One of the questions that authors get asked most frequently is: Do I need a creative writing degree/to go on a writing course/take classes to be a writer? But that is a whole wormhole of confusion. We’re gonna try and clear things up.
Guardian Masterclasses cover a plethora of subjects, not limited to writing and publishing. Famous names from the business run these sessions and they range from afternoon, to weekend, to online courses.
Writers & Artists Masterclasses
The ‘Writers & Artists Yearbook’ is one of the most valuable books for any wannabe writer. It’s a catalogue of agents, publishers and a tome of advice for all kinds of publishing. And these masterclasses use everything in the books in a practical, intensive setting.
Arvon’s five-day residential courses are one of the most respected in the country, and the priciest! Successful, prominent authors are the tutors and take you through the writing process in beautiful surroundings. They too cover all genres of writing, but the YA course is linked below!
The Faber Academy courses offer them not by genre or age range, but by stages of the writing process, online or in London. This is a highly regarded course run by the publisher Faber & Faber and again, is extremely pricey! SJ Watson write the novel that would become ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ at the Faber Academy.
Curtis Brown Creative
Curtis Brown Creative do three-month and six-month courses, both in the Curtis Brown offices in London and online that cover writing workshops, teaching sessions, one-to-one tutorials and plenty of guest speakers. Again, super expensive!
BA – Bachelor of the Arts
Creative Writing undergraduate degrees are an expensive and lengthy commitment to writing, but they do allow you to cover every aspect of writing, learn from other writers – in your classmates and your tutors – ad play with your ideas and your style in a safe environment. And you can always do a joint degree to mix it up a little.
MA – Master of the Arts
Once you have a BA or a BSc (Bachelor of Sciences) you have the opportunity to move higher onto an MA. Creative writing MA’s last for a year full-time and two part-time. This flexibility allows you to work while studying as unlike at undergrad, you don’t get student loans for post-grad. MA courses are taught via one-to-one tutorials and workshops.
Do I need to do one of these?
- These courses are expensive. Don’t go into them lightly. Do lots of research and speak to people who’ve been on them if possible. Make sure this is something you need.
- They’re a time investment. Will it be worth it, truly worth it, to take that much time out of your life? If yes, go for it! If not, maybe try something else.
- Will a course give you something you can’t do for yourself?
Words of encouragement from Twitter:
@maximumpopbooks Write fearlessly. Put stuff on paper. You can't nit-pick 'nothing'. Don't stop. It's a muscle. Everyone's a worthy writer.
— Aneli Aguillon (@AneliAguillon) May 17, 2016
@Bibliophile012 "you can't edit a blank page" – meaning that it's better to write something, even if it's bad, and just get the words down
— Maximum Pop! Books (@maximumpopbooks) May 17, 2016
(Morgan Matson during her Twitter takeover!)
Have you ever been on a writing course? Share with us at @maximumpopbooks!
Writing YA: An Introduction
Writing YA: What’s your genre?
Writing YA: Tropes and Cliches
Writing YA: Are you a planner or a pantser?
Writing YA: Apps and Tools
Writing YA: Who are your characters?
Writing YA: Edit and Polish
Writing YA: Essential Reading for Writers
Writing YA: Prepping for Publishing
- Join CJ Flood for a spot of nightwandering this June
- Meredith Russo’s ‘If I Was Your Girl’ is #ownvoices – do you really need another reason to pick it up?
- The full YALC schedule has been released! Wanna see?
- QUIZ: Are these Taylor Swift lyrics or classic novel quotes?
- Win! 1 of 10 copies of ‘If I Was Your Girl’ by Meredith Russo
- Go literary time travelling with booksandquills
- Quiz: We bet you haven’t read all of Jacqueline Wilson’s books!
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- A Guide to Literary Brighton
- You Review: We need 20 MP!ers to read and review ‘Paper Butterflies’ by Lisa Heathfield
- June is bringing a boat load of amazing new releases – these are the ones we’re going crazy for!