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Summer School - Creative Writing, 28 July - 17 August 2019, Oxford University, UK

Publish Date: Jan 15, 2019

Deadline: Feb 01, 2019

Event Dates: from Jul 28, 2019 12:00 to Aug 17, 2019 12:00

Creative Writing Summer School 2019


This residential summer school offers you a singular chance to immerse yourself in your writing over three intensive weeks spent in Oxford. 

Under the guidance of experienced tutors, you will write, develop your technique, sharpen your critical faculties and discuss your work in small, focused seminars. Each weekday you will attend a talk given by an author, publisher, agent, or editor. You will live and work in beautiful Exeter College – founded in 1314 – the environment that nurtured J R R  Tolkien, Philip Pullman, Martin Amis, William Morris, and many others.

At the end of your three weeks, you will have acquired new skills, made new friends, and developed a fresh portfolio of creative writing.

The academic programme consists of

  • small interactive seminars featuring writing exercises and group discussion;
  • guidance by tutors who are both published authors and experienced teachers; and
  • daily talks and readings given by established authors, agents, editors and others.

Seminars are offered at two levels (Intermediate and Advanced - see "Selection Criteria" (below) to ensure a good fit with your experience as a writer.

Intermediate applicants take two mandatory seminars:

  • Creative Non-Fiction
  • Fiction.

Advanced applicants choose two seminars from the following writing genres:

  • Creative Non-Fiction
  • Fiction (two options)
  • Poetry
  • Scriptwriting
  • Teen/Young Adult Fiction.

Seminars will involve writing exercises, group discussion, and the development of a portfolio of creative writing.

Each seminar has two two-hour meetings per week. Classes typically contain no more than 14 students.


Please check the seminar timetables carefully to ensure that your first and second choice courses do not run at the same time.

Contact hours

The programme provides a minimum of 46.5 contact hours, comprising:

  • 24 hours of seminar meetings (12 hours per seminar); and
  • 22.5 hours of talks and readings (15 sessions, each lasting 1.5 hours).

Social programme

Optional social events are offered throughout the summer school and may include a walking tour of Oxford, after-dinner talks and a weekend excursion to a site of literary and/or historical interest. (Most of these activities incur additional costs, which are payable by students in Oxford.)

Students will have an opportunity to share their ideas and work with the group at open mic nights (one per week) and informal peer-led workshop sessions (two per week).

Beyond the summer school, Oxford is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a busy cultural and social scene offering a wide variety of plays and shows, concerts, films and exhibitions.


Before you submit your application

  • ensure you meet the admissions requirements (see "Selection criteria", below);
  • check the seminar timetables carefully to ensure that your first and second choice courses do not run at the same time (applicants for advanced seminars only);
  • make sure you have all the required supporting documents listed below;
  • ensure you are familiar with the terms and conditions of enrolment on the summer school, especially those relating to payment of fees and cancellations (see "Payment", above); and
  • read the 'Important information regarding immigration and visa requirements' (see "Level and demands", below).

The application process

Please ensure all sections are completed fully, clearly, and in BLOCK CAPITALS.

The form must be accompanied by:

  • A brief statement of purpose (350-400 words) detailing your academic reasons for wishing to attend the summer school. This should include what you feel the programme would offer you and your writing, and what you feel you could bring to the summer school. This may include details of creative writing courses you have previously taken, or the relevance of the summer school to your present course of study or professional development. Applicants for advanced courses only: it is essential that you clearly state your reasons for wishing to enrol on specific seminars.
  • Samples of your writing which demonstrate your powers of creative expression.
    • If you are applying for the intermediate courses you should provide two 1,000-word samples: one being a piece of creative non-fiction: the other a piece of prose fiction.
    • If you are applying for advanced courses please provide samples of your work relevant to your first and second choice courses and ensure that the name of the seminar is printed at the top of each sample.
      As a guideline prose fiction, creative non-fiction and dramatic dialogue samples should be no more than 1,000 words in length (please provide an extract of a longer piece of work if appropriate); applicants for the poetry seminar should provide five short poems.
  • Your official university transcripts. These must be in English.

  • In the case of non-native speakers of English, official evidence of English language competency.

  • A letter of recommendation from a person - usually an academic who has taught you - who can give insight into your academic capabilities and writerly achievements. Where this is not possible, a letter from an appropriately qualified/experienced person who can comment on your motivation, commitment to writing and potential for development is acceptable; however, a reference from a member or friend is not. Please note that the letter of recommendation must refer specifically to your application to the Oxford University Creative Writing Summer School.

  • Four photographs (UK passport-sized - ie 4.5cm high x 3.5cm wide), with your full name printed on the back of each.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications should be posted to Creative Writing Summer School, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK

You may wish to send your application by courier service or registered post for speed and/or security of delivery. 

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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Host Countries

United Kingdom