Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
- CRICOS Code: 058718E
What will I study?
200 point program (2 years full-time or part-time equivalent)
- 50 points of Compulsory subjects (must be completed in first 100 points of study)
- 50 points of Foundation subjects (must be completed in first 100 points of study)
- Core subjects (minimum of 50 points, maximum of 62.5 points in the second 100 points of study)
- Elective subjects from the Second 100 Point Elective Subjects list of the program (at least 12.5 points from the Creative Writing list and at least 12.5 points from the Publishing and Editing list) (total maximum 50 points or minimum 37.5 points)
- Minimum of 50 points of Capstone subjects (with a maximum of 62.5 points)
150 point program (1.5 years full-time or part-time equivalent)
- 50 points of Compulsory subjects (must be completed in first 100 points of study)
- Core subjects (minimum 50 points or maximum 62.5 points)
- Elective subjects: at least 12.5 points from the Creative Writing electives list, and at least 12.5 points from the Publishing and Editing electives list (minimum 37.5 points or maximum 50 points)
- Minimum of 50 points of Capstone subjects (with a maximum of 62.5 points)
All students are required to complete the Capstone Requirement for the program (at least 50 points). The Capstone subject requires two consecutive semesters of enrolment and can be done either as two Minor Thesis subjects with a Research subject or alternatively two Project-based subjects.
For more detailed information on subjects, Capstone requirements, and more detailed information, please view the Handbook entry for this course.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- The Contemporary Publishing Industry12.5
The Contemporary Publishing Industry
This subject provides an overview of the major factors affecting the local and global production, marketing and distribution of books, magazines and electronic publications. It considers the impact of political, social and economic conditions, technological changes, and changing industry practices. Students will gain a critical understanding of professional practices and current issues in various sectors of the industry in the context of global developments.
- Structural Editing12.5
This subject focuses on the structural editing of texts in a range of genres, including instructional, polemical, scholarly and narrative works. Students will learn how to analyse the reading practices characteristic of different genres, and will be given practical experience in editing texts to meet the requirements and expectations of various projected readerships. The subject will also familiarise students with protocols for effective author/editor communication and acquaint them with the ethical and legal responsibilities that govern editors' participation in the publishing process. On successfully completing this subject, students will have a sound grasp of strategies for appraising the rhetoric and structure of texts in a wide range of genres.
- Editorial English12.5
This subject focuses on the key communication skill of editing. It introduces students to the linguistic conventions of editorial English, the use and interpretation of copy-editing symbols, and the parameters of a variety of house styles. Students will also learn the principles and practice of editing on screen and the procedures required to ensure editorial transparency and accountability in an electronic environment. The subject offers an overview of the major components of the editing process, with an emphasis on editing for consistency and cohesion. On successfully completing this subject, students will have a sound grasp of the linguistic and procedural aspects of copy-editing.
- Creative Writing Advanced Workshop12.5
Creative Writing Advanced Workshop
Students will produce drafts of work in progress, engage in peer editing and workshops, present readings, attend seminars conducted by experienced writers, and will have an opportunity to receive professional feedback from publishers and editors. Students must consult the coordinator to discuss subject preparation prior to enrolment.
This subject involves pre-learning. Students are required to read any set texts and the subject reader at least once before the Intensive commences. Students are required to write a 1,000-word draft of their creative assessment piece before the Intensive commences to be distributed for workshopping. Students are also required to read and provide written feedback on their classmates' creative drafts before the Intensive commences.
- Short Fiction12.5
In this subject students will explore principles of the craft and theory of writing short fiction including graphic narrative. Students will read a variety of fiction texts from the beginning of the modernist era to contemporary fiction, ranging from Gogol to Chekhov, Hemingway, Faulkner, Munro, Garner, Keret and others.
- Creative Non Fiction12.5
Creative Non Fiction
In this subject, students will be exposed to a rich and thrilling range of Creative Nonfiction – music, science, sport, technology, trauma, family, politics, more – on the road to developing and fine-tuning their own writing skills. Class discussions will tackle ethics and research/narrative techniques. Students will workshop their own writing and be asked to respond to other students’ written work. They will finish the course with an insight into top-class writers’ minds and techniques, and ideas on how to take their own writing to a higher plane.
