The South Gate education is designed as an inspiring experience for artists. The innovative curriculum provides a holistic and fluid approach to craft, avoiding busy work to free up your time for writing.
Each semester has 5-6 core courses, plus additional electives and masterclasses. You will practice your craft and learn the business of the literary world. You will learn how to make a living through writing.
Theme Driven Semesters
The program is organized into eight semesters, each focusing on one genre or trend. You will learn about its history, evolution, and craft, and then practice writing it or work on your own text.
Each semester, you will read approximately ten primary texts such as novels, short stories, comics, games, and scripts so you can experience and enjoy the form firsthand.
Science Fiction and Fantasy
This semester dives into the origins and subgenres comprising the intertwining genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Learn about Space Opera and Planetary Romance, The Golden Age of Science Fiction, Epic Fantasy, New Wave, Heroic Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Contemporary Fantasy, Afrofuturism, and the New Weird & Slipstream.
This semester traces the development of Romance from the 18th century, and argues against widespread disdain for the literary genre. Uncover the hidden virtues of the romance genre largely hidden from mainstream literary culture, from Pamela to Jane Eyre, Regency Buck, Sweet Starfire, Dance Upon Air, and more.
Mystery & Crime
This semester presents the evolution of mystery and crime, to the hugely popular literary genre it is today. You'll engage with subgenres from 18th century crime writing through the Newgate novel, sensation fiction, The Golden Age, the Private Eye, Spy Fiction, The Thriller, Post-war American Police Fiction, Female Detectives, and Black Crime Fiction.
Seriality & Transmedia
Serial forms are increasingly pervasive and span all media types. This semester examines how seriality and transmedia function, and how extensions, expansions, continuations, and sequels contribute to contemporary storytelling and the business behind it.
This semester explores literary devices and cultural origins of the Gothic genre and its transition into the broader horror genre of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Study Wieland, The Mysteries of Udolpho, Dracula, The Yellow Sign, The Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Hill House, Psycho, It, and more.
This semester addresses a range of increasingly popular complex narrative techniques and how to make them accessible to an audience. Learn to tell stories featuring multiple plots or protagonists, non-human or unreliable narrators, non-linear time, temporal and stylistic distortions, and epistolary devices.
Fairy tales are simple expressions of deeper thoughts. This semester explores the origins, cultural dissemination, and psychological power of stories that transcend geographical, cultural and social boundaries. Learn to interpret tales from varied traditions and sources such as Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm.
Rulebreakers & Rebels
As writers, we are tasked with learning the rules. This semester celebrates rebels who have broken rules of subject matter, perspective, chronology, and narratological models, and yet achieved wild success. Read and study Mark Z. Danielewski, Jodi Picoult, Nabokov, Lars von Trier, Gertrude Stein, and more.
Courses and electives are designed to provide access to current industry trends and moneymakers. You will have the environment and freedom to experiment, expand, and adapt your skills to the opportunities you seek.
Books and Novels
You will learn how to map out a novel or series and how to divide your writing time into steps and goals. You will learn how to contact and communicate with potential agents and print-industry publishers.
Film and Television
You will have the opportunity to contribute to events and workshops that focus on writing for the screen. You will learn about the production process and how to pitch film and television ideas to production companies.
You will have a chance to work with organizations in the community by writing and adapting stories for the stage. South Gate School has a theater in the building, providing free access to a performance environment and a local audience eager to see your work performed live.
You will learn new techniques for ideation, worldbuilding, and character development intended for the narrative components of video games, table-top games, and live roleplaying. You'll learn to write proposals to promote your visions and make them reality.
Each week at South Gate School, you’ll have 5 to 6 classes focused on creative writing and the business of creative writing, and all related by the semester's overarching genre or trend. You'll soon become accustomed to approaching any project using the knowledge, tools, and business perspective you achieve in these courses.
In this course, you’ll study notable writers within the semester's genre, and learn the historical, social, and cultural context of the genre's evolution over time. A series of lectures will explore the intricacies of how war, politics, religion, art, and societal expectations have influenced the genre and its literature.
In this course, you'll read and discuss primary texts from the semester's canon of literature. You'll dive into a specific sub-genre by reading and presenting an assigned text, dissecting its plot, characters, dialogue and description. You'll research and share the author's backstory and how their work has been received by the public and adapted over time.
Literary criticism courses teach you how to evaluate and abstract literature through established forms of criticism. You will build a collection of lenses like formalism, feminism, and Marxism, and contemporary forms like love and ideology, animals, eco, the uncanny, and queer.
These courses aim to develop your craft of writing. You'll study components of successful narratology and how to improve yours. You'll learn plot paradigms and story structures, and how to build unforgettable characters and worlds. You'll learn to use the Principle of Antagonism, how to write dialogue, and how to create tension at the sentence level.
This course is a forum where your work generates feedback from classmates and the instructor. It uses a "fly on the wall" approach in which you only listen to how an audience might read your text. By teaching students to give supportive and motivational feedback, this environment fosters safety and encouragement so you and your story can flourish.
South Gate School's unique approach provides an understanding of the literary business in order to help you become an artist-entrepreneur. You’ll learn how to build a branded author platform and to write articles, blogs and reviews. You'll learn how to produce business plans, proposals and grant applications, and how to query agents and read contracts.
Optional workshops offer 2-4 sessions in specialties like character development, novel or screenwriting, comics, children’s books, worldbuilding, game narrative, creative non-fiction, microtension, or poetry. Masterclasses feature expert lectures on subjects like sociolinguistics or representation, or immersive research experiences like a survival course or touring a navy ship.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is a professional education in the arts, and is defined by a higher ratio of intensive art and design courses. The BFA requires that approximately two-thirds of the courses focus on the creation of art.
You will earn a total of 240 ECTS points on the level of a Bachelor’s Degree. This achievement is recognized in transferable credits to some universities and master’s programs in Denmark and abroad.
As a private school in Denmark, South Gate School is not accredited by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. As such, SGS does not currently receive government funding, nor is it required to conform to ministry-specified educational outcomes according to government priorities for shaping the workforce.
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