Study Creative Writing

Make Innovative Contributions to Contemporary Literature

Creative Writing at the School of the Arts & Media will empower you to produce innovative contributions to contemporary literature. You’ll explore fresh, experimental writing across genres in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and ficto-criticism.

Your study in Creative Writing will balance literary study and creative practice, with a grounding in the development of new literary techniques, forms and genres throughout history. You’ll be taught by award-winning writers with internationally-recognised expertise in teaching and creative writing. Through your study, you’ll achieve a thorough understanding of the critical and social contexts in which your work circulates.

Prepare Yourself for a Career in the Creative Arts

As part of the School of the Arts & Media, you’ll analyse links between writing and other forms of art and media through elective courses in Film Studies; Theatre and Performance and Media and Communications. Learning to write creatively and effectively will allow you to apply these skills in various creative industries such as public relations, copywriting, social media and scriptwriting.

Learn from National Leaders in Research

You'll be taught by award-winning academics, scholars and writers in an innovative, creative and stimulating environment. We support a strong research culture, and our School is benchmarked with the highest global rating of 5 by Excellence Research in Australia (ERA). Our staff have also received the Vice-Chancellor's and Dean's Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision.

Connect with the Wider Literary Community

UNSWriting runs a series of masterclasses and “in conversation” events with visiting local and international authors. These events enable students to connect with the wider literary community. UNSWriting cultivates ideas and good writing, giving you the chance to experience special events, workshops and public talks with professionals in the field.

Our network of writers, publishers and students give you valuable industry connections, which will support your future career path – wherever that may lead.

Write for our Student-Run Publication

The UNSWeetened Literary Journal is an annual publication run by students at Arc. It provides a voice for students, showcasing the university's creative writing talent and features poetry and prose from both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Study with Us

The Undergraduate major includes core courses in creative writing with a range of prescribed electives in English literary studies, media and communications, film studies and theatre and performance. During your study, you’ll produce your own body of creative work by developing practical skills in the craft of writing, and by learning how this craft relates to the history of literary forms.

At UNSW, you'll hone your practical knowledge of creative writing through participation in group workshops. You'll come to view yourself as a participant in the public life of literature and to understand the political and ethical dimensions of the aesthetic choices you’ll make as a writer. 

 Degrees Options Include: 

Students have the option of continuing their study into an Honours year where they work closely with a supervisor to produce a thesis comprising of two complementary parts: a creative work and a scholarly essay. The honours degree provides a basis for further study at the postgraduate research level.

The PhD in Creating Writing supports students to produce a full-length creative work in any genre (novel, collection of poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, biography, ficto-criticism, etc.) and an accompanying scholarly dissertation of at least 30,000 words.

This original work will explore the flexible connection between the creative and the critical. Previous PhD students in Creative Writing include prize-winning and best-selling authors: Charlotte Wood and Anna Westbrook.

You can find more information on the variety of Scholarships on offer at UNSW.

Find out more

  • Stephanie Bishop, Man Out of Time (Hachette, 2018) – longlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize and shortlisted for the 2019 Christina Stead Prizefor Fiction  
  • Stephanie Bishop, The Other Side of the World (Hachette, 2014) – awarded the 2015 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, shortlisted for the 2014 Australian/Vogel's literary Award, longlisted for the 2016 Stella prize, shortlisted in both the NSW Premier's and the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and named the Literary Fiction Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards 
  • Stephanie Bishop, The Singing (2007) – named a Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists, highly commended for the Kathleen Mitchell Award. 
  • Dawson P, 2018, Lover Nature, Covert Plants: Vegetal Consciousness and Agency in an Anthropocentric World, Gibson P; Brits B, (eds.), Punctum Books 
  • Dawson PA, 2018, The Men Who Hate Clementine Ford, Cordite Poetry Review, Gorton L; MacCarter K, (eds.), Cordite Publishing Inc. 
  • Dawson PA, 2017, Ten Poetic Commandments, Island Magazine, Holland-Batt S; Field V, (eds.), Island Magazine 
  • Dawson PA, 2017, The Wreck of the Heartland, Mascara Literary Review, Cahill M, (ed.), Mascara Poetry Inc. 
  • Dawson PA, 2016, Five Lines Can Say Only, Australian Poetry Journal, Sharkey M, (ed.), Australian Poetry Ltd. 
  • Dawson PA, 2016, Declaration of the Rights of Rights, The Dangar Island Garbage Boat: Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2016, Hunter Writers Centre and University of Newcastle 
  • Dawson PA, 2016, Fictionality, Meanjin, Melbourne University Publishing 
  • Dawson PA, 2015, Musing, Australian Poetry Anthology, Volume 4, Holland-Batt S; Emery B, (eds.), Australian Poetry LImited 
  • Jakobsen M, 2016, What the Light Hides, Text Publishing 

Some recent publications by our PhD graduates include: 


  • Anna Westbrook - Dark Fires Shall Burn (Scribe, 2016) 
  • Charlotte Wood - The Natural Way of Things (Allen & Unwin, 2015) *Winner of the Stella Prize and the Indie Book of the Year 
  • Mette Jakobsen - The Vanishing Act (WW Norton, 2012) *Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize 

Short Fiction 

  • Roanna Gonsalves - The Permanent Resident (UWA Publishing, 2016) 
  • Sylvia Petter - Backburning (IP, 2007) *Winner of IP Picks Best Fiction 


  • Tamryn Bennett - Phosphene (Rabbit Poets Series, 2016) 


  • Jane Gleeson-White - Six Capitals, Or Can Accountants Save the Planet: Rethinking Capitalism for the Twenty-first Century (WW Norton, 2015) 
  • Susan Steggal - A Most Generous Scholar: Joan Kerr, Art and Architectural Historian (LHR Press, 2012) 
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