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MA Creative Writing

(10 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



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.

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