Creative and Professional Writing- thoughts?

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IndigoMoonflower
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I'm hoping to be taking the Creative and Professional Writing course at Nottinham uni the school year after this. I know that you can choose some modules and that sounds good in that you can customise to your abilities (I prefer novel/short fiction). Just wondering how other students had found it. How difficult, did you enjoy it, was it useful in honing your skills and do you wish you'd chosen elsewhere? I'm fairly sure I want it as a first choice but I don't know anyone who's even been to the uni. Any help?
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magically.yours
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I'm also hoping to start this course and this peoples thoughts would be interesting!
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IndigoMoonflower
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>bump. Please, any help?
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aymzie
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THAT'S MY COURSE! Ahh, I'm happy I decided to lurk this forum today. It's always exciting to see people interested in CPW.

I've just finished my first year, going into second, and I can say for sure that if it wasn't for the course, I would have dropped out of university. The learning style is pretty much perfect for me, and I find a lot of it very very interesting. That being said, if you aren't sure that the course is for you, it could be pretty frustrating.

PROS
  • Friendly, experienced tutors
  • Small tutor groups mean you get individual attention
  • There are a lot of modules to choose from
  • The work (at least, the work in first year) isn't too hard
  • The professional aspect will give you more information about the industry than a regular English with Creative Writing course would
  • The professional aspect will also give you some really, really useful skills that'll give you a foot up when applying for jobs
  • It's all really career focused
  • You're surrounded by creative, like-minded people
  • The application process is much more focussed on skills than grades
  • There's a student run anthology, which could give you the chance to be published or gain editing or organisational experience


CONS
  • Sometimes it felt… Too easy, and like there wasn't enough to do
  • First year is essentially a foundation year, so it feels very basic a lot of the time
  • In the first couple of weeks there's a lecture about your actual chances of getting published, which falls somewhere between depressing and soul crushing
  • If you don't love writing, or you aren't sure it's what you want to do, don't apply for this course
  • You won't be interested in everything you study, but that'll happen with most courses
  • It sometimes doesn't feel like you're getting much personal support with writing projects outside of coursework unless you ask for it. One on one personal tutorials would be useful


Overall, if you know you want to write or work in the publishing industry, it's a pretty great course in a lovely city at a very, very good university. If you have any more questions, let me know! (:
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IndigoMoonflower
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Aymzie, thanks so much for your reply! Wasn't sure if anyone was going to get back to me. This is the stuff you don't get when you go on the uni website. Writing is the only thing I truly enjoy and am good at so there's not much question of taking. When you say writing projects, do you just mean personal ones, or does the course give you any to do say in your final term?
Thanks again, if I end up at Nottingham I'll look out for the soul-crushing pep talk
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Tarellios
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(Original post by aymzie)
THAT'S MY COURSE! Ahh, I'm happy I decided to lurk this forum today. It's always exciting to see people interested in CPW.

I've just finished my first year, going into second, and I can say for sure that if it wasn't for the course, I would have dropped out of university. The learning style is pretty much perfect for me, and I find a lot of it very very interesting. That being said, if you aren't sure that the course is for you, it could be pretty frustrating.

PROS
  • Friendly, experienced tutors
  • Small tutor groups mean you get individual attention
  • There are a lot of modules to choose from
  • The work (at least, the work in first year) isn't too hard
  • The professional aspect will give you more information about the industry than a regular English with Creative Writing course would
  • The professional aspect will also give you some really, really useful skills that'll give you a foot up when applying for jobs
  • It's all really career focused
  • You're surrounded by creative, like-minded people
  • The application process is much more focussed on skills than grades
  • There's a student run anthology, which could give you the chance to be published or gain editing or organisational experience


CONS
  • Sometimes it felt… Too easy, and like there wasn't enough to do
  • First year is essentially a foundation year, so it feels very basic a lot of the time
  • In the first couple of weeks there's a lecture about your actual chances of getting published, which falls somewhere between depressing and soul crushing
  • If you don't love writing, or you aren't sure it's what you want to do, don't apply for this course
  • You won't be interested in everything you study, but that'll happen with most courses
  • It sometimes doesn't feel like you're getting much personal support with writing projects outside of coursework unless you ask for it. One on one personal tutorials would be useful


Overall, if you know you want to write or work in the publishing industry, it's a pretty great course in a lovely city at a very, very good university. If you have any more questions, let me know! (:
Hey, I'm starting CPW in September!

I've just got the module list and was thinking of picking writing fiction as my first elective, but I can't decide between poetry and intro to creative studies as my second.

Which did you pick and what was you're first year like in general?

