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Unit rationale, description and aim

This is an introductory unit in the Creative Writing minor sequence. Professional outcomes in creative writing require students to identify and operate in diverse genres and respond to particular generic conventions of writing.

The purpose of this unit is to introduce students to various genres of creative writing. Students will explore a range of literary genres and learn how to identify and analyse various methods in the creation of these texts; they will use this knowledge in the creation of new work. This unit features a practice-led exploration of how genre may be used in a creative writing context.

The aim of this unit is to help students learn the writing techniques specific to particular short fiction genres and to give them the opportunity to apply these within their own creative writing.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - identify and analyse the structural characteristics of a variety of short form literary genres (GA4, GA5) 

LO2 - apply the genre-specific structural characteristics to their own short form creative works (GA5) 

LO3 - edit and critique another person’s creative writing. (GA1, GA5, GA7) 

LO4 - create new genre-specific short form creative writing text (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics may include: 

  • Reading literary works through the lens of genre in a variety of stylistic modes such as short fiction, poetry, play scripts, screenplays, etc. 
  • Creatively engaging with various genres in an appropriate creative writing context. 
  • Some of the genres which may be explored include:  
  • Romance Writing 
  • Mystery and Detective Writing 
  • Comedy 
  • Tragedy 
  • The Western  
  • Fantasy and Science Fiction 
  • Writing for Children and Young Adults 
  • Sub-genres and Blended genres 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit features a practice-led exploration of how genre may be used in a creative writing context. In an active learning environment, the students will have the opportunity to engage with published texts in a variety of genres and then engage in writing activities which experiment with how these genres might be incorporated into their own writing. Students will also have the opportunity to share their writing with each other to provide and receive peer feedback. This will help them to learn how to be collegial and supportive members of a creative community. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks have been explicitly created to address the identified Learning Outcomes for this unit (assessment of learning) and designed to allow students to learn about and apply the methods that professional writers use to create their literary works (assessment for learning). The purpose of this assessment strategy is to first expose students to professionally published literary material, to then allow them to analyse and evaluate its merit, and finally, to adopt and manipulate these genre-specific techniques for their own creative writing pieces. 

The schedule provides scaffolded learning with opportunities for students to monitor their own progress, practise their skills and receive feedback 


  1. Genre analysis requires student to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to identify the characteristics of different genres. 
  2. The Short Creative Piece and Peer Feedback allows students to trial work with a new literary genre so that they have an opportunity to receive feedback prior to developing a substantial collection of work for the final assessment. Students are required to craft a short piece of writing, to participate in a peer-review process, and submit the ‘corrected’ piece of writing incorporating feedback. 
  3. The Portfolio task builds on this by allowing students to create a range of written pieces using a variety of literary genres to showcase the skills that they have built over the semester requires students to demonstrate their mastery of style and form across a range of literary genres. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

1.Genre analysis 

This task requires students to identify conventions of genres and to analyse their practice in textual examples. 


GA4, GA5 

2.Short Creative Piece and Peer Feedback 

In this task producing and reviewing writing in a particular genre are required, as both self- and peer-reviewed feedback are utilised in the development of a text. 


2, 3 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7 


This task allows students to consolidate knowledge of a genre and apply specific writing conventions in an integrated work. 


2, 4 

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Armstrong, Julie. Experimental fiction: An introduction for readers and writers. London; New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014. 

Fish, Stanley. How to write a sentence: And how to read one. HarperCollins, 2011. 

Frow, John. Genre. Routledge, 2014. 

Gerard, Philip. Art of creative research: A field guide for writers. University of Chicago Press, 2017. 

Grenville, Kate. Writing book: A practical guide for fiction writers. Allen & Unwin, 2015. 

Harper, Graeme. A companion to creative writing. John Wiley & Sons, 2013. 

La Plante, Alice. The Making of a story: A Norton guide to creative writing. W. W. Norton, 2010. 

Morley, David, and Philip Neilsen. The Cambridge companion to creative writing. Cambridge University Press, 2012. 

Roney, Lisa.  Serious daring: Creative writing in four genres. Oxford UP, 2015. 

Sellers, Heather. The practice of creative writing: A guide for students. Bedford/St. Martins, 2017. 

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