15 Nov 2010 09:00:00.000
‘Everyone has a novel in them!’ or so they say, but making it big in the booming but ever-competitive literary market remains, to many budding writers, a frustrating pipe-dream.
But now a unique post-graduate degree in Creative Writing, just launched at The University of Nottingham, could give budding writers a head start on the notoriously competitive road to literary success.
The boom in Creative Writing courses being offered by universities has been one of the most significant trends in higher education in recent years. But many budding writers find that competing successfully in the contemporary literary market requires more than just having a traditional formal qualification in the field.
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In response to this, the University’s School of English Studies has developed a new kind of MA programme specifically developed to offer students a way of becoming more meaningfully engaged with the creative and intellectual process of writing and more knowledgeable about the literary business world.
Creative Writing MAs have become key launchpads to the careers of many successful writers and poets, like Ian McEwan and Andrew Motion. The new course at The University of Nottingham is aimed at people who have serious ambitions for their writing and who feel that a supportive, structured environment giving sympathetic creative input and encouragement would help them.
The course is led by Nottingham-born award-winning poet, Matthew Welton (The Book of Matthew) and novelist and playwright Thomas Legendre, author of The Burning. Course leader, Matthew, says the new MA offers something that is missing from postgraduate programmes elsewhere:
“There are writing courses out there that keep their students busy with writing-related assignments but which don’t necessarily succeed in producing real writers. In designing the Nottingham course, we wanted to go beyond that surface-level approach and to address the students’ writing processes so they might respond to the challenges of writing in exciting and original ways. I think we are offering something pretty unique.”
Lecturer in writing and creativity, Thomas Legendre, said:
“The MA is designed to support students in developing their writing to a publishable standard as well as maximising the practical opportunities for getting into print. Students will improve as writers by acquiring the skills and techniques used by published authors, with special emphasis on the skills of reading as a ‘writer’ and writing as a ‘reader’. There is a strong emphasis on how to develop control over the writing process, including the parts played by influence, rewriting, the creative use of source material, and the relationship between technique and its effect in students’ written work. “
The budding writers will also learn about the realities of the world of publishing, with guest lecture sessions throughout the year when students will get to meet writers and professionals in the publishing trade. They are also encouraged to get involved in Nottingham's lively writing culture, which offers many events throughout the year.
Applications are now open for places on the MA course. Candidates are required to have a good first degree although it doesn’t have to be in English or Creative Writing. A short portfolio of examples of creative writing is also required during the application process. The one-year full-time programme is also available on a part-time basis over a maximum of three years.
A new BA English with Creative Writing has also just been launched. It consists of a major honours pathway in English and a minor honours in Creative Writing. The degree is proving extremely popular with an application rate so far of twenty for each place on the course.
More information on the MA in Creative Writing is available on the School’s website http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/prospective/postgraduatetaught/maincreativewriting.aspx
Media wishing to attend the launch are asked to contact Rebecca.Peck@nottingham.ac.uk .
Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.
The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.
More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news
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