Creative Writing Summer Programme

Applications will open on Monday 3 October for 2017 entry.

Now well established and in its eleventh year, the Creative Writing Summer Programme has proved as popular as the successful Scottish Studies Summer Programme and incorporates many of its features. A series of master classes and workshops with leading Scottish writers allows students to develop skills of authoring, oral presentation, editing and analysis. In addition to the stimulating environment of St Andrews there is a full programme of excursions, social and cultural activities to provide additional inspiration for students' poetry and prose.

Key information

Dates of Sessions:

  • Session 1: Saturday 18 June to Saturday 9 July 2016 - Session now full
  • Session 2: Saturday 9 July to Saturday 30 July 2016 - Session now full

Type of programme: Pre-college academic and cultural enrichment
Participants: Coeducational - students about to enter 11th, 12th grade
Maximum enrolment: 20

Course details

The course teaching will be directed by Jonathan Falla. Jonathan has published four novels, many stories and essays, and has also written for stage and television productions. He is an experienced creative writing teacher and a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund.

Workshop topics change each year, but are likely to include:

  • Poetry
  • Radio drama
  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Performance and slam poetry
  • Designing a poetry poster
  • Editing and re-drafting

Masterclass sessions with leading Scottish writers may include:

  • Prose fiction
  • Writing drama scripts
  • Poetry
  • Performance skills

Tutor groups:

In addition to the morning classes, students are allocated to small groups of no more than five, with one of our team of experienced tutors, for discussion of their own projects.  These groups usually meet three times a week.


Students' writing is monitored and assessed throughout the Programme, culminating in the submission of two poems or a play script. This project will be read by the director and given detailed feedback after the end of the course.

Students receive an official certificate from the University of St Andrews to confirm their successful completion of the Programme.

Daily schedule

Breakfast is available from 8.00am to 8.45am and on weekdays is followed, typically, by two or three classroom sessions. Lunch is from 1.00pm to 1.45pm and the afternoon is usually given over to excursions, workshops or private study. There are a number of whole day excursions. Dinner is from 6.00pm to 7.00pm and may be followed by talks of a more general nature, concerts, theatre or movies.

Excursions and additional activities

Classroom teaching is complemented by field trips to a number of sites of historical and cultural importance.  Students may be invited to draw on some of these experiences in their writing.  Past visits have included:

  • Glamis Castle - birthplace of the Queen Mother
  • Scotland's Secret Bunker - a preserved Cold War facililty
  • Edinburgh - City and Castle
  • Dundee - the Arctic survery ship Discovery, and the Verdant Works
  • Aberfeldy and the Central Highlands
  • Pitlochry Theatre in the Highlands
  • The Scottish Fisheries of East Fife
  • Falkland Palace
  • Dundee Contemporary Arts print workshops

On all excursions there is a minimum staff/student ratio of 1:10

There is ample free time built into the Programme to allow students to make use of the extensive sports facilities, explore the town, shop, walk on the beautiful beaches or simply to relax with friends.


All students are housed in comfortable bedrooms in a University hall of residence.  The rooms are cleaned daily and there are coin-operated laundry facilities and common areas in which students may socialise.  Resident staff members are on hand to deal with any queries and to ensure students' safety and well-being.

Students have free membership of the University Sports Centre (although there may be a small nominal charge for the use of some facilities).

All students are able to use the superb University Library with over a million volumes, some dating back to before the advent of the printing press.

There is free access to computers and Wi-Fi in the hall and around the University (and from your room if you bring a laptop with Ethernet card).  Students can also use their student ID card to use printers throughout the University.

Medical care

Medical care in the case of an emergency is provided through the National Health Service. There is a charge for any medical treatment and therefore we would advise students to ensure that they have adequate medical insurance. There is a comprehensive Health Centre in St Andrews to which students requiring medical attention would be accompanied by a member of staff.


The all-inclusive fee for the three-week program will be approximately £2,800, which covers:

  • Tuition
  • Programme manual
  • Trips and excursions
  • Use of sports facilities
  • Social and cultural events
  • Accommodation (full board, single room)
  • Transport between St Andrews and Edinburgh or Glasgow International Airport

A non-refundable deposit of £250 is payable within 4 weeks of receiving an offer and the balance of £2,550 is then payable by 1 April.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted through the Summer programmes online application form. Applications will open on Monday 3 October for 2017 entry.

A non-refundable registration fee of £15 is payable on application. The programme operates a rolling admissions policy and places are limited, so early application is strongly advised. The registration fee can be paid via the University online shop.

Once we have received your application you will soon receive an email with further instructions, including a request for a piece of your own creative writing in due course. This, along with the other documentation specified in the letter, can be sent to