Creative Writing

Objectives and competences

• To introduce writing tools, concepts and approaches that can be used to develop, on a personal level, the skills and virtues of creative short story writing;
• to address the practical use of the different elements of creative writing;
• to introduce the basics of autobiographic essay writing;
• to introduce writing techniques to create comic effects;
• to introduce the basics of scriptwriting;
• to practically use writing styles in the context of different genres, forms and goals.


Completion of first-year requirements.


The course introduces the basic features of literary-creative fiction using the short story, the autobiographical essay, and sketch as examples. The content of the literary-creative section includes the presentation of techniques for overcoming writer's block and cultivating the imagination, writing habits and research, a detailed introduction to the form and elements of the short story
(methods of creating literary characters, developing settings, advantages and disadvantages of different narrative perspectives, structure of literary
narrative, construction of dialogue, difference between showing and telling, genre characteristics, etc.), and the process of editing and preparing for publication, which is also helpful in
writing non-literary texts.

The course introduces the central features of the autobiographical essay, focusing on literary processes, subjectivity, and argumentation. The course provides an analytical overview of the importance of the relationship between personal memories and the creation of literary texts, the different types of autobiographical essays, their constituent elements, the conditions of good autobiographical writing and the general risks of autobiographical writing.

In the exercises, students apply the content of the lectures and practise different segments of creative writing skills. One of the highlights of the course is the use of creative writing to write scripts for shorter visual narrative forms (e.g. situation comedy), which is supported by practical exercises in comic writing (wordplay, working with proverbs, images, observations, etc.). At the end of the semester, students submit one of the three products: a short story, a short autobiographical essay and a sketch that can be visualised.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
(Student ...)
• learns the theoretical and practical tools for cultivating imagination and the craft of writing;
• understands the use of different stylistic procedures;
• understands the specific features of the autobiographical essay;
• learns to form different types of texts (short story, autobiographical essay, sketch).

(Student ...)

• learns to keep a writer's diary;
• develops the ability to read literary and non-literary texts analytically and (self)critically, from the perspective of writers;
• develops the ability to identify and use different writing techniques;
• is able to use a variety of methods of reading and organising content before and during the writing process;
• learns the basic approaches to autobiographical writing on everyday (family, childhood, work) and controversial topics (sexuality, personal relationships, bad behaviour, secrets);
• learns to use the self and the senses as a medium for the creative writing process and its results;
• acquires knowledge of writing approaches to develop comedy sketches or stories.



  • Adair, Lara (2010). Naked, Drunk and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay. New York: Penguin Random House.
  • Blatnik, A. (2020). Pisanje kratke zgodbe: od prvopisa do natisa. Ljubljana: LUD literatura.
  • Blatnik, A. (1996). Šola kreativnega pisanja. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba. Catalogue
  • Cohen, Kerry (2014). The Truth of Memoir: How to Write about Yourself and Others with Honesty, Emotion, and Integrity. New York: Penguin Random House. E-version
  • Gotham Writers' Workshop Faculty, Steele, Alexander, ur. (2003). Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York's Creative Writing School. Bloomsbury: ZDA. E-version
  • McKee, R. (2008). Zgodba. Substanca, struktura, stil in načela scenarističnega pisanja. Ljubljana: UMco. Catalogue
  • Mackenzie, J. (2007). Essay Writing: Teaching the Basics from the Ground Up. Ontario: Pembroke Publishing.


