Category Archives: post-mortem of a postgrad writing degree

To PhD or Not to PhD?

These days when asked to provide journal or anthology editors with a short bio, I don’t bother to mention my MA. And this isn’t because, like the growing ranks of my peers, I’m a PhD candidate or a Doctor; I’m … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Creative Writing MA, Part 8

My last course began with an adverse omen, or so it would seem in retrospect. All part-timers enrolled in the final subject, Professional Writing Project, met as a class just once, at the start of semester. Ten minutes late, I … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Creative Writing MA, Part 7

Six subjects down, two to go; the end was in sight. And with the penultimate ‘Writing Seminar’ behind me, I’d be free to focus exclusively on my own project, with a supervisor. Meanwhile, this class would confront me with the … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Creative Writing MA, Part 6

Back in 2000, one of my projects won an editing mentorship on the strength of two scenes that I’ve since edited out of it. But when the writers’ centre director administering the award referred me to a writer (not editor) … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Creative Writing MA, Part 5

Have you ever wondered who, exactly, sorts through the slush piles of major publishers (those which still accept unsolicited mss)? While it’s easy to imagine a not-too-distant future in which all preliminary sifting of gold from dross will be computerised, … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Creative Writing MA, Part 4

Maybe because Short Fiction was an elective (my first), or because the tutor’s enthusiasm exceeded the call of duty (we received extra handouts of stories and reviews), the high standard of work + attendance made this class unusual. And a … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Creative Writing MA, Part 3

The third and last core subject promised to be onerous, if not in the same way as the theory component.* I didn’t expect ‘Nonfiction Writing’ to tax my mind with abstruse abstractions. But the two main assignments terrified me: a … Continue reading

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