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One further thought: in the UK, I suggest part-time MA’s spanning a couple of years are often better than one-year courses, because writing and creativity take time to gestate. Let’s make it new. Let’s not forget that most of the great writers we read had no MAs, but very different qualifications: life experience, yearning, a typewriter, a well-read library. Plus, it usually takes at least a term/semester to warm up and readjust. Tutor and peer feedback is immensely useful as part of an MA (or similar) course but is normally only given in 3,000-5,000 word sections (depending on the course). I’ve printed this out for my learning journal. Another book I might recommend to writers at the revision stage is The Artful Edit by Susan Bell. Great blog! Really useful information and it’s good to hear views from real people. YHM -----Yankee Hill Machine Company, Inc. There are a lot of very experienced people in that group – many of whom are published and teach writing. Debbie: thanks for the comment – I have to admit that I made this post somewhat off the top of my head, thinking firstly about the importance of investing in learning to write, but also about the ways in which writers can use their time purposefully and fruitfully. And you can’t put a price on that. Maybe try to talk (not email) with some of the teachers, and also consider who the other students might be (your peers can make a hell of a difference to your experience). The Imaginative Reality of Ursula K. Updated January 2018.] Think about taking a course. And if you are thinking of going to university for any reason at all, you really must read this. You can find all sorts of different topics too, e.g., inspirations in getting started, characterisation, structure and story, drafting, publishing. And yes, this is an ongoing journey (that sounds corny, but I think it’s true). Note: these are books about writing. Because, after discussion, we all agreed that an MA was not possible for me (due to money and health constraints), they kindly gave me many suggestions for books to read (some of which overlap with your suggestions above) and which I believe are mostly at a higher level than the majority of books I had so far read on the subject, which were more “popular”. This summer, creative writing uts sydney I felt a need to learn more – to learn at a higher level than I had been, and discussed my desire to do an MA in writing in one of the Facebook writing groups. Some of the best books, I think, are in fact remarkably simple (but not simplistic) in how they call for writers to return to their work with greater clarity of intention, e.g., in Steering The Craft by Ursula Le Guin. I just got my final mark from the MMU MA. In other contexts, vikings history homework help sometimes I think we can end up going round in circles a bit, when what we really want is some sort of breakthrough. Blog, review. In fact, in some genres this is almost a requirement.

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Taking classes in other fields can also inform your work in some way. OLE -----some sort of memory storage system... I am also in several groups on facebook for writers and now have a network of writing friends, both in the flesh and virtual. QRX -----radio code: When do you contact me next time? I have also decided that I need to focus on writing even more, to reduce my interests so that I am only focusing on those most important to me, and I have been listening to hypnosis CDs on self-discipline with that in mind. These feel like lifelong friendships, even though we’re now many thousands of miles apart. ABZ -----"Al, Bill, and Zorn Manufacturing, Inc. One of the great things about an MA is that is forces you to make time. It’s usually easier to free yourself for experimentation in technique and style when you’re working on something fresh. Hmm. I think this is a valid concern. The teaching materials on that course are probably among the best I’ve seen in creative writing. What I don’t believe can be taught is the individual spark of creativity which lifts some writers (artists, musicians) above the competent and into a level which causes people to marvel, and which some would call genius. XNY -----Xin Nan Yue Ceramics Ltd. YEV -----Yazaki EDS Vietnam, Ltd. JLF -----"John Lemmon Films, Inc. QUV -----radio code: my magnetic bearing is... And don’t start me on the idea of marking academic work. But an MA can also be expensive, and very often you’ll probably only produce the 15,000 words required for an academic thesis to satisfy the academeaucrats. Hi all. I have just read all the comments above with interest. I recently ran a one-day creativity workshop with Words Away, and in the near future I hope to offer masterclasses and workshops on topics such as plotting, voice, and revising and editing. The task of learning can be complicated by your attachment to an existing or intended pet project, medea essay help so it can be good to get out of your own way. Who knows, maybe you’ll even develop another career as editor or teacher yourself. As for the question about whether writing can be taught, I certainly believe competence and skills can be taught. Among your deadlines, you might actually take a break from writing your masterpiece for a bit, and decide to spend six months reading some of these books on writing, and maybe taking a short course or two. See what makes them work (Francine Prose’s book listed above is great for helping with that). I don’t think anyone can teach that.

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OUB -----"Overseas Union Bank, Ltd. A sequence of online courses that I recommend highly is run by the University of British Columbia on the edX platform – read my review of How To Write A Novel here. If I had more space would have further caveats to add (one of them is quite carping about another book on that list in a way that becomes rather tedious and – to my mind – unfair). I take solace in the fact that I did my research, am happy with the course content/reputation and I’m doing the 2-years part time. Thanks for your post, Mike, and it is good that you emphasise that yes, some MAs (though not many) actually task their students on completing a novel. VCJ -----"Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. Short stories are great places to practise writing – and are also great outcomes in and of themselves, requiring less time, commitment and resources than a novel. I have said various things in this post, but I would stress to you that it’s important to meet the tutors and current/former students, if you can. Yes, lots of pitfalls are exposed in an amusing way but it would be nice if they could have majored a little more on the positive. I also think part-time options are a good idea, mostly as a year passes very quickly, relative to what you might be learning, and as with many creative endeavours it can help to let things grow and develop over a longer span of time. Creative writing is now an industry, and some course are better or more suitable than others, for sure. You might have to research other stuff too (what it was like to live in the 1970s, the workings of an astrolabe), but here I am talking about the focused study of writing. Integrate the different and sometimes contradictory things you hear, until your instinct knows what you need to do to make the writing the best it can be, or what you want it to be. JSB -----Japan Satellite Broadcasters Inc. One good thing about an MA is that its deadlines create thresholds where you can (ideally) take stock of your writing and also your intention. Sometimes can’t see the wood for the whatnot!

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QSN -----radio code: did you hear...on...kHz? I’m curious to know what you’re giving yourself to do in your masterclass. And reading and giving editorial feedback on other people’s work-in-progress will turn you into an editor, and you’ll gain perspective on your own writing too. What were the chances?? Anyway, conventional forms in creative writing great post, as ever. I’m interested to see this, Andrew, since I have already started a learning journal for what I am calling my DIY writing masterclass, entirely for me and made up by me, as an alternative to doing an MA in Creative Writing, which I have neither the money for nor the ability to commit time to. RYL -----"Ryland Group, Inc. QTN -----radio code: your departure time is...