This subject is an introduction to a range of poetic forms. Students will read poetry from various periods and cultures, with an emphasis on 20th century and contemporary poetry.
- Writing for Screen12.5
Writing for Screen
In this subject students will be introduced to the history of screenwriting and the principles of the craft of writing scripts for screen. Students will read and respond to a variety of scripts written for screen. Students will also be required to write a short original screenplay. This subject is highly recommended for students intending to take Advanced Screenwriting and/or Writing for Theatre in their 3rd year studies.
- Scripts for Contemporary Theatre12.5
Scripts for Contemporary Theatre
This subject is an introduction to the principles and techniques of scriptwriting for the theatre. A selection of theatre scripts in various styles will be studied, in conjunction with relevant critical material, to enhance the production of an original script. Students will each view a current Melbourne theatre production and review the scriptwriting concept and techniques through blog-posts on a class forum, as well as participating in workshopping of their classmates’ scripts throughout semester. This subject is compulsory for students planning to take Writing Radical Performance in the 3rd year of their studies.
This subject is designed to help students conceive, research and begin the writing of a novel, and to articulate an understanding of contemporary novels. It will introduce students to theoretical and historical approaches to the understanding and practice of extended narrative or novel writing. Students will read a variety of narrative-based and theoretical texts with emphasis on contemporary works. The focus of this subject is on the production of the student’s own extended work of fiction, the major assessment being on an extract, preferably the opening part of that work.
- Poetry and Poetics12.5
Poetry and Poetics
Students in this subject will inquire into a wide range of traditional and contemporary stylistic practices in poetry and poetics. Students will analyse and present discussions on a variety of poetic texts and recent works on poetics, before applying central poetic styles in their own writing. The subject will also involve intensive workshopping of students' own poetry with a focus on extending poetic technique and developing and articulating a personal poetic.
- Life Writing12.5
Life writing draws on lived experiences and life narratives - ours’ and others’ – to examine the relationship between the past and the present, individuals and different types of social life, the public and the private, the local and the (trans)national. In this subject we will be thinking hard about identity and representation (including self-representation), power and ethics, the complexities of memory, as well as possibilities afforded by different forms of life writing, which encompass personal essays, memoirs, biographies, diaries, letters, oral histories, family histories, blogs etc. Life writing offers us a powerful entry point into exploring families, bodies, relationships, subjectivities and illuminating experiences that have been ignored or silenced in our culture. Research practices such as interviewing skills, immersion and observation, archival and genealogical research will be investigated in the production of a folio of original life writing.
- Advanced Screenwriting12.5
Advanced Screenwriting focuses on the creation of an original script for screen. This subject builds upon skills learnt in the second year Creative Writing subject Writing for Screen. Students will enhance, through practical workshops, their screenwriting techniques in three areas: Film, TV and New Media forms. Students will develop a creative project comprising a concept and script excerpts from either: a short film, a feature length film, a TV pilot, or a new media project, such as a web series or video game. Advanced Screenwriting draws upon a wide range of examples and contemporary applications of screenwriting, including a range of genres, along with contemporary media innovations. As a result students should have, on completion of the subject, an understanding of how screenwriting history, common techniques and new advances in the form relate to current practice.
- Writing Radical Performance12.5
Writing Radical Performance
This subject engages with the theoretical, practical and technical aspects of script writing for performance. Through a rigorous examination of the work of key artists and writing from the 1960s onwards, students will devise concepts for radical performance and enhance their scriptwriting practice. Student will produce a critical essay and two scripts for performance: a solo piece or monologue; and a script for a collective; as well as workshopping their ideas in class.
- Creative Writing Thesis Part 125
Creative Writing Thesis Part 1
The student will negotiate a suitable project with a supervisor, and attend meetings and supervision sessions as required. Enrolment in the thesis is across two consecutive semesters and students must enrol in the subject in each semester to ensure they are meeting the full 50 point requirement for the year-long subject.
To be eligible to enrol in the minor thesis, all students must submit a 300 word thesis proposal on a relevant topic for approval by the course coordinator at least 2 weeks prior to the semester of enrolment in the thesis.
Students admitted into the minor thesis must be in the final 100 points of their degree, with an average of H2A (75%) prior to enrolment in the thesis.
Thesis students must also enrol in the subject MULT50001 Research Principles and Practices concurrently with CWRI90015.
- Creative Writing Thesis Part 225
Creative Writing Thesis Part 2
Refer to CWRI90015 Creative Writing Thesis Part 1 for details
- Research Principles and Practices12.5
Research Principles and Practices
This subject introduces students to research skills for students planning, researching and writing a thesis in the School of Culture and Communication. Research Principles and Practices explores traditional and contemporary research practices and the differing methodological approaches guiding research practices in the School of Culture and Communication. It explores key research principles and practices including: defining an academic field, establishing a research question, identifying key words and key texts, developing a literature review, preparing and presenting a research proposal. Research Principles and Practices provides students with specific research methodologies and academic practices that will facilitate their research projects. It will also provide information about copyright, ethics and the conduct of ethical research.
- Advanced Writing Project Part 125
Advanced Writing Project Part 1
Students will negotiate a suitable creative project in any genre with a supervisor, attend meetings and supervision sessions as required and present work in progress to appropriate seminars or workshop groups during the year. Enrolment in the Advanced Writing Project is across two consecutive semesters and students must enrol in the subject in each semester to ensure they are meeting the full 50-point requirement for the year-long subject.
- Advanced Writing Project Part 225
Advanced Writing Project Part 2
Refer to CWRI90017 Advanced Writing Project Part 1 for details
Creative Writing electives
- Thinking Writing: Theory and Creativity12.5
Thinking Writing: Theory and Creativity
This subject explores the relationship between critical theory and creative writing. We read critical, philosophical and theoretical texts relating to issues of creativity and the creative process by seminal theorists such as Kristeva, Foucault, Cixous, and Derrida. We also read a selection of texts that blur the boundary between critical and creative writing, and the creative work of authors such as Duras, Calvino, Zadie Smith, and Barthelme to examine the way these texts might put theory into practice. The relation between critical schools of thought and students' own creative work will be investigated.
- Genealogies of Place12.5
Genealogies of Place
In this subject students will engage with creative and intellectual concepts that deal with an understanding of place (and places) and its relationship to individuals, communities and cultural formations. These places may be physical, social or psychological, and can include "natural". landscapes, urban/industrial environments, the genealogies of family or place and the connections between memory and physical space. This subject asks students to engage with writings by novelists and poets in addition to non-fictional texts to stimulate their own creative writing project that will be developed and workshopped in the seminars. Students will explore the relationship between the creative process and the development of written and performative texts. On completion of the subject students will have produced a folio of writing that can include prose-fiction, poetry, performance/script or non-fiction.
- Contemporary Eco-Fictions12.5
This subject deals with a range of forms within the genre of eco-fiction. The subject is seminar-based and engages with the concept of 'contemporary eco-fiction' in two ways: 1) via exploration of narrative forms across the genres (story, novel, short fiction) and 2) examination of the environmental, political, ethical and ideological fictions that sub-tend everyday life. Themes and texts that may be included in subject reading material will be essays and interviews that address the production and craft of writing and the ways in which environmental issues are fictionalised. The subject may also look at specific forms of fiction such as the 'linked collection' of short fiction, thematic anthologies, and single-authored collections produced around environmental, social, ethical, ideological and psychological themes.
- Graphic Narratives12.5
Students will read graphic fiction and non-fiction with a focus on 20th century writers such as Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, Marjane Satrapi, Charles Burns, Bruce Mutard and Shaun Tan. Students will also read into comics theory, cultural theory, and contemporary criticism of the medium, and discuss the history and innovations of this emerging field of writing practice. Students will work to produce their own original graphic narrative: this can be fictional, autobiographical, biographical or journalistic. Guest tutors will present intensive masterclasses on drawing and storyboarding; no prior artistic experience is required.
- Reading Dialogue12.5
This subject will introduce students to advanced dialogic techniques in relation to a range of genres including short story, novel and script.
