Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Creative Writing

A Workbook with Readings, 1st Edition

Edited by Linda Anderson


664 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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Creative Writing is a complete writing course that will jump-start your writing and guide you through your first steps towards publication.

Suitable for use by students, tutors, writers’ groups or writers working alone, this book offers:

  • a practical and inspiring section on the creative process, showing you how to stimulate your creativity and use your memory and experience in inventive ways
  • in-depth coverage of the most popular forms of writing, in extended sections on fiction, poetry and life writing, including biography and autobiography, giving you practice in all three forms so that you might discover and develop your particular strengths
  • a sensible, up-to-date guide to going public, to help you to edit your work to a professional standard and to identify and approach suitable publishers
  • a distinctive collection of exciting exercises, spread throughout the workbook to spark your imagination and increase your technical flexibility and control
  • a substantial array of illuminating readings, bringing together extracts from contemporary and classic writings in order to demonstrate a range of techniques that you can use or adapt in your own work.

Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings presents a unique opportunity to benefit from the advice and experience of a team of published authors who have also taught successful writing courses at a wide range of institutions, helping large numbers of new writers to develop their talents as well as their abilities to evaluate and polish their work to professional standards. These institutions include Lancaster University and the University of East Anglia, renowned as consistent producers of published writers.


‘For anyone getting going as a writer (and even for those who have already made a start), this is an invaluable how-to guide, full of useful tips, mind-freeing exercises, and inspiring wisdom from established authors. A book to banish the terror of the blank page.’ – Blake Morrison, journalist, critic and acclaimed author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including the multi-award-winning And When Did You Last See Your Father? (Granta, 1993)

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I - The Creative Process 1. Stimulating creativity and imagination: What really works? 2. Keeping a writer's notebook 3. Writing what you know 4. Writing what you come to know Part 2 - Writing Fiction 5. Character creation 6. Setting 7. Point of view: Trying on voices 8. Point of view: Degrees of knowing 9. Showing and telling 10. Structure 11. The story and the reader Part 3 - Writing Poetry 12. Drafting 13. Line 14. Voice 15. Imagery 16. Rhyme 17. Form 18. Theme Part 4 - Life Writing 19. Strating out 20. A preface 21. Finding a form: writing a narrative 22. Using memory 23. Versions of a life 24. Life characters Part 5 - Going Public 25. Editing: The big changes 26. Editing: Later stages 27. Exploring outlets 28. Presentation and proposal Readings Part I - The Creative Process 1. from 'Fires', Raymond Carver 2. from New Grub Street, George Gissing 3. from A Writers' Notebook, W. Somerset Maugham 4. from Becoming a Writer, Dorothea Brande 5. from 'A Real-Life Education', Susan Minot 6. from Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee 7. 'Memory: The true key to real imagining', Lesley Glaister 8. from Backtalk: Women writers speak out, Pat Barker Part 2 - Writing Fiction 9. from Cal, Bernard MacLaverty 10. from Biggest Elvis, P.F. Kluge 11. from Bodies, Jed Mercurio 12. from The Beet Queen, Louise Erdrich 13. from Age of Iron, J.M. Coetzee 14. from Another World, Pat Barker 15. 'The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife', Ernest Hemingway 16. from Rumours of a Hurricane, Tim Lott 17. from The Dark, John McGahern 18. 'Girl', Jamaica Kincaid 19. from Purple America, Rick Moody 20. from Oxygen, Andrew Miller 21. 'Going the Last Inch: Some thoughts on showing and telling', Lindsay Clarke 22. 'The Artist', Patricia Highsmith 23. 'The Dream', Anon 24. 'The Black Cap', Katherine Mansfield 25. 'I could see the smallest things' Raymond Carver 26. 'The Dying Room', Georgina Hammick 27. 'Pigeons at Daybreak', Anita Desai 28. from 'Writing Short Stories', Flannery O'Connor Part 3 - Writing Poetry 29. from 'The Handless Maiden', Vicki Feaver 30. from The Triggering Town, Richard Hugo 31. from Nothing Not Giving Messages, Edwin Morgan 32. from The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes 33. from The Triggering Town, Richard Hugo Part 4 - Life Writing 34. from Einstein in Love: A scientific romance, Dennis Overbye 35. from Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch, Jphn Bayley 36. from A Drinking Life: A memoir, Pete Hamill 37. Five Poems, Elaine Feinstein 38. from Giving up the Ghost: A memoir Hilary Mantel 39. from Where I was From, Joan Didion 40. from The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank 41. from Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer, Richard Holmes 42. from In Ethiopia with a Mule, Dervla Murphy 43. from 'Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer, Richard Holmes 44. from '"I always wanted you to admire my fasting"; or, Looking at Kafka, Philip Roth 45. from Ake: The Years of Childhood, Wole Soyinka 46. from Bad Blood, Lorna Sage Part 5 - Going Public 47. from 'Through a Tangle of Branches: Reworking the poem', Rebecca Luce-Kapler 48. from 'Putting Coyalxauhqui Together: A Creative Process', Gloria Anzaldua 49. from 'Redrafting and Editing', Jenny Newman 50. from The Art of Fiction, David Lodge 51. from Steering the Craft, Ursula K. Le Guin 52. from English Grammar, B.A. Phythian 53. from MHRA Style Guide 54. from How to Publish Your Poetry, Peter Finch 55. from Inside Book Publishing, Giles Clark

About the Editor

Linda Anderson is an award-winning novelist (To Stay Alive and Cuckoo, both published by Bodley Head) and writer of short stories, poetry, performance pieces, and critical reviews. Her work has been published in Britain, Ireland, the USA, and Australia. She has taught at Goldsmiths' College and at Lancaster University for ten years, becoming Head of Creative Writing from 1995-2002. She has designed several successful courses including a training programme for new writing tutors and an MA in Creative Writing by distance learning. She has also worked as a producer and director for BBC Radio Drama. She has a PhD in Creative Writing.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Composition & Creative Writing