  • Anderson, L. (2005). Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings, Routledge, Oxfordshire.
  • Costello, John (2006). Writing a Screenplay. Vermont: Pocket Essentials. E-version
  • Laznik, A. (2014). Slovenski esej: kronološki uvid terminoloških rešitev. Slavia Centralis 7/2. 67–78. E-version
  • Miller, Brenda, Paola, Suzzane (2005). Tell it slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Non-Fiction. New York: McGraw Hill. E-version
  • Perret, Gene (1994). Comedy Writing Workbook. New York: Sterling pub.
  • Poniž, D. (1993). Esej in šolski esej. Ljubljana: Zavod Republike Slovenije za šolstvo. Catalogue
  • Russin, Robin, Misouri Downs, William (2012). Screenplay: Writing the picture. Los Angeles: Silman-James Press. E-version
  • Štuhec, M. (2002). K problematiki eseja. Slavistična revija 50/3. 361–372. E-version
  • Verdonk, P. (2002). Stylistics. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. E-version


Written products 60 %
Participation and attendance at tutorials 40 %

Lecturer's references

Assist. Prof. Primož Mlačnik, PhD, received his doctorate at the Faculty of Social Sciences (FDV) of the University of Ljubljana (UL), where in 2020, he defended his doctoral dissertation entitled The Relation between Melancholy and Modernity in the Case of Franz Kafka's Literature. He is a researcher at the Centre for the Humanities, Faculty of Humanities (FH), University of Nova Gorica (UNG), within the TILDA project (Transformations of Intimacy in the Literary Discourse of Slovene ''Moderna'' 2021-2024), funded by the Research Agency for Scientific Research and Innovation of the Republic of Slovenia (ARIS). At the FDV UL, he has been previously involved in numerous courses in Cultural Studies and Literature. Currently, at the Faculty of Arts (FF) of UL, he lectures on the course Cultural Policies and the Book in the European Union and Slovenia, while at the FH UNG, he lectures on various courses in the field of literary studies and cultural studies. His research interests mainly include cultural studies of detective fiction and critical-theoretical case studies of Slovenian detective novels. He also works as a writer.

Selection of articles:

  1. MLAČNIK, Primož. From minor literature to neoliberal noir : the detective novels of Sergej Verč. Caietele Echinox. 2022, vol. 43, str. 77-92.
  2. MLAČNIK, Primož. Virus : neoliberalni detektiv v imuni slovenski družbi. Filozofski vestnik. [Tiskana izd.]. 2022, letn. 43, št. 1, str. 181-200, 217-218.
  3. MLAČNIK, Primož. Udomačeni Slovenci v detektivskih romanih Avgusta Demšarja. Jezik in slovstvo. [Tiskana izd.]. 2022, letn. 67, št. 3, str. 5-15.
  4. MLAČNIK, Primož. Dekonstrukcijskost manjšinskih detektivskih romanov Sergeja Verča. Studia Historica Slovenica : časopis za humanistične in družboslovne študije. [Tiskana izd.]. 2022, letn. 22, št. 3, str. 859-886, ilustr.
  5. MLAČNIK, Primož, STANKOVIĆ, Peter. The disappearance of political jokes in post-socialist Slovenia. Communist and post-communist studies. Sep. 2020, vol. 53, no. 3, str. 172-188.
  6. MLAČNIK, Primož. Minor literature in the case of Brina Svit = Literatura mniejsza na przykładzie Briny Svit. Przekłady Literatur Słowiańskich. 2020, tom 10, cz. 1, str. 207-223. Prace Naukowe Uniwersytetu Śląskiego w Katowicach.
  7. MLAČNIK, Primož. Kafka ʺShanghai-Edʺ : Orientalist China in Kafkaʹs fiction and Kafkaesque phenomena in China. European journal of interdisciplinary studies. May-Aug. 2019, vol. 5, iss. 2, str. 36-44.
  8. MLAČNIK, Primož. Kulturistike - kulturološka branja beletristike. Slavia Centralis. [Tiskana izd.]. 2019, letn. 12, št. 2, str. 46-57.
  9. MLAČNIK, Primož. The deconstruction of Freud's theory of melancholy. Družboslovne razprave. [Tiskana izd.]. sep. 2018, letn. 34, št. 88, str. 113-131.
  10. MLAČNIK, Primož. The influence of Franz Kafka's literature on aspects of critical cultural theory. Slavia Centralis. [Tiskana izd.]. 2021, letn. 14, št. 1, str. 249-259.