P.s. Sorry for all the questions, I just can't wait to start the course
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aymzie
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IndigoMoonflower: Aha, with so few people on the course I was surprised to even see anyone asking about it! I mean personal projects - your novel, your screenplay, your comic book, your biography of Henry VIII, whatever you happen to be working on yourself. Tutors seem happy to look over smaller pieces of writing (or maybe larger, if they like you and have free time), but at least in first year there wasn't much emphasis on it, which was a little annoying. The final term of first year itself was... Slow, seeing as the last piece of coursework was handed in in the middle of April, but I think they've changed that for this year, at least. It's final year when I think the sort of projects I'm talking about start to get more attention, because you have to write a dissertation on how you created a thing, but it feels a little frustrating to have to wait until then to get support in long term projects. Still, write long things anyway, regardless of whether or not they'll get you any credits. It's more fun that way.

Tarellios: Oh cool, one of my housemates is gonna be a CPW fresher this year too Writing Fiction was a nice, easy module - very similar to the Writer's Workshop (Editing) module, but that's probably because I had the same tutor for both and she had a very similar approach to both modules. Intro to Creative Studies I can't really comment on, because it's for part time students so it wasn't really an option for me. The poetry module could vary vastly depending on who's teaching it. It is the CPW Poetry module, right? Because the Humanities course do poetry module that's very analysis based, and covers the history of written poetry from Chaucer to the present, and if you're interested in that it could be fascinating. As for the CPW one, it'll depend on your tutor. If you get Adrian, it'll be based on written poetry, and he's very quiet and soft-spoken, so his classes are often very pensive, which I liked. If you get Debs, it'll be the opposite. She's a brilliant performance poet and runs a workshop for young performance poets in Nottingham, so you'll be doing weird activities, making odd noises, throwing words around, and then actually performing poetry. I've just looked it up in the module guide and it looks like it'll be more focused on written poetry, but both would be fun. I did Writing Fiction and a Philosophy subsidary module on Plato, because I could, and because first year doesn't count towards your final result, so I thought that if I wanted to try something else, then would be the time to do it. Definitely consider modules from other schools, you meet people and get to have Actual University Experiences with lectures and seminar groups, rather than our rather unique way of learning :P
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IndigoMoonflower
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Thanks for all your help aymzie, much appreciated! Did you say that your 1st year doesn't count towards anything? I assumed that you got credits for every module you did. Had no idea about modules from other schools though, looks like I'm going to have to do some more research
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aymzie
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Not a problem, I'm always happy to help if I can! Yeah, first year exists as a foundation year in most courses - as long as you pass it, you're good. It doesn't count towards the result of your degree, and part of the reason why is so you can learn how the university system works - submitting, marking, grades, so on and so forth. So in theory, you could slack off in first year and get a third (though I don't know anyone in my year who got below a 2:2), and then pull together and get a first in second and third year, and get a first overall.
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asosnsos
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Hey!

I have an interview for CPW at Nottingham next month and I was wondering if anybody has any interview tips specific to this course? Thanks!
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Tarellios
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(Original post by asosnsos)
Hey!

I have an interview for CPW at Nottingham next month and I was wondering if anybody has any interview tips specific to this course? Thanks!
Hey. When I went to interview last year basically they just asked about why I chose Nottingham/the pieces I sent in, what my plans were as a writer, and what types of writing/the industries appealed to me (though don't worry about these too much).

Just be yourself and try to enjoy it. To be honest my interview felt more like an informal chat. Use it as a chance to ask questions (if you have any). Its nice because it gives the tutors a chance to meet you in person, and as the course size is relatively small, you get to know them quite well.

If you're passionate about writing, believe me, even if you're shy (I'm a massive introvert) it will come across, so don't lose sleep over it.

Hope this helps!
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asosnsos
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(Original post by Tarellios)
Hey. When I went to interview last year basically they just asked about why I chose Nottingham/the pieces I sent in, what my plans were as a writer, and what types of writing/the industries appealed to me (though don't worry about these too much).

Just be yourself and try to enjoy it. To be honest my interview felt more like an informal chat. Use it as a chance to ask questions (if you have any). Its nice because it gives the tutors a chance to meet you in person, and as the course size is relatively small, you get to know them quite well.

If you're passionate about writing, believe me, even if you're shy (I'm a massive introvert) it will come across, so don't lose sleep over it.

Hope this helps!
Thank you very much!! Did you end up doing the course? If so, how are you finding the course at the moment - do you prefer the professional or creative side?

Again, thanks for your help!
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Tarellios
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(Original post by asosnsos)
Thank you very much!! Did you end up doing the course? If so, how are you finding the course at the moment - do you prefer the professional or creative side?

Again, thanks for your help!
No problem glad it helped! I'm in my first year and so far I'm loving it.

Honestly I enjoy the creative side more, but that's not to say that the professional side is boring, both are good and both are important. Really it comes down to what you want to do, e.g. whether you want to work in publishing or copy-writing, or whether you want to focus on poetry, prose or scripts, or a combination.

So far I've written things I never thought I would and the insight you get into the industry and the way publishing works is invaluable.

If you have any more questions feel free to send them my way.
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LittleInnocence
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I'm so happy I found this! Thank-you! The course sounds amazing and I like the fact there is a professional aspect as becoming published is something I hope to achieve.
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