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Our full-time Creative Writing course will help you to bring a novel, book of poems, book of short stories or work of non-fiction as near to publishable quality as possible.
Working with tutors and other writers on the course, you’ll develop your writing and build up a substantial body of work. Weekly workshops are taught by a strong team of published writers, and there are regular visits by literary agents, publishers, magazine editors and broadcasters, as well as other writers.
Our MA Creative Writing course is designed to help you write a novel, collection of poems, collection of stories or work of non-fiction.
We offer places on the course on the basis of your portfolio of creative writing and an interview, which for overseas applicants may be by telephone or Skype.
We're looking for writers of prose fiction (any genre), poetry or literary non-fiction whom we consider to have the potential to publish their work in the near future.
Since I left Bath Spa I have continued to work on my novel When the Mountain Swallowed the Morning. Thanks to the MA anthology, a collection of writing from graduates of the course, I was introduced to several agents and have accepted an offer of representation from the firm Rogers, Coleridge and White. My book won runner-up prize in the 2015 Bridport First Novel award, was long-listed for the Mslexia New Novel competition and short-listed for the Janklow & Nesbit Bath Spa award. Since completing the MA I have had a short story published in Mxlexia magazine and recently won the local prize for the Bath Short Story Award.
The MA helped me to develop discipline with my writing and gave me the confidence to put my work out there.
My advice for current students is to make the most of all the university has to offer. The staff are there to support you and genuinely want the best for you. It might be obvious or clichéd, but you really do get out what you put in from your time at university.
The best thing about studying at Bath Spa University is the support available. The tutors, lecturers, library staff, grounds staff…everyone in fact that I came into contact with on campus was helpful and positive. I recommend Bath Spa University because of its excellent staff and well-stocked libraries. Plus, if you do the MA in Creative Writing, you get to study in the ridiculously beautiful surroundings of Corsham Court.
Since I left Bath Spa, I spent a few months working on re-drafting my manuscript for the novel I was working on during the MA, then after about the ninth draft I sent it off to three literary agents, all of whom I met during events at the university. One event organised by the department was to honour a visiting Australian author. The meeting I had there was chance. I was sitting next to an empty seat, and halfway through the first talk of the day, a man came in and sat next to me. I had no idea who he was, but we got chatting afterwards and he asked about the book I was working on. I told him all about it - still unaware as to his identity. He then revealed he was the visiting author's agent! I looked him up afterwards and found that he represented some really huge author's (Kate Atkinson, Kazuo Ishiguro... the list goes on).
So, I think my advice for handling these events would be - make careful notes in case you do want to contact them in the future. Approach any that you think you have a strong chance with, or would really like to work with. Don't waste the time of someone who might not, for example, be interested in your type of work. I was lucky enough to be offered representation by all three agents– and I turned to some of my former tutors at Bath Spa for advice on how to choose.
My advice for students would be to not take your time at university for granted – get everything you can out of it. Take every opportunity, learn as much as you can, develop as many skills as you can. Go to as many of the talks that the university puts on as you can. If I hadn't been to the talks about the Australian author, I would never have met my agent. Speak to as many tutors as you can. Getting to know my tutors made me feel confident in contacting them for advice even after the course. Speak to as many of your coursemates as you can. Are there people you could do more work with - like Alison and I have done?