The exploration of the mechanics of dialogue will be cast against the historical evolution of modern and postmodern modes of dialogue so that students will also understand how dialogue has been shaped by genre and the socio-political and cultural contexts from which key genres have arisen. For assessment, students will develop practical work comprising a short script, a full-length short story or a series of ‘short’ short stories. They will also produce a comparative critique of modes of dialogue used by authors included in the subject reader. They will workshop their creative project, participate in improvisational exercises, and provide written and verbal editorial feedback to fellow students.
- New Script12.5
This subject will provide students with the interdisciplinary skills to write an original script in any medium. Students will learn the distinct scriptwriting approaches to works for theatre, live performance, radio, film and digital media. They will devise a concept outline and script excerpt for a work of either: theatre, performance, radio, film, tv, or a digital media project.
- Writing Australia12.5
In this subject students study a number of recent Australian literary works selected from a range of genres. The emphasis is on contemporary work. The approach will include discussion of ways of reading, and production of creative responses to the selected texts. Students will read one significant work in preparation for each weekly class.
- Serial Storytelling12.5
Students will read a range of fictional and non-fictional serial narratives written in the late 20 th and early 21 st centuries for newspapers, radio, film and television, such as Maupin’s Tales of the City books, Miller’s Mad Max films, or Breaking Bad. Students will analyse these texts with a focus on the relationship between serial distribution and storytelling form, and with particular attention given to historical transformations and new developments. Students will also read critical approaches to serial narrative concentrating on textual forms, genre, criticism, technologies of production and distribution, industrial formations of production and distribution, cultural contexts, and modes of audience engagement. Students will work to devise a concept outline for an original serial narrative for print, audio or screen (e.g. television series or podcast series), and write selected installments.
This subject is only available to students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts Honours (Creative Writing), Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) Creative Writing, the Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing, Master of Global Media Communications, Master of Marketing Communications, or the Master of Arts and Cultural Management.
- Young Adult Fiction12.5
Young Adult Fiction
This subject will explore the transitory space occupied by the young adult, and the literature that is produced for teenagers. Students will critically engage with texts from this relatively new literary genre, and creatively navigate the space between childhood and adulthood. Exploring the historical development, trends, characteristics and common misconceptions of Young Adult literature, this subject will place Young Adult literature in the broader context of literary criticism and cultural studies.
- Writing for Children12.5
Writing for Children
This subject introduces the creative writing student to contemporary literary and cultural theories pertinent to reading and analysing texts produced for children, as well as stimulating a creative engagement with children’s literature. Through the study and production of picture books, novels, storytelling and poetry, the student will creatively investigate the tensions between children’s literature, society’s notion of childhood, and children themselves, as well as exploring the major themes, techniques, trends and issues of the children’s literature canon.
Publishing and Editing electives
- Writing and Editing for Digital Media12.5
Writing and Editing for Digital Media
This introductory subject is designed to induct graduate students into the major issues and current thinking in web-based communication; to familiarize students with the major channels and platforms in use in this field; to develop an understanding of online genres, and teach essential writing and editing skills for online contexts. Students will gain practical experience in writing in a number of different styles and formats and will learn to publish their work on a digital platform.
- History of Books and Reading12.5
History of Books and Reading
This subject introduces students to the history of the book and its relationship to changing reading practices. It will focus specifically on the changing technologies and aesthetics of book production, the relationships between reading and other cultural practices, the changing roles of publishers, booksellers and authors, the evolution of libraries as repositories and gatekeepers of approved knowledge, and the role of government in establishing a legislative framework to regulate the book trade.
- Advanced Editing for Digital Media12.5
Advanced Editing for Digital Media
This subject introduces students to advanced aspects of editing for digital media. It focuses on the methods, systems, trends and technological developments taking place in digital media industries, and presents a portfolio of key skills and knowledge required in contemporary editing and content management. Taking the publishing industry as its professional context, it focuses on software for digital authoring, editing, content management and content marketing; the principles of workflow in the digital office; digital publishing and ebook production processes and systems; and the creation of video for the internet. Students will gain a practical understanding of a range of applications and systems that are industry standards, and develop deeper literacy around digital media and e-communication.
