Posted on

Bath creative writing masters

MA in Creative Writing

Bath Spa University is about more than studying. It’s about getting stuck in: thinking, making and doing. About bumping into friends on campus, embracing challenges and genuinely caring. We push bound . Read More

Bath Spa University is about more than studying. It’s about getting stuck in: thinking, making and doing. About bumping into friends on campus, embracing challenges and genuinely caring. We push boundaries and ourselves. If that sounds good to you, you’ll fit in well. Read less

We can tell a different story about creative writing classes

It’s fair enough to debate the value of creative writing courses (Creative writing courses are a waste of time, says Kureishi, 5 March). However, my experience at Bath Spa University is not like his. The students on our creative writing MA are talented and focused. Our courses have close links with the publishing industry, and many graduates find agents and publishing deals. In January, one of our graduates, who now lectures at the university, won the Costa book of the year award. Nathan Filer is just one of the gifted people who choose to do creative writing courses every year. Quite apart from the commercial aspect, creative writing students are being encouraged to tell stories that matter to them, sometimes stories they have long wanted to tell – and that means no one is wasting their time.
Maggie Gee
Professor of creative writing, Bath Spa University

If Hanif Kureishi feels his experience as a teacher of creative writing at university level has been so negative, perhaps he or the University of Kingston should consider his position. My experience of introducing and teaching the subject at the University of Glamorgan, now the University of South Wales, beginning in 1982, was more positive, with some undergraduates and postgraduates going on to publish. Of course, that can never be the stated aim of such courses, but the success of published and award-winning writers and poets from a course reflects back on both their fellow students and the teaching staff.

A small number of students will go on to publish and have lives as professional writers, but those numbers may be similar to graduates from fine art and performing arts. Others will take positive experiences forward with them from writing workshops in which they engage with the language and imaginations of others. Their careers will be more rewarding in teaching and arts administration, or social work or banking or HR or politics or any other occupation where the power to express oneself and to imagine oneself into the lives of others would make more meaningful their jobs.
Tony Curtis
Emeritus professor of poetry, the University of South Wales

When I taught at Birkbeck College, I thought it a reasonable learning outcome if students found out a bit more about themselves and the world through sharing their stories. Doesn’t rubbishing your students’ abilities call into question your talent as a teacher? The idea “you can’t teach writing” seems propagated by those deep in denial about how their abilities where nurtured and encouraged. Perhaps our culture overvalues literary talent over the ability to be a decent human being.
Peter Watson
Haltwhistle, Northumberland

Creative Writing MA

Our MA Creative Writing course is designed to help you write a novel, collection of poems, collection of stories or work of non-fiction. Our full-time Creative Writing course will help you to bring a novel, book of poems, book of short stories or work of non-fiction as near to publishable quality as possible. Working with tutors and other writers on the course, you’ll develop your writing and build up a substantial body of work. Weekly workshops are taught by a strong team of published writers, and there are regular visits by literary agents, publishers, magazine editors and broadcasters, as well as other writers.

Plan a manuscript (a novel, collection of short stories, collection of poems or book of literary non-fiction) and complete it, or a substantial part of it, brought to publishable quality or as near as possible. Understand literary form, style and genre, as relevant to your chosen form of writing. Acquire a variety of relevant writing techniques, and research techniques to support writing, and adapt them to your particular creative project. Understand and respond creatively to questions arising from the subject-matter, themes, genres, traditions and other literary contexts with which your chosen manuscript is engaged. Receive and give precise and sensitive critical feedback in workshop groups and one-to-one tutorials. Respond creatively to feedback provided by tutors and other students, adapting that feedback to your particular vision of your book. Understand choices and opportunities relevant to your chosen manuscript, including questions of how to place your work, and the role of agents, publishers and editors.