Creative writing is a form of artistic expression through written language. It is a way for the writer to express their feelings, thoughts, and ideas in a way that resonates with them and others. Postgraduate study in this field is a way for students to sharpen their skills not only as writers but as editors, publishers, and connoisseurs of literature.
People have been expressing themselves through language since the earliest days of humankind. The invention of the written word in 3200 BCE began a tradition of transcribing tales and sagas orally passed down through generations. The great works of Homer, the Indian Vedas, Sanskrit poems and Mayan codices have paved the way toward a future in which literature still thrives.
Postgraduate students of creative writing, therefore, uphold an ancient tradition of storytelling. In striving to master their craft, they pay homage to the great writers that came before and inspire those to come.
Creative writing is for anyone with a passion for storytelling. It requires a great deal of patience, persistence, humility, and dedication to become proficient. Those that are passionate about developing their skills, however, are rewarded with work befitting their toil. If this sounds like you, then creative writing could very well be a great fit.
Graduate certificates, diplomas and master degrees are available in creative writing. Each is designed for people with various levels of commitment and career progression.
Certificate level courses provide students with immersion in the literary world through close ties to local writers, festivals, performances, and readings. Courses like those offered by the University of Sydney provide students with the opportunity to improve their editing and structuring ability over the course of six months in conjunction with these relationships. Prospective students must achieve a high result in an English language proficiency test to enter, in addition to either professional experience in a relevant field or a bachelor degree from any field.
Diploma level graduate courses grant students the opportunity to develop a broad array of literary skills through workshops. Macquarie University’s Graduate Diploma of Creative Writing is a great example of this, providing students with the opportunity to take units from master-level programs that appeal to their specific interests and apply them to their diploma. These courses take a year of full-time study to complete or two years full time, with similar entry requirements to certificate level courses.
The Master of Creative Writing is a two-year degree aimed at professionals already in the editing, publishing or creative writing industry. Those offered by the University of Melbourne are an example, providing students with the opportunity to publish in university journals and build relationships with published writers. A prior bachelor degree in any field is necessary for entry, with at least a 70% GPA in this particular case.
Creative writing graduates are well-suited to becoming editors for companies like Hyland and Byrne and Lexington Writing Firm. This sort of career is perfectly suited, as it provides writers with the chance to exercise their literary and structural knowledge in the pursuit of improving others’ work.
The world of advertising is in constant need of catchy slogans, creative campaigns, and new ideas to entice consumers. Creative writing graduates are poised to do this well, finding themselves at companies like Showpony Advertising and McCann where they can utilise all they learned about proper phrasing, editing and grabbing a reader’s attention.
Fluency in writing is essential to any news story, which is something creative writing graduates bring to the table. Creativity combined with proficiency in optimal phrasing go a long way for companies like Reuters, Informa, and UBM. There is much to be learned on the job in the way of investigation, interviewing and acquiring stories, but a creative writing qualification puts students in good stead to get their foot in the door.
Writing is as broad as the number of topics that can be written about. The following are just a few of the available specialisations: