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MA in Creative Writing

Our Creative Writing MA is an academically rigorous programme that gives students structured support through writing workshops and one-to-one tutorials in order to develop practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction.

Students also study a broad range of literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, and produce new work in response. In addition to formal teaching of creative writing, our strong research culture has attracted numerous well-known authors to Durham to discuss their work. Beyond the MA, students can progress to study at MLitt or PhD level.
Course information
A research student Reading a book in Bill Bryson Library

Our creative writers on their work

Career Development

The Department is involved in various other University and external groups that can further support your writing. These include:

  • New Writing North. Writing development agency for the North-east, which runs workshops, lectures, competitions and magazines. The Department works with New Writing North to develop Durham Book Festival.
  • The Centre for Poetry and Poetics. Based in the Department, this runs a number of events each term, including open-mic nights and talks by established poets.
  • Durham University Creative Writing Society. A group for students to develop their work in a friendly setting.
  • The Bubble. Student-run online magazine that publishes creative writing and reviews.
  • Durham Book Festival. Annual festival bringing well-known authors to Durham, including the Festival Poet Laureate appointed by the Department; the Festival includes workshops and networking events for aspiring authors.


Several of our students have gone on to achieve success and recognition with their published creative work. Recent notable successes include:

  • John Clegg won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2013 for his first book of poetry, Antler. His second book, Holy Toledo! appeared in 2016. John can be heard reading from and discussing his work in this READ podcast.
  • Sarah Fletcher has been a Foyle Young Poet of the Year and a two-time recipient of the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize. She has published two pamphlets: Kissing Angles, was published by (Dead Ink Books, 2015) and Typhoid August
  • Eiffel Gao’s poems have appeared in The Poetry Review and Shearsman magazine, and she is an editor for Transect.
  • Chris Kerr’s poetry has appeared in a number of publications, and he recently published his debut pamphlet, Citidyll.
  • Lauren Owen published her debut novel, The Quick, to great acclaim. It was praised by Hilary Mantel as ‘a sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre.’