- Print Production and Design12.5
Print Production and Design
This subject teaches students practical skills in creating documents using the industry-standard software, Adobe Indesign through practical workshops that take the student from beginner to intermediate skill levels. It also introduces students to the concepts and practice of print production and design, and outlines the underlying principles of publishing design and page layout, the characteristics of good typesetting, the interrelationship of images, space, colour and text and the importance of design briefs. Through reference to the history of printing, this subject will extend students’ understanding of the impact of changing technologies on typography, graphic design and production processes, enabling them to develop a critical awareness of trends in the field. A brief insight to some of the specific design and publishing challenges of ePublishing is also provided.
Please note: Students should subscribe to Adobe Indesign via Adobe Creative Cloud for the duration of the subject in order to be able to complete assignments out of class time.
- Writing and Editing for Magazines25
Writing and Editing for Magazines
This subject provides an overview of magazine writing, editing and publishing, with special emphasis on the skills needed to successfully produce magazines today. We examine how magazine editors conceive of audiences, and how they create print and digital magazines that serve the needs and desires of those audiences. Students will study how editors turn ideas into stories, and work with the magazine production team to give a story its final form. Students will learn how writers pitch ideas to editors, and to research and write magazine feature stories. We study the commercial aspects of magazine publishing – advertising, sales, marketing and promotion – and investigate innovative magazine business models in a time of great change and disruption in publishing. We examine how a magazine develops from concept to finished product, including launch proposal, project planning, scheduling and budgeting. Our focus is not solely on print, but on the magazine as a form that continues to evolve in response to social and technological change.
- Legal Issues in Media and Publishing12.5
Legal Issues in Media and Publishing
This subject addresses ethical issues and legal constraints involved in publishing for print and digital media. It will review existing ethical codes and the mechanisms established to police them, as well as offering an overview of how publishing practices are shaped by legislative provisions relating to such matters as intellectual property, privacy, defamation and respect for cultural differences. On successfully completing this subject, students will have gained an understanding of a wide range of ethical and legal considerations.
- Publishing Project12.5
Working under the supervision of a staff member, a student will produce a substantive publishing project, equivalent to 5000 words of written assessment. The project will be part of a larger team publishing project led by staff. The subject coordinator's permission must be sought in order to enrol.
- International Publishing Project12.5
International Publishing Project
This subject involves travel to New York to undertake a five-day intensive to be taught at a New York based university. The program will involve instruction by senior figures in the US publishing industry, from established firms and the recent start-ups that are re-shaping the industry.
- Advanced Book Publishing25
Advanced Book Publishing
This subject introduces students to the processes by which book publishers evaluate proposals and build their lists. Through seminars and hands-on workshops, students are introduced to the business and management aspects of book publishing that underpin list-building, and to the processes involved in selecting and commissioning titles, researching potential markets, building a distinctive list, choosing formats (print and digital), and providing effective commentary on work in progress. The subject also examines the management of publishing enterprises, including project costing, production management and quality control, distribution, management of suppliers, the negotiation of contracts, and the sale of subsidiary rights. On successfully completing this subject, students will have acquired advanced skills in manuscript appraisal, a detailed knowledge of the characteristics of a successful book publishing list, and a wide-ranging understanding of financial and management systems in the publishing industry.
- Editing Masterclass12.5
This subject will introduce students to the principles and practices associated with the development and structural editing of a range of texts from four specialised genres: fiction, trade non-fiction, children’s books, genre fiction and educational publishing. Students will be presented with manuscripts across these specialised genres, by a combination of Publishing and Communications staff and guest lecturers from the relevant fields. Each genre will be covered in detail over two or three weeks of the semester. On successful completion of this subject students will have acquired advanced skills in manuscript appraisal and editing.
- Internship I (Placement Only)12.5
Internship I (Placement Only)
Students enrolled in this subject will be assisted to find a placement in a professional working environment. They will work under the guidance of a senior staff member, with additional support from the subject coordinator. The placement will enable students to apply in a practical environment skills developed in their other coursework units. Students will thus gain direct exposure to professional practice in their chosen field. The internship may be undertaken as a practicum at the students' workplace if appropriate.