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study Creative Writing at university, some were supportive. Deciding what to study at university is a long and difficult process, but it’s an important one. Whether I am or not I’ll leave open to interpretation, but here I am, a BA and an MA later with a successful anthology under my belt and working my way towards self-publication.
Next week I am going on a weeklong writer’s retreat run by the Arvon Foundation (which was recommended to me by a wonderful Oxford tutor and poet, Jenny Lewis).
You might be thinking, ‘well, if you’ve been to all these courses, why haven’t you been published?
The earlier on you start networking, the easier it’ll be later on in your career.
Every writer has their strength and as the course goes on, you’ll start to find yours. This is how you find out what works in your work, and what you need to improve on.
If they’re teaching published students (and are published/highly acclaimed themselves), you’re on the right track.
If you can’t find any success stories or find any of the lecturers’ books on Amazon/in Waterstones, AVOID THIS COURSE. Expect to have your work picked apart with a fine-toothed comb by teachers and peers.This meant that most of us were pretty burnt out in the end, and it put a lot of us off.Meg Cabot was warned about studying English Literature, but she was fortunate enough for it to fuel her love for it.If you want to learn about the publishing industry, you’re better off reading anecdotes and accounts, or asking someone who’s been there. An expected part of Creative Writing degrees is writing commentaries.You’ll have to write a commentary to go with each creative piece that you submit.It’s worth noting that each university will teach it differently and may focus on different areas (for instance, my BA focused on short stories), so do your research beforehand.Some degrees (such as the one from University of East Anglia) are highly respected.(I know I’ve read this on her blog but can’t find it anywhere, if anyone can find the link I’d really appreciate it if you could take a minute to share it with me!)Sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad for you.These include things like originality, control of language and references.It varies from course to course, but they have to make the criteria available to students.