Creative writing

Here in Scotland, storytelling is at the heart of our culture, and in Glasgow particularly, literary culture is varied and rich. Whether you’re interested in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, or screenwriting, we'll guide you towards telling the best story possible, in a city full of opportunity and inspiration.

Creative Writing has had a strong profile at Strathclyde for many years. Some of our students and staff have won, or been listed for, major international prizes and grants from awarding bodies including Creative Scotland, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC); the Wyndham-Campbell Literature Prize, Dylan Thomas Prize, Somerset Maugham Prize, Authors’ Club Novel Award and the Desmond Elliot Prize (for the best first novel in the UK).

Former staff and students include:

  • Zoë Wicomb (South African-Scottish novelist and short story writer, author of You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town, now Emeritus Professor)
  • David Kinloch (long-time Professor of Poetry at Strathclyde, David is the author of five collections of poetry published by Carcanet, including Un Tour d’Ecosse and Finger of a Frenchman)
  • Louise Welsh (author of The Cutting Room and many other successful crime novels)
  • Margaret Elphinstone (historical fiction writer, author of The Sea Road)
  • Andrew O'Hagan (ex-student, nominated three times for the Booker Prize, novelist and nonfiction author, also Editor at large at the London Review of Books)
  • James Kelman (hugely influential winner of the Book Prize for How Late it Was, How Late)
  • Ali Smith (multi-award-winning novelist, short story writer and essayist, author of How to Be Both and The Season Quartet)

Until recently, we had the privilege of working with novelist and dramatist, Beatrice Colin, who was a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing. Sadly, Beatrice passed away in February 2019. She was an inspirational teacher and is much missed by students and staff. An obituary by Gaynor MacFarlane, may be found here. The Beatrice Colin Prize, for the best Creative Writing Dissertation, has been set up in her name.

We combine the best creative instincts with first-hand experience in the creative industries. The world of storytelling is ever-changing, so we make sure to invite only the most relevant industry speakers from the worlds of broadcasting, publishing and digital media. We also regularly work with Glasgow’s Aye Write! Book Festival on events and creative writing workshops, as well as with other partners in the world of publishing, giving students how the real world of publishing works.

In your time with us, you'll be preparing for making a life in writing. Everyone has a story to tell. The challenge lies in learning how to tell it well.

Our areas of research

Discover more about creative writing