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MFA in Literary Composition

The Higher Education Diploma in Literary Composition (120 HECs) has twelve students. During the academic year of 2016 we also offer elective courses within literary composition. 


Literary Composition is a two year programme in the art of authorship. Admissions are thus processed every second year. The course is designed for those, who have a good literary command of language and work experience within the field of literature. Applicants may have already made their literary debut, but that is not a course requirement.

Participants of the Literary Composition course are expected to submit texts written in Swedish, Norwegian or Danish. The course is supported by the Swedish Government student loan system. At least eighty-percent attendance per term is required for the obligatory, scheduled periods.


Literary Composition is divided into scheduled and unscheduled working periods – in order to allow participants the freedom to engage in their own writing and also to alleviate access problems for those course participants who do not reside in Gothenburg. The scheduled periods are of two weeks duration, the unscheduled of four. The academic year thus consists of seven scheduled periods, three during the autumn term and four during the spring term.

The Discursive Text

One can consider the two-week work periods in Gothenburg as ‘Discourse in Progress’. Basic literary issues are addressed, in relation to either course participants’ texts or external texts. Participants’ Text Discourse claims about half of the scheduled work period, involving either the whole or half of the group. The other half of the period is devoted to seminars, addressing diverse literary subjects and even non-literary. Seminars are either held by the course tutors, individual course participants or guest tutors.

Personal Tutors

All course participants are assigned a personal tutor. The tutors are either Swedish, Norwegian or Danish authors, all active within various literary genre. Participants communicate – via meeting, via telephone, via e-mail, via letter, etcetera – with their tutor during the unscheduled writing period. The participant and tutor decide themselves as to the content of the communication. The tutor also deliver lectures and hold seminars during the academic year.

Other Course Features 

No traditional writing assignments are given as part of the course in Literary Composition. Participants are engaged in their own projects during the entirety of the course. However in the event of certain thematic diversions within various genres such as translation work, essay technique and reporting technique, assignment work may prove necessary, providing an opportunity to work within these areas, perhaps for the first time.

Guests and lecturers from other disciplines form an integral part of the course. Previous courses have attracted lectures within such disciplines as immunology, anatomy, linguistics, geoscience and economics. The course participants themselves determine the choice of areas of interest.


Literary Composition, Poetry & Prose started in 1996, in response to the development of creative writing courses during the past thirty years in Sweden. The establishment of Literary Composition can be percieved a direct consequense of the growing importance of these courses. It has proved invaluable for those writers working on potential début-manuscripts, having already surpassed ’the creative writing course level’, and also for new authors, already experienced in receiving contructive criticism, at the work in progress level.

Literary Composition provides an opportunity for something much more than a publisher’s reaction or a literary review. It provides an opportunity to participate in discursive continuity, supported by texts of literary accomplishment. 


 The programme is primarily taught in Swedish, so high-level knowledge of one of the Scandinavian languages is required for admission. You can find all information on how to apply on the Swedish page >>

Page Manager: Anna Holgén|Last update: 11/15/2016

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