The Creative Writing programme at UEA was the first of its kind in the UK, and is distinguished by the unrivalled success of its alumni. We introduced the first MA in 1970, the first PhD in 1987, and students now join us from all over the world.
In 2011 we were awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of our continuing excellence in delivering innovative courses at a world-class level.
Our MFA Creative Writing builds on our extensive connections with publishers and agents, meaning that our students will graduate fully equipped to launch their careers as publishing writers, and will have sufficient training and experience to support their writing careers as teachers of writing.
Over the duration of two years, the first year of the MFA will be coterminous with our existing MA Creative Writing Prose Fiction, offering all the benefits of the workshop-based approach to teaching writing, while the second year will be structured on the model of the PhD, offering one-to-one supervision of works-in-progress and culminating in the submission of a full-length work for assessment.
Additionally, the MFA is an entry-level qualification for a career in academia in the USA, giving many graduates the opportunity immediately to pursue roles in teaching at undergraduate level.
The MFA presents an alternative to a PhD, requiring fewer years out of employment, and offers the possibility of completing a work of publishable length (60,000 words or longer) under supervision, which will enable you to take full advantage of the excellent links we maintain with literary agents and publishers, many of whom visit the campus to talk to students during the programme.
How many classes will I attend?
In the Autumn and Spring semesters of your first year, you will attend the weekly workshop and an accompanying optional module. Your work will be peer-reviewed six times in the workshop, and on each occasion this will be followed by a one-to-one tutorial with your workshop tutor. In the follow-on individual meetings with your tutor there will be an opportunity to discuss your work and your ambitions for your writing in greater detail. Your optional module may also be practice-based, offering further opportunities to submit creative work in a critical context, or may be chosen from the full range of scholarly and critical modules offered in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. In the post-Easter dissertation period you will be assigned an individual supervisor for a series of one-to-one tutorials, and will attend a series of weekly presentations from visiting agents and publishers.
The second year is taught on the model of the PhD and comprises a series of regular editorial meetings with your supervisor to discuss your work-in-progress. In the Autumn semester you will also follow a course of teaching training, supplemented with classroom observation, and in the Spring you will be offered an opportunity to teach on the undergraduate Literature and Creative Writing programme.
Will I receive individual tutorials?
Yes, in the first year you will have individual meetings with your workshop tutor each time your work is peer-reviewed, followed by a series of one-to-one tutorials leading into the summer recess. The second year is structured around a series of eleven individual tutorials. These meetings will allow your supervisor to provide constructive editorial feedback on your work-in-progress and answer any questions you may have.
How often will my work be seen by my tutors?
Including workshops, tutorials and the double-marking of assignments, your work will be read and commented upon by faculty members around 35 times over the course of the MFA. There will often also be opportunities to show your work to visiting writers, such as our UNESCO professors, who have recently included the novelists Ali Smith, James Lasdun and Margaret Atwood.
I’ve already taken a BA in Literature and Creative Writing, and attended other writing workshops. What can this course offer me?
During the course your work-in-progress will be regularly and constructively critiqued by other writing students of an extremely high calibre and by experienced tutors on the UK’s most successful writing programme. In the peer review of your classmates’ works-in-progress, you will become practiced in key critical and editorial skills that you will then bring to bear on your own works-in-progress. Over the two years you will have numerous opportunities to meet literary agents and publishers, and on completion of the MFA you will be ready to approach them with a complete draft of a novel or collection of stories. You will also graduate with experience of teaching at undergraduate level.
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Last updated August 1, 2016