ‘academic’ study in the second term would be able to do so, subject to her / his previous academic experience.


Full-time students will study (along with Research for Writing):

  • Warwick Fiction Workshop I AND/OR

  • Non Fiction Workshop


Full-time Route A continued…


Module choices for the second term need to be made by the 15th of October. As numbers may be restricted on some modules, students will be asked to name their second and third choices.

Full-time students will study two of the following:

Crossing Borders

The Practice of Literary Translation

  • Warwick Fiction Workshop II

  • Seven Basic Plots

  • Writing Poetry

  • Writing about Human Rights and Injustice

  • Ecopoetics

  • or Another module as mentioned on page 6


Continuation of written projects under supervision


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