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Home > Academics > Research Centres > Center for English-language Creative Writing

Center for English-language Creative Writing, Sun Yat-sen University

Last updated:2014-02-20

The Center for Creative Writing of FLS was established on 11th December, 2012.  In January 2014, it is approved to be a University-Level Research Institute and re-named The Sun Yat-sen University Center for English-language Creative Writing.

As one of the pioneers of English creative writing courses in China, the Department of English of FLS is leading in the teaching and research of the teaching of creative writing. The opening of this first creative writing center in the country laid a solid ground for the future development of this course and related research. It is now the fourth year since the course was first offered in the summer of 2009. In this course, students write stories after class, two native English teachers of creative writing read and comment on each of the stories, and students discuss the stories in workshops and analyze writing skills together. At the end of the one-year course, each student contributes one self-selected story to the anthology of the class.

One of the purposes of setting up the creative writing course is to fill a long-time blank in world literature: the lack of a native Chinese voice. The Center for Creative Writing hopes to train more students to tell stories about the ordinary Chinese in English. With the effort of teachers and students, the creative writing course of FLS has become known in mainland China as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Besides, research and teaching collaboration on creative writing has also been established between the school and institutions in the U.S., Australia, the UK, etc.

Students at the undergraduate level in the Department of English can choose to write both a creative piece and a critical essay on writing techniques other than the conventional academic thesis. This course will also be available to non-English majors as one of the general education courses. A bilingual M.A. in creative writing strand will also be offered. The Center for Creative Writing hopes to invite writers-in-residence to teach in FLS for one semester a year, as well as to set up an International Writers’ Retreat within the next few years. As the Center develops, there will be more activities such as community reading, creative writing competitions and the launch of a literary journal.

The teaching experience of the past three years indicates that the creative writing course has made teaching and learning more interesting. Students have learned far more than writing per se. The course has become a platform where students not only sharpen their writing skills and improve language proficiency, but also grow as an all-rounded person through the reflection, writing and sharing of their personal experiences. 

Director: Professor Dai Fan
Venue: Room 301, FLS Building, South Campus, Sun Yat-sen University