Creative Writing : A Workbook with Readings book cover
2nd Edition

Creative Writing
A Workbook with Readings

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 10, 2022
ISBN 9781032036731
November 10, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
648 Pages 66 Color Illustrations

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USD $42.95

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Book Description

Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings provides a complete creative writing course: from ways to jump-start your writing and inspire your creativity, right through to presenting your work to agents and publishers.

It covers the genres of fiction, poetry and life writing (including autobiography, biography and travel writing), combining discussions of technique with readings and exercises to guide you step by step towards becoming more adept at creative writing.

The second edition has been updated and in large part newly written, with readings by a diverse group of contemporary authors displaying a variety of styles and approaches. Each chapter also features an array of inspiring writing exercises, enabling you to experiment with different methods and discover your strengths. Above all, Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings will help you to develop your abilities while nurturing your individual voice as a writer.

Table of Contents



Part 1: The creative process

1: Stimulating creativity and imagination

2: Writing what you know

3: Writing what you come to know

Part 2: Writing fiction

4: Character

5: Setting

6: Point of view

7: Showing and telling

8: Structure and time

9: The story and your readers

10: Editing fiction

Part 3: Writing poetry

11: Introduction to poetry

12: Voice and language

13: Poetic structure

14: Rhyme and metre

15: Revising poetry

Part 4: Life writing

16: Starting out

17: Finding a form

18: Using memory

19: Versions of a life

20: Life characters

Part 5: Going public

21: Going public

22: Presenting your work


Part 1: The creative process

1.1 from ‘Fires’

1.2 from ‘A Real-life Education’

2.1 ‘Death of a Naturalist’

2.2 from ‘Netherley’

2.3 from ‘Tomorrow is Too Far’

2.4 ‘Memory: The True Key to Real Imagining’

3.1‘The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team’

3.2 from Backtalk: Women Writers Speak Out

Part 2: Writing fiction

4.1 from ‘A Sheltered Woman’

5.1 from ‘The Edge of the Shoal’

6.1 ‘First Journeyman’

6.2 ‘Becky Finch’

6.3 ‘Love Silk Food’

7.1 ‘Going the Last Inch: Some Thoughts on Showing and Telling’

7.2 ‘The Dream’

7.3 ‘Moonlight’

7.4 from ‘Freddy Barrandov Checks … in?’

7.5 from ‘Byron Francis’

7.6 ‘I Could See the Smallest Things’

7.7 ‘Tomorrow is Too Far’

8.1 from The Art of Writing Fiction

8.2 ‘Pigeons at Daybreak’

9.1 ‘Bodies’

9.2 ‘Tattoo’

10.1 ‘Through a Tangle of Branches: Reworking the Poem’

10.2 from ‘Putting Coyolxauhqui Together: A Creative Process’

10.3 from ‘Redrafting and Editing’

10.4 from Steering the Craft

Part 4: Life writing

16.1 from Long Time No See

16.2 from ‘Little Boxes’

17.1 from The Haunting of Alma Fielding

17.2 ‘Red Riviera’

17. 3 ‘Well done, No. 3777!’

18.1 from Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoir

18.2 from Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging

18.3 from Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging

19.1 from The Diary of a Young Girl

19.2 ‘Darkness and Light’

19.3 from Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer

19.4 from ‘Time Travel on the St. Lawrence River’

20.1 from Bad Blood

20.2 from Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star

20.3 from Foreigners: Three English Lives

Part 5: Going public

21.1 from Tips From a Publisher

21.2 ‘Considering Self-Publishing: A Guide’

22.1 Synopsis for Dark Aemilia




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Sally O’Reilly has taught at The Open University, Brunel University and the University of Portsmouth, and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Brunel University. Her publications include Dark Aemilia (Myriad Editions/Picador US, 2014), which was nominated for the Kirkus Reviews Fiction prize in the US, and How to be a Writer (Piatkus, 2011). She has been shortlisted for the Ian St James short story award and the Cosmopolitan short story prize. She also writes for the Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Conversation, the Evening Standard and New Scientist.

Jane Yeh holds degrees in English and Creative Writing from Harvard University, the University of Iowa, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Royal Holloway, University of London. Her publications include Marabou (Carcanet, 2005), which was shortlisted for the Whitbread, Forward and Aldeburgh poetry prizes, and Discipline (Carcanet, 2019), which was a Poetry Book Society recommendation. She has been a mentor for the Ledbury Poetry Critics programme and is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Open University.


‘A wonderful, invaluable resource, full of useful frameworks and ideas. Highly recommended.’ Irenosen Okojie FRSL MBE, Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature

‘Offers pertinent, perceptive and plentiful advice for those first starting out or building their skills in creative writing. Enlivening chapter discussions rub shoulders with well-chosen readings to create dynamic conversations which it feels a pleasure to eavesdrop on.’ Andrew McMillan, Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University

‘A refreshingly practical book that invites writers at whatever stage to dive in and out with exercises, encouragement, information, reading and guidance.’Yvonne Battle-Felton, ction writer, Shefeld Hallam University

Creative Writing is astonishing in its thoughtfulness: there's a calm, authoritative thoroughness about the way skills and topics are introduced, supported by readings, and paired with exercises. This would be a very useful workbook for instructors as well as new writers.’ Marshall Moore, Course Leader in Creative Writing at Falmouth University

‘Offers practical, clear, and substantial advice for writing in a range of genres. As you will find from using this imaginative, generous and ingenious book, the journey will surprise and transform you.’ David Morley FRSL, Warwick Writing Programme at Warwick University, author of The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing

‘This distils the basic elements of complicated artistic practice into inspiring guidelines that will enhance the work of both students and teachers of creative writing.’ Winsome Pinnock FRSL, Associate Professor Emerita at Kingston University