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Creative Writing: Home

Creative Writing

(image: Dave Morrison Photography, Creative Commons license)

As a creative writing student, you will need to use a variety of resources for a variety of reasons. You might want to find critical opinion on a piece of writing or author, you may want to research historical context for your own characterisation and you may need inspiration!

The Library has many resources you can use.


Creative Writing Books

A selection of our books on creative writing and authorship.

Special Collections

The University Library has an extensive and rich Special Collections which includes rare books, archives and our photographic collection. Explore and find out more about the collections by:

Academic Searching Tips

Think carefully about your search and the keywords you use

Too many results

  • narrow your search by adding additional terms (these are linked with AND)
  • use phrases, enclose your phrase in quotation marks "" - e.g. “dramatic monologue” 
  • limit by date, language, part of record (title, for example)

Too few results 

  • widen your search by using related concepts and alternative words (these are linked with OR) – eg traged* or melodrama
  • try removing phrases

Time saving tips

  • truncation –  eg melanchol* for melancholy, melancholic, melancholia (to retrieve words beginning with … )
  • wildcards – eg colo?r for colour & color

Library Databases

As a creative writer you may need to find information from a range of subject areas. SEEKER allows you to search multiple databases at once and is particularly useful for finding interdisciplinary material. Results will include relevant books, journal articles, newspapers and theses.


Below is a list of the key databases for literature. These provide more functionality than SEEKER and are particularly useful if you want to look at a range of materials on a specific author or look at a literary period or literary movement. LION will allow you to search all 3 databases at once.


Library Resources for Inspiration!

(Image: Library of Congress - - No known restrictions on publication.)

Web Resources for Poetry

Creative Writing Resources

Subject Guide

Hilda McNae
Senior Librarian (Academic Liaison)

University of St Andrews Library, KY16 9TR

Tel: 01334 462298

Film, TV & Music Resources (General)

(Image: Library of congress: -No known restrictions on publication.)

Image Resources