Do you need university qualifications to be a good writer?

Postgraduate writing courses have become hugely popular in the last 15 years and more and more English degrees feature creative writing as part of their syllabus. These days it's quite common to hear that an author's first novel or debut poetry collection was created during their time on some university course or other. The idea of writers studying the writing process has gradually gained acceptance. There are fewer critics and those that persist seem to have a fading voice.

In this episode

Personally, I'm all for university writing qualifications. Well, not the qualifications so much, but the creative environment that the courses provide and the unique opportunities they present to us pen-twiddlers.

I suggest that writing courses give you:

  • a fantastic writing environment
  • advice from experienced, widely-published authors
  • a better understanding of the literary canon.

Watch this video with captions Download the transcript (.RTF 44.9KB)

Further reading

Here's a few articles on writing courses that you might find interesting. Also, a couple of books. The first I've read and highly recommend, the other a collection of essays put together by one of my old undergraduate tutors.