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I was offered interviews at Goldsmiths and Birkbeck.City offered a chat about my second choice of creative writing (non-fiction) and UEA said I had potential and suggested applying again next year with a different writing sample.
Thanks very much to Isabel for encouraging me to apply, writing references and thoroughly endorsing her alma mater, Goldsmiths.
Nicola Hill is the author of THE PINK GUIDE TO GAY ADOPTION (BAFF May 2009).
This should outline your plans as a creative writer, how your ideas fit in with contemporary fiction and how your past experience and skills will help you study for an MA. There are nearly 200 MA courses in the UK to choose from – the National Association of Writers in Education has a useful list – if you refine your search to MAs.
It’s a good way of taking yourself seriously and seeing if anyone else will. can choose variations on creative writing such as life writing, scriptwriting, poetry, performance writing and even song writing.
I went for the interview at Goldsmiths and was asked about my writing sample, my ambitions as a writer, what I liked to read and how I gave and took feedback.
I had read some of the interviewer’s work, so gave feedback on that – a top tip from my lovely agent, Isabel Atherton, director of Creative Authors.I was encouraged to apply for part-time so that you can absorb the course and have more time for reading. Consider the format of teaching – is it weekly or intensive weeks away, evening or day time?Check out the success of alumni – what have they published?In terms of finances, you can take out a student loan or apply for scholarships – the cost is around £7,000 a year, which is spread over two years if you take it part-time.To apply, you usually have to send in a 5,000 word sample of your writing, contact details of referees and a supporting statement.None of the other universities on my list charged an application fee.If Oxford wants to preserve its dreaming spires for people who can afford to take that risk, so be it.In preparation for the course, I have set myself a target of writing and editing every day as well as keeping a reading journal.I also enter short story competitions, watch tutorial videos on the Writers’ Workshop website and read books about the craft of writing.On top of this, the courses attract guest speakers, such as famous writers, publishers and agents to inspire you to become published authors.City University focuses solely on writing a novel and helps you to complete it.