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MA Creative Writing

(27 Posts)
elfycat Wed 11-May-16 10:38:17

The brand new Open University course for October... I just signed up.

I took my literature degree (50% CW) with them and I've been searching for a distance learning MA.

I'm a bit fed up with people who don't understand that writing can be an academic hobby. They think I should just write a book and why bother with time, effort and money studying it. But I love the learning bit and really missed it once I'd finished the undergraduate courses. One of the main reasons I would want to write a book and potentially publish it, is to prove my study skills.

This MA is going to be all of my birthday and Xmas gifts for 2-3 years, plus my portion of disposable household income for hobbies DH had just taken up cycling and has spend hundreds on a bike. This is a bonus as when he's out for hours I'll have time to study At Xmas DH gave me a card with a IOU amount towards the course grin

Now I need to start filling up a notebook with potential source material for the assignments. I'll have to buy a new one of course wink

Just needed to share. Haven't told anyone in RL yet. DH knows I'm going to but he works at sea also a bonus on evening writing time and is out of contact range.

Smellyrose Wed 11-May-16 10:41:47

How exciting - i am slightly jealous!

How did you get on with distance learning the literature degree? I have looked into it but I don't think I've got the discipline.

elfycat Wed 11-May-16 10:58:00

It helped that DH was taking an OU enginering degree at the same time. As a couple we were able to allocate study time. I know other people who were taking distance learning (DH was in the army so his colleagues/spouses took distance learning so they could be flexible with where they lived - I moved twice while taking the degree over 6 years) found that the non-studying partner would become frustrated by the time it took.

The best thing about the OU was that the assignments came at regular intervals so you don't get behind. Some other courses seem to have open ended dated, and I don't have the discipline for that. I work to deadlines. There is some flexibility to ask for an extension or to potentially miss one assignment out and still pass the module (though obviously you get less points towards the module). I think I asked for 2 extensions during the degree as I hate to get behind for the next assignment.

A 60 point course is about 16 hours a week. I found it slightly less on some weeks, and a little more on the weeks when I had to write an essay or short story. The CW modules were easier for me as you can write or polish something in small gaps of time (between cries of 'Muuuuuuummmm!').

For the literature courses I found I had to sit for longer. I wrote a lot of essays at a soft play area, luckily I can filter out general screams of other children, while still hearing my own children over the din.

RuthyToothy Thu 12-May-16 23:42:22

Oooh, thank you for the link smile

I did the OU Creative Writing /Advanced Creative Writing courses, which I loved, and I've recently been looking into distance learning CW MAs.

I'm going to check this out right now smile

elfycat Fri 13-May-16 20:47:21

Ruthy

grin

wasninah Sat 21-May-16 18:04:28

MMU do a distance learning one, also. I'd recommend.

Gingermum Wed 25-May-16 12:39:43

I'm a tutor at the Open University (not for much longer) - on the advanced creative writing course. I didn't sign up to teach the MA because, alas, I think they will severely underestimate how much time the tutor will spend with the student and cynically expect the tutor to spend much more time than they are actually paid for. Which is exactly what they do on the other courses. I'm paid for 6 hours per week per course - I dread to think how many hours I'm actually putting in because I care about my students. I'm sorry this sounds mean spirited but with higher education increasingly being marketed and being encouraged to be thought of as a business - this will get worse.

My point about the MA is - the OU will be desperate for student retention - particularly as a new course - and will be very interested in your experience as a student. Make sure that your tutor has experience of working as a writer in the real world (not just one play put on in 1976)

Good luck.

elfycat Fri 27-May-16 16:59:51

Thanks Gingermum.

Luckily for my tutor I'm a fairly independent and really only had contact with my tutor with TMA marking and when there were tutorials grin. Hopefully the MA will be similar for both of us. Though I'm not sure how the materials are going to be delivered. I loved the BRB (big red book) and it's bluer counterpart, and how you just worked through a chapter a week.

I hope you plans for your free time (after finishing with OU tutoring) are fun and fulfilling. Are you going to be writing in that time? wink

Gingermum Sun 12-Jun-16 13:09:37

Thanks Elfy. I'm a big believer in keeping on learning, so I'm taking a playwriting course. Most of my writing experience has been in telly and radio and I know nothing about stage writing - so I'm starting at the bottom!

By the way, I would also highly recommend the Arvon Foundation writing courses. They do all kinds - children's writing, poetry, writing for beginners, scriptwriting and it's taught by professionals. You go away for a week and live among like minded students. It was on one of those courses that I realised how much time I spent on domestic stuff and how not doing all that freed up endless time for writing!

CVV1 Tue 16-Aug-16 13:14:17

I am thinking of doing an online writing course, just had a bit of a bad experience on a 'real' short writing course where the tutor was a bit up himself and patronising if he didn't like your face... I've done a few writing courses and that was the only time I've had a negative experience . Oh well I mustn't let it put me off I suppose.

