I’m sure you’ve heard the argument that good writing can’t be taught, and this is absolutely valid at least in as far as you can’t implant talent into a person. You can always work up a skill, though, so it’s perplexing that people object so strongly to creative writing courses when they do not object to art school or marathon training. We rarely expect to excel in any area equipped with only raw and natural talent, so why should writing be the exception?
Of course I would say this: I am a product of creative writing courses. After writing compulsively and reclusively for years I began evening classes first at Birkbeck and then at City University; thus polished, I got a place on the Creative Writing Prose MA at UEA. One year on, I’ve handed in my dissertation, and am finally in the position to reflect on my MA experience, which, if it didn’t teach me to write, definitely taught me a lot of other stuff. If you are starting a creative writing course, this might be worth taking on board; if you do not believe in creative writing courses, cut out the middle-man and just read these six handy bullet points: Continue reading