Published: 30 May 2019

Learn from a literary master: writing workshops with Iain Sinclair

This year, postgraduate students in the School of Literature and Languages have been able to participate in masterclasses run by Iain Sinclair, Surrey’s Distinguished Writer-in-Residence.

Iain Sinclair reading in masterclass

Offered as part of our MA Creative Writing course, these monthly workshops are designed to help students bring their work up to a publishable standard, as well as provide deeper insight into the creative industry. Iain’s expert advice and guidance in creative writing comes from his rich experience of producing published work in a wide range of literary genres across fiction, poetry and non-fiction, as well as documentary film screenwriting and direction.

One of the UK’s most renowned innovative writers, Iain’s work has been translated into many languages. He has received numerous literary prizes for his writing, such as the Ondaatje Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction), and his work is regularly the subject of academic articles, conference papers and research monographs.

One MA Creative Writing student said of Iain’s masterclasses:

“I knew that Iain Sinclair is an eminent figure in the literary world, writing in a number of genres, and I was curious to hear what he had to say.

I have learnt about the connectivity of ideas. Iain has taught me to think in a more expansive way about my writing. He does not compartmentalise – his masterclasses dart about between science, geography, theology, art, music, psychology, spirituality and commonplace experiences of the everyday. He is more interested in the stimulation of thought than the refining of a skillset. He encourages writing to be an engagement with life in all its messy, unpredictable strangeness.

I have found the masterclasses inspirational. A chance to learn from a master.”

Professor Bran Nicol, Head of the School of Literature and Languages, added: “Our Creative Writing MA has proven very attractive to students looking to embark on a professional writing career and the Distinguished Writer’s masterclasses have been received enthusiastically by our students because of the unique opportunity they provide. Working with such a genuinely distinctive writer as Iain Sinclair is something they’ll continue to benefit from, and I’m delighted to have Iain as part of our creative writing team.”

Discover more about the postgraduate English literature and creative writing courses on offer at Surrey.

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