The MA Professional Creative Writing has been so named as to emphasise the professional aspects of creative writing: it is designed to enhance employability and focus is directed towards the development of students into professional writers. In particular:
- There are major mandatory modules in the key professional genres of narrative and dramatic writing (including ‘writing for television’), reflecting the real world professional activities of writers and employability opportunities for writers;
- Modules have professional coursework outputs in industry-ready form;
- Specific attention is given to commercial and related opportunities (professional networks, awards and competitions, submission windows, commissions and grants).
Innovation and internationalisation are key, with a focus on contemporary and emerging forms, such as the graphic novel, creative nonfiction, multimodal writing, eco-writing, e-publishing and writing for online video production. There will be a high level of virtual learning resources including video lectures, podcasts, virtual workshops, online writers’ groups, writers’ blogs and online peer-to-peer feedback, enabling easy global access. The course has and international outlook with texts studied coming from around the world and we have Online International Learning partners in institutions overseas: these offer the possibility of online student writing collaborations.
Two themed writers’ retreats are incorporated into the course: these are one week long field trips to coincide with significant writing up periods and may be in the UK or abroad. Current options include two of the following:
- The Horror: a winter week in the seaside town of Whitby, where Bram Stoker gave birth to Dracula;
- Romance: a spring week in the Lake District, haunt of the English Romantic poets;
- The Lost World: a spring or summer week in Spain, ‘lost’ in the remote mountains of the Alpujarras;
- Crime: a spring or summer week in Sicily, home of the Mafia;
- Myth and the Muses: a summer week in Greece, ancestral home of Western literature.
A student may as an alternative elect to organise a DIY writers’ retreat, aligned to their own specific needs as a writer.