Creative Writing has thrived at Stirling for over forty years. We were the first university in Scotland to offer degree credit for creative writing dissertations and we continue to offer practice-led, workshop-based creative writing teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our undergraduate modules and dissertation form part of the English Studies programme and our MLitt has seen several publication success stories including Danny Murphy (winner of Costa Short Story prize 2015), Karen Lloyd (The Gathering Tide, The Blackbird Diaries) and Ross Sayers (Mary’s the Name). We also have a burgeoning community of doctoral researchers in creative writing, with interdisciplinary links to subjects including Gender Studies, History and Scottish Literature.
The teaching team is comprised of poets Kathleen Jamie and Chris Powici, alongside fiction writers Liam Murray Bell and Kevin MacNeil. As well as poetry and fiction, there is also expertise in non-fiction, scriptwriting, essays and reviews. All four are popular figures at festivals, literary events and residencies.
Kathleen Jamie is an internationally recognised poet and winner of, amongst other awards, the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Prize and, most recently, the Scottish Book of the Year for her collection The Bonniest Companie. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Her non-fiction books Findings and Sightlines led to the award of the Royal Geographical Society’s Ness Award. Chris Powici is former editor of Northwords Now and author of the collection This Weight of Light. Liam Murray Bell is author of two novels, So It Is and The Busker. The former was shortlisted for Scottish Book of the Year and the latter was awarded Arts Council England funding. Kevin MacNeil is a novelist, poet and playwright with works including the novel The Brilliant and Forever, poetry collection Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides and feature length documentary Hamish: The Movie, a portrait of Scottish cultural legend Hamish Henderson.
Creative writing enjoys exciting collaborations with the University Art Collection, leading to the annual Pathfoot Project which invites students to respond to the art and sculpture on display in the university, and with the Publishing Studies programme, which has led to an anthology of creative writing students under the title Inklings.
We host the annual Charles Wallace Trust Fellowship for Indian writers, one of three such initiatives in the UK, and an annual Royal Literary Fund fellow. Stirling is also one of the hosts for the UK’s Booker Foundation Initiative (2010 – present) which has seen prominent novelists including Sarah Waters, Ben Okri and Graeme Macrae Burnet visit the campus for events.