Is creative writing worth my time/going to land me a career in the "field"?

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asbestosinhaler
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I recently applied for an English lit/media studies combo course with Creative Writing as my backup. I was under the sorry impression that I wouldn't even need to entertain Creative writing but I just got rejected from English so pride really does come before the fall :/

Now I really enjoy writing, it's a passion of mine and I have completed the portfolio element of my application. However, Creative Writing sounds a lot less sophisticated than EngLit and I'm worried it won't get me anywhere when I leave uni.

Can someone who's studied Creative Writing please give me some insight to what the course is like and if there's any decent career prospects at the end of the tunnel?
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UEA Arts and Humanities Ambassadors
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(Original post by asbestosinhaler)
I recently applied for an English lit/media studies combo course with Creative Writing as my backup. I was under the sorry impression that I wouldn't even need to entertain Creative writing but I just got rejected from English so pride really does come before the fall :/

Now I really enjoy writing, it's a passion of mine and I have completed the portfolio element of my application. However, Creative Writing sounds a lot less sophisticated than EngLit and I'm worried it won't get me anywhere when I leave uni.

Can someone who's studied Creative Writing please give me some insight to what the course is like and if there's any decent career prospects at the end of the tunnel?
Certainly! I'm Jamie, and as I am currently in my third year of English Literature with Creative Writing I can certainly tell you about both literature and creative writing and career prospects. Studying creative writing is certainly as 'sophisticated' as studying literature, in fact they blend into each other to a great extent which is why many universities such as UEA offer courses with the two tied together; in creative writing modules, you study published work just as you would in a literature module but from the additional standpoint of a writer - what works, what doesn't, what are the effects, and how might you learn from all that for your own writing? Personally - and I love studying and writing about literature - creative writing workshops are my favourite thing on the course. You work on a classmate's piece and discuss it with the class - what is good about it, what isn't, even where it sits and how it benefits its literary field (such as feminist writing, LGBT+ writing, sci-fi/dystopian, use of folklore, or twin tropes) - and you get that experience for your own work, as well as a published writer and academic's feedback.

As for career prospects: the most obvious, for creative writing, is to become a published or freelance writer. many universities including UEA offer Master's especially to progress your creative writing to the level of publishing (at UEA we have especially Prose, Poetry, and Scriptwriting). This can also open up the opportunity to teach creative writing either for primary of secondary school levels, or - if you get published - at university! But there are many other job opportunities linked to the course, such as working in publishing, editing, copywriting, technical writing, translation, marketing, journalism...! But there are many careers that, even less direct, literature and creative writing can prepare you for, given the analytical skills etc. that it gives you. Overall, universities have their own organisations that specialise in careers and what you can do with your degree after you graduate, with guidance on what other steps you may take to get there, and there are so many opportunities throughout studying for your degree that could take you down a different career path. Right now, I am personally looking at either pursuing a literature or creative writing poetry Master's, or starting an internship in digital marketing. And regardless of your main career path - poetry especially comes under this - if writing isn't your main career, then you can still continue it in your own time! Poets especially don't make writing their full-time job, and just look at writers throughout history who worked in libraries (Philip Larkin) or schools (R. F. Langley), so your options are more open than you might think.

Hope that helps! If there's anything more specific or detailed you'd like to know about, I am happy to help!
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asbestosinhaler
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(Original post by UEA Arts and Humanities Ambassadors)
Certainly! I'm Jamie, and as I am currently in my third year of English Literature with Creative Writing I can certainly tell you about both literature and creative writing and career prospects. Studying creative writing is certainly as 'sophisticated' as studying literature, in fact they blend into each other to a great extent which is why many universities such as UEA offer courses with the two tied together; in creative writing modules, you study published work just as you would in a literature module but from the additional standpoint of a writer - what works, what doesn't, what are the effects, and how might you learn from all that for your own writing? Personally - and I love studying and writing about literature - creative writing workshops are my favourite thing on the course. You work on a classmate's piece and discuss it with the class - what is good about it, what isn't, even where it sits and how it benefits its literary field (such as feminist writing, LGBT+ writing, sci-fi/dystopian, use of folklore, or twin tropes) - and you get that experience for your own work, as well as a published writer and academic's feedback.

As for career prospects: the most obvious, for creative writing, is to become a published or freelance writer. many universities including UEA offer Master's especially to progress your creative writing to the level of publishing (at UEA we have especially Prose, Poetry, and Scriptwriting). This can also open up the opportunity to teach creative writing either for primary of secondary school levels, or - if you get published - at university! But there are many other job opportunities linked to the course, such as working in publishing, editing, copywriting, technical writing, translation, marketing, journalism...! But there are many careers that, even less direct, literature and creative writing can prepare you for, given the analytical skills etc. that it gives you. Overall, universities have their own organisations that specialise in careers and what you can do with your degree after you graduate, with guidance on what other steps you may take to get there, and there are so many opportunities throughout studying for your degree that could take you down a different career path. Right now, I am personally looking at either pursuing a literature or creative writing poetry Master's, or starting an internship in digital marketing. And regardless of your main career path - poetry especially comes under this - if writing isn't your main career, then you can still continue it in your own time! Poets especially don't make writing their full-time job, and just look at writers throughout history who worked in libraries (Philip Larkin) or schools (R. F. Langley), so your options are more open than you might think.

