The Character of Place

Course summary

  • Sat 21 Jul 2018 to Sat 28 Jul 2018
  • Oxford
  • Course fees vary depending on accommodation – please see ‘Fees’, below.
  • 10 CATS points
  • Course code O17I302CAR
  • +44 (0) 1865 270396
  • Course Full

The Character of Place


For creative writers who wish to explore the ways in which ‘place’ can be interpreted and presented in their own work, whatever discipline with which they are engaged.  In its broadest sense, it can be the landscape – metropolitan, urban, rural, remote – or the place in which individuals find themselves at a specific time in their lives.  As such, it is varied and compelling, integral to our existence within physical and emotional locations.  This will be a highly practical exploration of a variety of sources and writing tasks. 

Programme details

Session One:

Session Two:

Terms of endearment


The one about the anthropologist, sociologist and psychologist who talk into a pub.

Session Three:

The character of place


Place as character.

Session Four:
It’s a poem, it’s a story, no, wait, it’s super (insert own word here).

Session Five:
Planes, trains and automobiles.

Session Six:

In someone else’s skin


It’s all in a name and the name is Larry.

Session Seven:
Unreal worlds.

Session Eight:
A place called Illness.

Session Nine:

It’s a class thing


What does your father do?

Session Ten:
“Wish you were here”.

Session Eleven:
Three score years and then…

Session Twelve:
RECAP.  A place of greater safety?


Recommended reading

All course texts will be provided by the tutor.  They will include poetry, fiction, memoir, script.


Concessionary Fee (No Accomm., inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner): £680.00
Programme Fee (No Accommodation - inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner): £790.00
Programme Fee (Standard Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1375.00
Programme Fee (Standard Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1155.00
Programme Fee (Superior Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1480.00
Programme Fee (Superior Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1245.00

Course fees vary depending on accommodation – please see ‘Fees’, below.


Mr Jeremy Hughes


Jeremy Hughes has published two novels – Wingspan (2013) and Dovetail (2011). He was awarded first prize in the PoetryWales competition and was short-listed for an Eric Gregory Award. He also publishes short fiction, life writing and reviews. He studied for the Master’s in creative writing at Oxford.

Course aims

This course aims to give students the confidence to write about place in a variety of different ways.

Course Objectives

This course will enable students to:

  • recognise the different notions of ‘place’
  • demonstrate techniques by which these can be utilised individually or in combination
  • produce writing through exercises designed to further students’ ability to hone their skills progressively.

Teaching methods

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be expected to understand:

  • understand the different notions of place which contribute to creative texts
  • recognise helpful resources
  • recognise a variety of techniques for exploring place in text

And students will be expected to have gained and/or developed the following skills:

  • demonstrate the use of appropriate ‘place’ elements in their own work
  • utilise different resources
  • be able to use some of these techniques with increased skill and confidence

Assessment methods

Students are assessed during the summer school by either a 1500 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. To successfully gain credit (10 CATS points) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment. There is also a pre-course assignment of 1000 words set. Although this does not count towards credit, it is seen as an important way of developing a student's ideas and therefore its completion is mandatory.


To enrol online, click 'Book Now', above.  To enrol by post, please see details of the application process.