Creative Practice: Unlocking Your Creativity

LocationWells Street, Central London
FacultySocial Sciences and Humanities

This module explores the research methods and techniques employed by contemporary British authors concerned with writing about place, memory, landscape and urban environments, looking at what tools they require and how writing is related to other artistic disciplines.

The module covers key areas related to creative practice including: archival research, walking, oral history training, psychogeography, developing good practice with notebooks, organising material, and using photography and maps as creative tools.

Who is this course for?

The course is aimed at writers of all disciplines wanting to learn a set of tools and techniques to enhance their creative practice.

No course dates available
This course will be running soon. If you would like to be kept informed please contact us.

Course content

The course will be run through a series of presentations and workshops looking at writing about place, memory, landscape and urban environments. The course will examine the tools and methodologies various authors use in their practice, highlighting how writing is related to other artistic disciplines, and how contemporary writers are using new technologies and multimedia to reach wider audiences. This course will also explore the ways that writers have used different methodologies to describe and explore the city.

The module will primarily revolve around practical workshops and exercises set by Rachel Lichtenstein in the contexts of walks through the city, as well as library and archival field trips. Students are strongly encouraged to follow up on the practical exercises with readings recommended throughout the semester.

Practical workshops on campus will examine various creative working methods including: oral history, using notebooks, photography, audio recordings, walking in the city, psychogeography and maps (on campus).

Research in the field (off-site locations) will include an alternative literary walking tour of the Spitalfields, a deep exploration of the hidden world of Hatton Garden and multiple trips to different archives, including the London Metropolitan Archive (the largest repository for London history) and the Bishopsgate Institute, for behind the scenes tours as well as hands-on workshops with archivists, learning how to handle and examine material.

The module also includes one-to-one mentoring sessions with course leader Rachel Lichtenstein.

By the end of this module you will have examined and explored:

  • the methodologies, practices and research techniques used by contemporary writers concerned with place, memory and landscape
  • oral history practice and methodologies
  • the use of photography, maps, notebooks, walking in the city and sound recordings as tools for creative projects
  • using the archive as a springboard for creative writing
  • the contemporary practice of psychogeography and walking in the city

Rachel Lichtenstein is an author, curator, artist and lecturer. She is currently writing her 4th non-fiction book Estuary: A Deep Exploration of Place (Hamish Hamilton, 2016) alongside curating Shorelines: Festival of Literature of the Sea.

Her publications include Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden (Hamish Hamilton, 2012), On Brick Lane (Hamish Hamilton, 2008), Keeping Pace: Older Women of the East End (2003, Women’s Library), A Little Dust Whispered (2002, British Library) and Rodinsky’s Room (1999, co-authored with Iain Sinclair and now translated into five languages).

Rachel also writes regularly for national papers and periodicals, recent articles include: Save Our Smithfield (Evening Standard), No Place Like Home (The Guardian) and The Thames Estuary is Under Threat (Aeon).

Other recent projects include the multi-media installation Sight Unseen (shown in London and Pittsburgh 2012) and GPS-activated digital app, which takes readers on a walk through her latest book Diamond Street.

Her artwork has been exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery, the Barbican Art Gallery and many other venues nationally and internationally.

Eligible applicants will need to send a portfolio of their writing and a personal statement.

Contact us

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

University of Westminster
32–38 Wells Street
London W1T 2UW

+44 (0)20 350 69900