Faber Academy course

(11 Posts)
INeedABiggerBoat Tue 31-May-16 22:20:42

I'm writing my application for the Faber Academy online course on writing first 15,000 words. It's bloomin' expensive I know but I need extra impetus to find time in a very busy schedule to write and feel as though I've taught myself as much as I can and really need help on finding my way through a tricky plot and character arc...

But now I'm getting nervous because I'm writing a YA urban fantasy - are they going to turn their noses up at this genre even if I'm not a totally dreadful writer? Has anyone else focused on YA/ fantasy and done one of these courses??

Notonthestairs Thu 09-Jun-16 11:51:57

I've been on the course and no they really wont turn their nose up at YA urban fantasy. There were a couple of people on my course which were writing YA. Its a growth market for one thing. They are just interested in helping you improve. Providing peer reviews of other peoples work was extremely useful. The tutors are careful to allow you to get on writing what you want to write but giving you structured help with plotting, character developement and just giving you permission to take your work seriously.
I found it very supportive, if occasionally hard work and a big commitment. A couple of members of my class of 12 have been published and more waiting on agents to get back to them.
On the other hand I still havent finished my novel - shouldnt spend so much time on Mumsnet for one thing smile.

INeedABiggerBoat Fri 15-Jul-16 19:34:22

Thanks NotontheStairs. That's really good to know. My job involves working with writers (not novelists - don't want to out myself so won't go into more detail!) so feel I could give good constructive, respectful feedback. I sent my application in about 3 weeks ago and am now basically torturing myself over whether they've taken one look and chucked it in the bin. I don't know how I'm going to wait until end of August to hear if I've got a place!

INeedABiggerBoat Fri 15-Jul-16 19:36:08

Should say - I ended up applying for the full 'writing a novel' course instead.

ishallconquerthat Tue 19-Jul-16 09:20:27

The courses sound very interesting, if you have the money and the time, go for it!

I have one question, though, for people doing these courses. Please don't think I'm having a dig, because I'm not.

Writing is a job known for paying little (if at all). It looks like these courses are aimed at people who want to make a living from publishing books - not as a hobby.

The course costs 4k. So, the author needs to earn more than 4k from the book, just to get even (not to mention all the time and effort put in the book). As a hobby, it sounds perfectly fine, but as a professional plan, does it make sense?

I understand people paying 100k for an MBA, because they expect to earn much more than that in years following graduation. But do people really expect to make several thousand pounds writing books after doing these courses?

(it's a real question, I don't want to offend anyone...)

ImperialBlether Sat 06-Aug-16 11:59:08

I met a woman recently who got a huge agent and lots of deals after being on the Faber course - her friend did, too. I think the people running the course recommend authors to agents while they're there.

schmalex Sat 06-Aug-16 21:41:13

I don't think it's quite the same as an MBA though - 4k is the sort of amount many people would spend on a holiday (with no expectation of a financial return on their 'investment'). 100k, plus two years not working, is entirely different.
Saying that, the cost of an MFA in the US is pretty eye-watering and people obviously still do them.
If every would-be novelist decided to proceed based on economic arguments we probably wouldn't have many novels!

ImperialBlether Sun 07-Aug-16 13:56:58

I think it's worth investing in yourself as a writer if you can afford to. I did an MA when I was working full time and the focus on writing and the workshops every week and the speakers and the advice given by experienced writers was invaluable. It's not that you couldn't gain that any other way, but it's condensed into a short period (two years in my case) and at the end of it I thought of myself as a writer, rather than as someone who wanted to be a writer. I tried for a few years to get published traditionally and ended up self-publishing two novels, but now I have an agent and really good book deals and now I'm earning more than I earned in my job.

There are other ways. There are freelance editors who'll critique your work and recommend you to agents/publishers if they think you're good enough. That will cost several hundred pounds if your novel is around the 90,000 word length. Most literary festivals have sessions for writers to hone their craft. Of course then you have those costs and maybe hotels and transport, too.

INeedABiggerBoat Thu 18-Aug-16 12:22:25

Just a quick update - I got on the course! DH is taking on extra work to fund it, because he is The Best.

ImperialBlether Thu 18-Aug-16 14:38:07

Congratulations! That's great news. And what a lovely husband you have!

Phoeba Sun 18-Sep-16 21:11:28

I can't believe Faber Academy is 4K! You could practically have an MA in Creative Writing for that.

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