Children's Fiction (Creative)
Children's Fictions 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 2
This module proposes to bring students closer to the debates surrounding, on the one hand, childhood as a category, and the historical context in which 'Children's Fiction' has emerged from and developed, and, on the other, the practice of writing Children's Literature. Thus we include analyses of a range of perspectives and representations of childhood and how they have altered over time, reflecting cultural contexts, societal categories, gender differences. From the point of view of the creative writer, this exploration will be particularly mindful of children's ever-changing reading habits. We will also explore the narrative distinctions between writing for and about children, including, but not limited to, how the novel places children in positions of power and responsibility and what effect this may have on the reader: the primary themes and subjects that continue to contextualise children's literature. We will examine the importance of identity (also a child's understanding of their own identity) and how this is formed and shaped through experience: the exploration of fantasy worlds and imagination and the ways in which they can be representative of larger, allegorical themes. For the creative writing students there will be written practice sessions, designed to enable them to apply the literary devices and narrative techniques used, including exploring the experience of childhood, whilst focusing upon language use and its educational properties to enhance learning.
-threshold (-D) Limited engagement with ideas and understanding of the texts.Link between themes and form not always clear.Limited sense of formal conventions. Inconsistent with regard to linguistic technicalitiesLimited awareness of redrafting and editing process.
-good (-B) Demonstration of a degree of vitality and originality.Very good understanding of generic conventions; sound use of structures and forms.Resourceful use of languageSound understanding of the creative process and thoughtful control of decisions made in writing.Very good work, which at times comes close to publishable standard
-excellent (-A) Typically, the work of a first class candidate will show many of the following qualities:Excellent levels of originality, vision and depth; striking and thorough engagement with ideas.Excellent understanding and control of form.Impressive linguistic control and/or innovation.Sophisticated understanding of the creative process and assured control of decisions made in writing.Dynamic work approaching publishable standard.
-another level (-C) Some attempt at serious exploration of ideas.Some link between themes and form. Good attempt to engage with form, but this may not be entirely sustained.Use of language technically proficient, but not always focused.Some awareness of the creative process and of decisions made in writing.Good work, but its strengths need to be more fully sustained to reach publishable standard.
- Ability to plan, write and develop a piece of fiction for a younger reader.
- Demonstrate a thorough level of understanding of the range of children's literature and the readers it is written for.
- Demonstrate an awareness of research and writing techniques employed by writers to reach the younger audience
- Show a firm understanding of the representation of childhood through children's literature: its landscapes, contexts and historical development.
- The ability to explain and reflect upon creative processes and practices, and to develop new writing strategies as a result of critical self-reflection.
Logbook Or Portfolio
Creative Writing Portfolio 1. A creative portfolio consisting of work created for children (1,000 words) This can be a complete short story, or a series of verse/ poems or the opening chapter(s) to a longer work of prose. Illustrations can be included but the narrative must be the primary content please. 2. 500-word critical commentary
1,500-word review of 2 or more of the module set texts and how they have so far influenced your creative practice and approach to writing for children. The review should demonstrate an awareness of the research and writing techniques employed by writers to reach the younger audience.