Seeandsky Thu 31-Aug-17 09:07:40

Hi Elfycat
I'm considering the OU creative writing masters and wondered how you have got on? Would you recommend it? I'm out off slightly by the total online element of it. I'd like a bit more face to face to meet other writers.
Saying that I'm very self directed and have previously studied with the OU.
Thanks

CopperJoss Thu 14-Sep-17 13:56:52

Hello,
I've joined the masters this year- the website has just opened and I feel hugely worried now as I've had 6 children and been away from writing academically for some years- I hope I'm capable, how did the first year go for you?

LonginesPrime Thu 14-Sep-17 14:11:56

I'm just starting the OU MA now too, Joss!

Very excited, but absolutely terrified too...the amount of work does look daunting!

I only have 3 DCs, though (don't say that very often!).

CopperJoss Thu 14-Sep-17 14:19:56

Sorry DC's - I'm not a chatter on forums so???

I'm so excited but it has scared me- I don't know what to do about picking a secondary genre - I'd like to pick script but have no experience in that or life writing - but not sure if it'll be too hard to learn as I go? What are you thinking you'll pick?
I did look on the website thinking their would be a chat room for all the students this year to talk and get to know each other but haven't spotted it yet.

I feel a tad panicked haha.
But I def want to do this - prove to myself I can smile

LonginesPrime Thu 14-Sep-17 14:28:35

Sorry - DCs=children!

Oh, I've picked mine already (mainly as they don't add your work until you choose!) - I'm doing fiction as my main and scriptwriting for my secondary genre.

There will defs be a forum opened (thought I read somewhere it'll be opened on the 16th Sept?) - I've studied (business stuff) with the OU recently and I expect there will at least be a tutor group forum and a cafe forum for general discussion.

Of course you can do it - it's going to be great!

Seeandsky Thu 14-Sep-17 16:34:46

Hi longines and copperjoss
How exciting!!! I signed up to start this year and am also daunted by the workload but we can pull each other through. I only have 1 child so feel blessed compared.. I chose fiction and screenwriting cos the latter excited me even tho I've never experienced it.

CopperJoss Thu 14-Sep-17 16:42:05

Well a forum would be great. Business that's so different from creative writing- what are you hoping to do with it all in the end.

See I'm just so curious - I'd like to see all the options and stuff before I made a decision. Do you have experience in writing?
Hopefully once it's all started and I've committed - that will be it- have to do it. On the forum I'll be Rach smile hopefully their won't be ten Rachel's on the course haha.

CopperJoss Thu 14-Sep-17 16:47:06

Hi See and sky, looks like we're all in it together!
I am feeling a bit more optimistic now I feel less alone - thank guys haha smile Does the script writing stuff look exciting? I've already ordered my nus card and making use of it on asos - this being a student thing again- liking it already 😉🙌🏻

Hi! I'm doing the OU MA in Creative Writing too! smile

Seeandsky Thu 14-Sep-17 17:23:50

I haven't had chance to look at the screenwriting stuff...just the assignment...eek!! Trying not to get ahead and worry....ill be Sam when we get on the main forums...no idea how many will be on there. Having studied with the OU for 12 yr

CopperJoss Thu 14-Sep-17 17:34:08

Hi Obb - are you set on your genres?

There's a few of us then, are any of you in the south?
12 years see and sky- you know how this is all gonna work then, you must know that you can motivate your self from home territory;)

Well I hope it'll be a good group of us- I mean we're gonna be batting ideas off each other for the next two years at least 😀

Seeandsky Thu 14-Sep-17 17:52:17

I meant I haven't studied for 12 yrs!! Lol

startingagain17 Thu 14-Sep-17 17:56:23

See you there. I had to defer from last years course in May due to family stuff. All back on track with First assignment pass in the bag yey!! They did have a FB group last year which was really useful - Not checked if anyone has created a new one for the first year group.

It's a fab course - very interesting and really allows you to delve into the creative parts of yourself. I chose to do Fiction as my primary choice and Creative Non-Fiction for my secondary. I found Fiction very enjoyable! However, for me personally, Creative Non-Fiction is quite difficult.

Really looking forward to starting it again. :-)

CopperJoss Thu 14-Sep-17 19:26:58

I did consider creative non fiction because I thought it would kind of relate to modern day bloggers but the level of research I think that would be needed puts me off. Starting again, must feel great to know you have the first part done and dusted smile
see and sky I did my degree ten years ago so I'm not too far behind you on the years of non studying smile

I'm doing fiction and script writing. My main interest is in writing fiction but my first degree is in Theatre so I thought for the secondary genre I'd go for something I know I can do grin Creative Non-Fiction sounded interesting too though, I was torn between those two for my secondary genre.

I graduated in 2015 so I've only been a non-student for 2 years. I'm looking forward to it but a little nervous at the same time; DD has just started school and I work full time (just done two 12-hour night shifts in a row and I feel like the walking dead!) so I'm a little nervous about fitting it all in!

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