Hope that helps! If there's anything more specific or detailed you'd like to know about, I am happy to help!
Ahh thanks Jamie thats really helpful. I feel like my outlook on being accepted has cleared a bit, I really appreciate your insight.

Please can you tell me more about what the coursework is like if possible?
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UEA Arts and Humanities Ambassadors
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(Original post by asbestosinhaler)
Ahh thanks Jamie thats really helpful. I feel like my outlook on being accepted has cleared a bit, I really appreciate your insight.

Please can you tell me more about what the coursework is like if possible?
I'm glad!

Coursework, at least for UEA, is the only form of assessment for literature and creative writing. Creative writing is currently split into two pieces of coursework each semester: one midway and one at the end, with the latter taking on your feedback from the first, so this one is usually weighted around 60% which is more than the first (30%). There is also, at least at UEA, a participation mark - to encourage students to contribute in class, especially in workshops. The amount of work that you submit increases with each year of your studies, and the first submission of each semester is always shorter, but there is never a set theme or task like you may get with literature; the only parameters you are given are the word count (such as 2,500 words for prose or 6-8 pages of poetry, in the second year). You are, of course, guided to producing this work through each semester, with classes not only covering topics such as setting or characterisation for prose, form or address in poetry, but also writing prompts are given and either worked on in class or at home. The most academic part of assessment in creative writing is, in the final submission each semester, the reflective/critical self-commentary; in this, you reflect on your writing, discussing your process, your initial ideas, what changed in editing/redrafting, any issues you faced and how you overcame them, anything you still feel is weak, and (in third year especially) where your work sits in the wider context of literature. This there is a lot of guidance for, as most people have never done this before, so don't worry about it.

Does that cover what you were looking for? Anything else I'm happy to answer!
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ARUStudents
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(Original post by asbestosinhaler)
I recently applied for an English lit/media studies combo course with Creative Writing as my backup. I was under the sorry impression that I wouldn't even need to entertain Creative writing but I just got rejected from English so pride really does come before the fall :/

Now I really enjoy writing, it's a passion of mine and I have completed the portfolio element of my application. However, Creative Writing sounds a lot less sophisticated than EngLit and I'm worried it won't get me anywhere when I leave uni.

Can someone who's studied Creative Writing please give me some insight to what the course is like and if there's any decent career prospects at the end of the tunnel?
Hey there, I study Writing and English Literature at ARU Cambridge!

On my course the writing and literature are quite simply, split 50-50 down the middle! Each year I studied different aspects of each, so the first year I covered a History of English Literature starting from modern writing going all the way back to mediaeval. Whilst studying this I then had my Prose Fiction class taught by a published writer (all the writing courses are taught by published writers who also provide resources and advice for getting published and how to make your work stand out), which then moved into Reading Literature and Theory (literature side) whilst writing Poetry and Plays (writing side). 2nd year kicked off with Romantic literature whilst Writing Short Fiction added to my creative portfolio. And the optional modules also mean you can balance the writing and literature sides to suit you.

If you're worried about where creative writing can take you, it all depends on what you do with it. Where you study can also be a huge help- there is a large creative community in Cambridge and open mic nights and writing clubs are aplenty! There are also websites that cater specifically to the creative industries and all the big companies advertise vacancies on, from the BBC to Tate Modern to Conde Nast fashion! Our employment bureau gave me help with tailoring my CV to apply for content creation jobs (being a producer of creative content basically means you get to write pieces for a living!), copywriting, editorial jobs, marketing (which can involved creative content from time to time) and even helped me gain a Work Experience placement at Penguin Publishing in London! A lot of writers also break through into the financial gain by winning contests and submissions to literary magazines and websites.

Hope this helps!
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Liverpool Hope University
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(Original post by asbestosinhaler)
I recently applied for an English lit/media studies combo course with Creative Writing as my backup. I was under the sorry impression that I wouldn't even need to entertain Creative writing but I just got rejected from English so pride really does come before the fall :/

Now I really enjoy writing, it's a passion of mine and I have completed the portfolio element of my application. However, Creative Writing sounds a lot less sophisticated than EngLit and I'm worried it won't get me anywhere when I leave uni.

Can someone who's studied Creative Writing please give me some insight to what the course is like and if there's any decent career prospects at the end of the tunnel?
Hi :hello:

If you're looking for a bit of inspiration in terms of job goals, Prospects.ac.uk have loads of information available on what you can do with a Creative Writing degree. Take a look here.

I hope this helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Melissa :five:
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