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If you want to make a career in writing, this course is for you. You already have talent and ideas, we'll add the expertise you need to approach your chosen market with confidence, originality and skill. No ambitions are out of bounds: we love commercial genre fiction and literary experiments equally.

We aim to ensure our graduates are equipped to succeed - and to change the culture they choose to enter. We will add expertise to your talent and ideas, while you learn in the company of industry experts on this innovative, inspiring course for emerging writers.

Our unique combination of genres and specialisms encourages and enables you to professionalise your practice as a writer. We put genres like science fiction, fantasy, crime and horror at the heart of our learning journey. Writing for young adult readers and graphic novels are just some of the options available to you as a student on our programme.

We take an innovative approach to the training and support of aspiring writers, driven by intellectual ambition and practical industry experience.

There are four strands to the programme:

  • pre-writing skills, concepts and technique for full-length narratives
  • writing practice for first person stories and a range of options
  • experimental, theoretical and personal development work
  • regular one-to-one editorial mentoring

Applications submitted after 31 July 2019 are not guaranteed to be considered for September 2019 entry.

Course details

Uniquely, the course offers a dynamic range of cross-disciplinary options. Writing for graphic fiction, young adult audiences, screenwriting and interactive media are all available as specialisms, while our pioneering module in genre fiction covers crime, horror, fantasy and science fiction.

We host an exciting array of guest speakers every year, ranging from award-winning authors to high-profile industry experts. Recent visiting speakers have included authors Victoria (V.E.) Schwab, Dhonielle Clayton and James Oswald, comics creators Emma Beeby and Will Morris, Nasty Women anthology editors Laura Jones and Heather McDaid from 404 Ink, agent Jenny Brown, and editor Simon Spanton.

Our approach to full-length narrative development trains you to deploy a range of unique and dynamic pre-writing techniques invented by our programme. This energetic combination of conceptual development and critical self-reflection aims to transform you into a technically adept, purposeful writer ready to make your mark.

Professional development

The MA is a professionalising course that emphasises the publishing industry as a business, and includes sessions on approaching agents, marketing yourself and your work, and understanding publishing contracts. We also offer professional development strands in teaching and learning, community engagement, and publishing on digital platforms.

For students eager to continue working on their major project in a supportive academic environment, we have an articulation agreement with the low residency MFA in Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. This enables graduates of our programme to join the Seton Hill cohort in year two, attain a MFA qualification and complete a market-ready commercial novel.

Modules

Modules that you will study* as part of this course

  • Creating Narrative - Writer's Toolkit ( CLP11119 )
  • Major Project ( CLP11110 )
  • Narrative Practice Vocational Skillset ( CLP11118 )
  • Writing Practice First Person Narrative ( CLP11117 )

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

How you’ll be taught

This is a one year full-time course starting in September, taught over three trimesters.

The course is taught by a team of industry professionals: David Bishop, a successful working writer and former editor; acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author Laura Lam; award-winning literary thriller author Daniel Shand

David Bishop, MA, FHEA, is the author of twenty published novels, an award-winning screenwriter, and a comics creator of nearly 30 years standing. He is programme leader for Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier and co-created the unique MA.

Laura Lam, MA, is the author of five published novels, including the award-winning Micah Grey YA fantasy trilogy and the Pacifica series of near future thrillers.

Daniel Shand, PhD, is the author of acclaimed literary thriller Fallow, and winner of the prestigious 2017 Betty Trask Award (past winners include Zadie Smith, Jon McGregor and Alex Garland).

Assessments

Assessments focus on practical creative challenges and achieving professional levels of critical reflection, enabling students to become more self-sufficient as writers and collaborative practitioners.Tasks includes crafting original short stories; creating pre-writing materials for full-length narratives; critical self-reflection on your work; keeping a learning journal of progress through one-to-one mentoring; plus developing strategies and content for teaching, public engagement events, and digital self-publishing.

Facilities

Our students have access to the Writers' Room, a private workspace with wi-fi, available evenings and weekends. It houses an exclusive library of 2,000 hand-picked books, DVDs and graphic novels, and is the venue for reading groups and social events.

Careers

  • Book deals
  • Representation by literary agents
  • International and national competition wins
  • Collaborations with comic artists
  • Publication in magazines and anthologies
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival appearances
  • Paid editing and writing commissions
  • Performances and teaching
  • Working for national literary organisations

Visit the MA Creative Writing page on the Edinburgh Napier University website for more details!

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