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Fay Weldon on how to teach Creative Writing

The one-day conference “Creative Writing and How to Teach It,“ on September 6, is designed to respond to the new A Level in English Literature, which will incorporate a course-assessed module in creative and original writing, from September 2008.

Professor Weldon said that students can be guided to write originally: “A great writer needs a certain personality and a natural talent for language, but there is a great deal that can be taught - how to put words together quickly and efficiently to make a point, how to be graceful and eloquent, how to convey emotion, how to build up tension, and how to create alternative worlds.“

Speakers include two award-winning novelists who also teach at Brunel, the Booker nominated Tibor Fischer and Commonwealth Writers' prizewinner Donna-Daley Clarke, as well as Dr Andrew Green , senior lecturer in Education at Brunel University and author of the English Subject Centre reports, Four Perspectives on Transition - English Literature from Sixth Form to University (2005), and Teaching the Teachers: Higher Education and the Continuing Professional Development of English Teachers (2008)

“We're aiming to create a dialogue between higher education and teachers working in schools,“explained Dr Green, former English teacher at Carshalton High School for Girls in South-West London and head of department at Ewell Castle School for Boys. He said he hoped that the conference would “offer inspiration and expertise to those who wish to extend their professional development as teachers of creative writing or who are approaching the discipline for the first time.“

Celia Brayfield, subject leader at Brunel, and a novelist, said, “Creative practice and the academic study of literature and drama are naturally connected but at present there is a whole generation of English teachers who have missed out on the creative dimension.“

Dr Green feels that the new emphasis on creative writing in the English Literature A level will be welcomed. “School students who take English as an academic subject often wish to express their own creativity, as they are encouraged to do in the other arts A levels, Music, Art or Drama.“

Creative Writing and How to Teach It, Brunel University, West London on September 6., 9.30am-4.00pm. Nearest tube: Uxbridge (Metropolitan line). For further information and booking forms, contact or


Notes to editors
The conference costs £70 (full fee) and £35 (students and PGCE trainees), which includes a buffet lunch and refreshments.