Writing - Course Information

Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing)

The Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) caters to those who love writing and want to obtain professional training to developing their skills as a writer.

The course includes subjects such as non fiction, fiction writing, poetry, script writing, editing, travel writing and corporate/persuasive writing. There is flexibility to combine subjects from other Arts study areas, eg. History, Film and Video - to create a unique combination of subjects tailored to your personal preference and career aspirations. There are also collaborative projects, research + publishing options.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) have high employment prospects, with every industry, regardless of area, needing competent writers.

Course information for Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees in Professional and Creative Writing


Writing is...

A Feature Article or Interview Profile…

…is a non-fiction work which explores an issue, idea, place, event, or person. Take a moment to think of some of the things that interest you, whether they be current issues or hobbies, or whatever comes to mind. Each of these interests are fertile ground for feature articles. Find someone interesting; interview them. Features and profiles range in length from a few hundred to a few thousand words. They are carefully researched. They are structured much the same way as a short fiction, with beginning, middle and end.

Features are published in newspapers, general magazines, specialty magazines, newsletters, on the Internet, or just about anywhere. Profiles are particularly prominent in magazines.

read the article "Solomon Islands" by Peter Davis (pdf 377k)

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A Fiction Piece…

…could be a novel, novella or short story. What makes a successful piece of fiction? There is no simple answer, of course, but perhaps one element which unites all such work is the ability to present the reader with an experience; so that we feel what the characters feel, see (and otherwise sense) what they see, and make judgements and form opinions based on the evidence before us.

Short fiction, as well as being a craft in itself, is a great starting point for a fiction writer. There are so many fiction competitions and publishing opportunities available now that you will struggle to submit work to half of them.

Join one of the writer organisations for further information on these opportunities. Many Deakin writers first see their work in print in Verandah.

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A poem…

…is usually verse, but not necessarily. A poem is a finely-wrought piece of language. It might be short lyric piece or it might be an epic narrative. It might be written to sit as a beautiful piece of word art on a page, or as a performance piece to be declaimed over the smoggy heads of pub denizens.

As with fiction, many Deakin poets first see publication in Verandah. Poets, most of all, are readers of poetry. Check out: http://www.cordite.org.au/ *

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A Script…

…is required for most performance. A script may be for a 30 second advertisement, or a 90 minute feature film; or it may be for a stage performance or high-tech multi-media production.

Scriptwriting is by its nature collaborative, if not in the early stages then certainly in production. Deakin creative arts offers great potential for such collaboration. Write a short film or play, find a director, some actors… In the meantime, download some free scriptwriting software courtesy of the BBC Writers Room *

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Collaborative Projects…

…bring together artists from different disciplines. Writers have always collaborated with actors, directors, musicians and designers, and now more than ever writers have the chance to bring their skills to a range of new media, image, film, dance and drama. Often a collaborative project will begin with a vague idea, a sharing of knowledge, or a mutual interest in seeing how diverse elements might fit. Take a look through the other performing and creative arts streams on this website, let your mind wander.

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…unites the writer’s text with the form in which it will appear and the audience. Editor’s play a role in every stage of the publishing process, from the developmental to proofreading and indexing. Editors require a broad understanding of the publishing industry, of style, genre and audience, and a hands-on knowledge of the mechanics of language and current technology.

Editors work on novels, non-fiction, magazines, websites, scripts, newspapers, newsletters, and many more types of publication.

For more information, visit the Victorian Society of Editors *

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Desktop Publishing…

…assembles publications for printing and constructs websites. It adapts older trade skills to up-to-date computer technology. Desktop publishing may involve liaising with clients, or it may be used for self-publishing. It involves the craft elements of layout, design, adapting and/or creating computer-based graphics and photographs, and editing. The information on the site linked here is incomplete, but a useful starting point.

Job search site>>

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Corporate Writing…

…includes reports, web content, memos, manuals and so on. It may be internal communications or writing meant for public consumption. The goal of a well-written corporate document is to organise often complex material and communicate it as clearly as possible. More specialised areas of corporate writing includes medical writing and science writing. Can you think of others? Reports, for example, are easily found on the web. They may be a few pages long, or several hundred. The Bringing them Home report is a well-known example of a very long report.

You can access it at: http://www.austlii.edu.au/*

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Persuasive Writing…

…is perhaps an aspiration for all writing. However, in this context it refers to documents such as media releases, flyers and brochures, even letters to the editor, which seek to promote an event or point of view. How do we persuade, for example, an overworked, over-informed news editor that our event is worthy of inclusion in a news story? Use a web search to find examples from, for example, community groups, environment organisations and corporate sites.

Then check out this link for a reasonably good summary of what’s required:
http://media.socialchange.net.au/using_media/How.html *

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…for a writer in the university is both academic research and writer’s research. The disciplines of academic research in theory and criticism can form a valuable dialogue with a creative work. As for what we might call writer’s research, consider the truism that says we should write what we know. Fortunately, what we know is limited only by our ability to research. Few writers can work in a vacuum. Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, script or poetry, writers are very much in the business of processing information; of synthesising what already exists into something that is new. In the information age, research skill – the ability to find the right information and use it efficiently – is crucial to many work environments. The internet is the most obvious place to begin to look, but much writer’s research is through interview and experience.

But perhaps begin by choosing a topic of interest and finding relevant information through the State Library>>: *

*The University provides external links as a service to users of its website. In providing an external link the University does not accept responsibility for or endorse the content or condition of any linked site.

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Interviews with creative practitioners

go to Evolutions web site