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Centre for Creative Writing

The Kellogg College Centre for Creative Writing fosters a vibrant community of writers and researchers whose work crosses traditional boundaries of genre and culture. The Centre hosts both a masterclass and a research seminar series. The twice-termly research seminars focus on topics of contemporary interest to creative writing practitioners and scholars. It complements but is distinct from the Master of Studies in Creative Writing.

Since it was established the Centre has developed a strong reputation for creative and intellectual excellence. In addition to its regular programme of research activities, the Centre has sponsored, jointly with the Radcliffe Science Library, the Poetry and Science competition, and Oxford Today’s alumni short story competition. The Centre has also co-published with Blackwell, Initiate: An Oxford Anthology of New Writing, showcasing emergent writers from the MSt in Creative Writing along with established practitioners in fiction, poetry and drama.

The Centre is directed by Dr Clare Morgan, with the support of an advisory panel. Dr Morgan is a Fellow of Kellogg College and Director of the Master of Studies in Creative Writing. Her most recent publication is A Book for all and None, published in paperback by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2012. She has also published a collection of stories, An Affair of the Heart. Her book from her cross genre research in business and creative writing, What Poetry Brings to Business, was published by University of Michigan press in 2010.

The Centre’s Advisory Panel includes Dr Chris Davies, former Vice President of Kellogg College, and Dr Anna Beer, Visiting Fellow, and Rose Solari, Visiting Writer and researcher.

Support the Centre

The Centre relies on the generosity of its supporters to help sustain its innovative and dynamic series of programmes.  If you would like to be involved in supporting the Centre, please contact Dr Clare Morgan.

Master of Studies in Creative Writing

The Kellogg College Centre for Creative Writing is distinct from the Master of Studies in Creative Writing, however many associates of the Centre share a close connection with the MSt programme, including the Centre’s Director Clare Morgan. Watch Clare, and other Centre associates, talking about the Master’s programme and creative writing at Oxford.

Publications and Papers

Publications include:
“Re-connecting with a neglected river through imaginative engagement.” Ecology and Society 15(3): 18; Selman, P., C. Carter, A. Lawrence and C. Morgan
“Raising Catchment Consciousness” in Sustainable communities : skills and learning for place-making, eds. Sadler, Sue, Green, Anne E, Wong, Cecilia and Rogerson, Robert, University of Hertfordshire Press; P Selman, C Carter, C Morgan, A Lawrence.
My River Dearne (anthology); ed. Clare Morgan
Papers include:
National Association of Writers in Education annual conference:
“The use of creative writing in generating imaginative engagement with environmental issues”: Dr Clare Morgan, Kellogg College

The Kellogg College Seminar, Oxford University:
“Creative Writing and the Environment”: Prof Paul Selman, University of Sheffield; Dr Clare Morgan, Kellogg College

Research and Seminars

Interdisplinary Research

The Centre for Creative Writing engages in collaborative research projects of an interdisciplinary nature, focusing on questions of contemporary relevance.

The Living with Rivers project, conducted jointly between the Centre for Creative Writing, Sheffield University and Forest Research, was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.  The project examined the role of creative writing in the development of imaginative engagement with environmental issues in relation to river basins.  It involved the running of creative writing workshops for a group from the local community of the Dearne Valley in Yorkshire, facilitated by Clare Morgan, who has also edited an anthology of participants’ work, titled My River Dearne.  Read the anthology here.

If you are interested in learning more about the Living with Rivers project, you can read the resulting open access paper Selman, P., C. Carter, A. Lawrence and C. Morgan 2010. “Re-connecting with a neglected river through imaginative engagement.” Ecology and Society 15(3): 18.

The project was later extended into the visual arts, by collaborating with a Workers Educational Association art group. This involved producing an ambitious frieze of the Dearne landscape throughout history. As part of its development,  Clare Morgan led a group of local creative writers who `gave voice´ to characters in the frieze. The work culminated in an exhibition in Goldthorpe Library and was funded by University of Sheffield Knowledge Transfer Rapid Research Fund, and the Royal Society for Protection of Birds.

Research Seminar Series – selected abstracts and speakers

Rose Solari: : “Navigating Time: Narrative structure and believability in the contemporary multiple time-frame novel”
One robust trend in contemporary fiction is the novel that juxtaposes multiple time frames and narratives. Unlike purely historical novels, these works are not linear; the through-line is not chronological but exploratory, and often revolves around a particular character’s quest to solve a historical, spiritual, or personal mystery.  Recent multi-time-frame novels include Marina Warner’s The Leto Bundle, Barry Unsworth’s Stone Virgin, Penelope Lively’s The Photograph, and Don DeLillo’s Underworld, as well as, of course, Possession, perhaps the ur-novel of this genre. This seminar explores problems of believability and continuity in the multi-time-frame novel, drawing on the above-mentioned titles, as well as her experience in crafting her own such novel, A Secret Woman. The author of two previous full-length collections of poetry, Solari will also talk briefly about the ways in which poetic techniques can inform and support fiction.

Professor Susan Sellers: “Writing and Real Life”
The seminar explores the interconnections between the real-life object or experience that is often the starting point for writing, and the role of invention and imagination. Drawing on her own experience of fictionalizing two real-life women, Virginia Woolf and her artist sister Vanessa Bell, Professor Sellers addresses such questions as the importance of observation and research, the crucial issue of point of view, the role of the senses in writing, the status of ‘truth’, and the startling and the transformative insights that creatively exploring what is not known may produce.

For any enquiries about the work of the Centre please contact Dr Clare Morgan, in the first instance.