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City University London

Creative Writing (novels)

At the end of the Creative Writing (Novels) MA, you will be very different: you will have written a novel. This course is designed to provide a supportive, thought-provoking and challenging environment for novelists to develop their skills, experiment with approaches to writing, learn about the industry and, most importantly, complete a polished novel ready to send to publishers and agents. At the core of the course is the experience of established writers. The MA Creative Writing (Novels) allows you to focus on one of two areas: Literary Novels and Crime Thriller Novels.
Duration 2 years full time.
Level MA
Cost Course Fees: Full-time EU: £8,000 (total fee for two-year course). Full-time Non EU: £14,000 (total fee for two-year course). An annual prize of £1,500 and agent representation is offered by a leading London literary agency.
We offer you: An ideal location | Last year over 10,000 novels were published in the UK, making London the world capital of publishing. Because we are London-based, students have access to a wide range of contemporary novelists and to significant agents and major publishers. Top speakers | We regularly invite leading novelists to visit the University for informal Q&A sessions. In the last few years, this has included Lionel Shriver, Doris Lessing, Mohsin Hamid, Hilary Mantel, and Jonathan Coe; and in Crime Writing: Val MacDiarmid, Sophie Hannah, Frances Fyfield and Jake Arnott. Top tutors | Students are mentored by leading novelists. Completion of a novel | Through a combination of workshops, one-to-one tutorials, group discussions and Q&As, you will be encouraged and supported until your novel is written.
You will usually have a Bachelor degree, in any subject. But successful completion of a certificate course in creative writing or relevant experience is equally acceptable. The prime criteria are proven writing ability and a commitment to devoting two years to completing a novel. You will be required to submit a sample of your writing and to attend an interview or (if overseas) to participate by telephone. The writing sample should be 5,000 words at most. Ideally it would be a section - probably the opening - of a novel, but it is equally acceptable if it is a short story. Shorter length pieces may also be submitted but as this is a course which focuses on writing a full-length novel (minimum 60,000 words), the more sustained the writing sample, the better.
We are the first university in the UK to offer an MA which allows you to focus exclusively on Crime Thriller Writing. This approach to the MA - as with our literary novelists - starts with workshops and seminars, and then builds to the completion of a full-length Crime Thriller novel. We will be employing leading names in Crime Thriller Writing to lead workshops and to serve as tutors and mentors. The course will look at all the key sub-genres from police procedurals to psychological thrillers, concentrating on how to craft a convincing plot, what creates contemporary suspense, and new ways to tackle new crimes. Teaching is based around a mix of practical workshops, seminars and lectures. All this is supported by one-to-one tutorials and by independent study: notably reading and preparing presentations on set texts and performing set writing exercises. As the course progresses, the emphasis shifts to independent study and is supported by workshops and one-to-one tutorials. During Terms 1 and 2, workshops, lectures and tutorials are held on two evenings a week. In Terms 3, 4 and 5, you work principally on your own novel with the support of one-to-one tutorials and participation in student-led workshops. For each tutorial, you submit 10,000 words which is read and annotated in advance by the tutor - then discussed at length in the tutorial. In Term 6 (the final term), the lectures and Q&As focus on visits from agents, publishers and other industry professionals. These sessions aim to provide you with knowledge and understanding of the publishing industry and of the business aspects of being a writer. They will also provide you with the skills and understanding necessary to promote a novel to the media and the public.
Contact Information
Institution City University London
School of Arts
Northampton Square

Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 3400
Department: Department of Creative Practice & Enterprise
Contact Name: Maria Prus, Programme Administrator: Creative Writing
Contact Email: / (International Office)