Open University Contemporary Cultures of Writing Seminar 


The research focus of this new, interdisciplinary group is on writing practices, their cultural contexts and impacts. We are interested in all forms of creative and academic writing, reflective practices, academic literacies, and translation as a creative act.

This series will explore the meaning of ‘creativity’ in creative writing. The term ‘creativity’ has become something of a cliché of modern times. But it’s a fundamental property of human expression, and examining what it is, how it works, and what it’s used for can help us better understand the creative process. The series will look at creativity from various different perspectives, including storytelling in words and pictures, the importance of creative constraints for writing, and what language studies can offer the practice of creative writing.

The themes for the seminars are:

SEMINAR 1: October 17, 2017

The craft of creative writing

This seminar will look at creative writing from the perspective of language studies, and consider the creative possibilities of playing with genres and media.

SEMINAR 2: November 14, 2017

The visuality of creative writing

This seminar will look at the art and dynamics of storytelling in words and pictures, with a focus on graphic novels.

SEMINAR 3: December 5, 2017

Experiments in constrained creativity

This seminar will consider the importance of formal constraints for creativity, looking at the work of the Oulipo group as well as modern experimental writing.


Dr Derek Neale (Open University) & Dr Sally O'Reilly (Open University)