Pragmatics and creative writing: invitation to take part in an online survey

  • 05 Sep 2023 07:59
    Message # 13250122
    • Dear all,


      I would be very grateful if you could forward the email below to students, colleagues and others (with the attached information sheet) to invite them to help us by completing an online survey and/or to complete it yourself!


      As you’ll see, the survey is open to all, whether or not they have a background in linguistics or in creative writing.


      Thanks very much for your help!


      Best wishes,



      . . .


      Subject: Pragmatics and Creative Writing: Invitation to take part in an online survey


      Dear recipient,


      We are emailing to ask you to take part in an online survey about the possible relevance of ideas from one area of linguistics (pragmatics) to creative writing and vice versa.


      We are particularly keen to hear from people with previous experience of creative writing and/or linguistics, but the survey is open to anyone who is over 18 years old.


      No prior knowledge of linguistics or creative writing is required to complete this survey. 


      In September, the project will continue with focus group discussion. One of the questions in the survey will ask whether you might be interested in joining a focus group.


      You should read our information sheet before deciding whether to take part. We have included the information sheet below and here is a link to it:



      The direct download link also appears on our project page which will soon have more information and which will be updated as the project develops. The project page is here:



      Please contact Billy Clark if you have any questions about this:


      Thank you for considering this request. Please do forward to anybody else who you think might be willing to take part.



      • Participants should be over 18 years old



      • Knowledge of creative writing and/or linguistics


      Link to survey:


      Thanks and best wishes, 


      Billy Clark, Karolina Kubilaite, Kate Nelson, Tony Williams


      . . .




      11 August 2023


      Project Title:                                                      Pragmatics and Creative Writing


      Principal Investigators:                                  Professor Billy Clark



                                                                                      Professor Tony Williams



      Thank you for taking the time to consider whether you would like to take part in this study.


      This document contains information on the study and indicates how you can find out more.


      Aims of the project:


      This project explores connections between pragmatics and creative writing, exploring in particular:


      1. how ideas from pragmatics (about how we communicate in specific contexts) can help us understand and develop creative writing practice


      1. how ideas from and investigations of creative writing practice can help develop pragmatic theories


      At this stage, we plan to carry out research with questionnaires and focus groups to find out about the extent to which participants who are current BA and MA students:


      1. are aware of pragmatic theories and ideas developed as part of these


      1. have experience of creative writing


      1. think that ideas from pragmatics could be helpful for creative writing


      1. think that ideas from creative writing could be helpful for pragmatics


      Within the questionnaire and focus group activities, we will introduce some ideas from pragmatics and ask participants to take part in brief activities designed to illustrate some ways in which they could be applied in creative writing practice.


      We will then ask participants to comment on their experience with these and to consider how useful they think activities like these are likely to be.


      Within the questionnaire, we will ask participants whether they would be interested in taking part in focus group discussions.


      At the start of both the questionnaire and the focus group discussion, we will explain the term pragmatics as we are using it in this project.


      Time commitment involved:




      We expect that you will complete this within 15 minutes.


      Focus groups:


      These discussions will last up to one hour.


      What will the questionnaire involve?


      If you agree to complete the questionnaire, we will ask you questions designed to:


    • a.         indicate your existing awareness, understanding and experience of pragmatics and creative writing
    • b.         provide initial evidence on how positively you view the possibility of applying ideas from pragmatics in work on creative writing (practice and discussion of writing)

    • c.          ask you to comment on the perceived usefulness of activities which we will explain within the questionnaire

      This should take you up to 15 minutes to complete.


      What will the focus group discussion involve?


      If you agree to take part in a focus group discussion, we will ask you to:


    • a.       share your thoughts on the questions which the project focuses on and which we will remind you of at the start of the session

    • b.       take part in some activities applying the ideas of the project
    • c.          comment on the activities you take part in
    • d.         share any other thoughts you have on the project

    The focus group discussions will last between 45 minutes and one hour.


    Are there any risks involved in taking part in this project?


    We are not aware of any significant risks involved in taking part in the project.


    Why should I take part?


    We hope that you will find the project interesting and that you will enjoy thinking about it and discussing the ideas.


    You will also be helping us to develop the project and to develop new materials which we hope will be useful for students, teachers (of creative writing and other subjects) and creative writers.


    What if I decide to withdraw from the project?


    You have the right to withdraw from the project at any stage before 31 December 2023, when we will begin to publish our findings.


    You can do this by sending us an email at one of the email addresses above.


    Will my participation be anonymous?


    Only members of the research team will see your identifying details (name and email address).


    We will not reveal anything which could reveal your identity in any talks, publications or other materials arising from the project.


    For the questionnaires, each participant will be assigned an identifier code so that we can identify your responses if you email us asking to withdraw.


    For the focus group discussions, we will ask you to complete a form which we will digitise and then store securely on Northumbria University drives. We will destroy hard copies of the consent forms.


    How do I find out more about the project?


    We will provide more information about the project to you if you request it after we have analysed the data. We will also share findings via our project website at:



    Can I ask you questions?


    If you have questions at any time, please email us at the addresses above.



    . . .

    Professor Billy Clark

    Head of English Language

    Professor of English Language and Linguistics

    Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences

    Northumbria University

    Lipman Building


    NE1 8ST

    +44 191 227 4816


    Pronouns: he/him











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