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Case Studies by Creative Writing students at British Universities
Fri 9 Jan 2004
We are pleased to publish a collection of over twenty case studies by students past and present.
Some accounts concentrate on the nature of the workshops and tuition, others on personal development as a writer, others on the juggling act of working and studying, sometimes with family commitments too. There are BAs, MAs, Postgraduate Diplomas and PhDs. There is writing for children, for the stage, for women; creative writing and personal development, poetry, the novel, critical and creative writing; full-, part-time and distance-learning courses.

Individual articles can be found as files attached to the relevant course record.

They are also assembled here, as a collection. Click on any item to download it as a Word file to your computer. (NAWE members who prefer to browse the articles online can also find the full texts within the Projects and Papers section of the Members' Area on the NAWE website. Type "Case Study" into the keyword box.)

The collected articles will also be published in print and be available for sale from the NAWE office.

In alphabetical order by author, the articles are as follows:

Scott Anthony: MA in Writing, Warwick University. Tutor: Michael Hulse

...since I left Warwick I have begun freelance Creative Writing teaching and working on a commercial book magazine entitled Ink... I have come to think of the benefits of writing programmes in terms of creating literary networks...

to download the file, click here

Vicki Austin: BA, English with Creative Writing, St Martin's College, Lancaster. Tutors: Carole Coates and Kathy Flann.

...The experience of work-shopping writing with a group of people has improved my communication skills: listening to others, giving positive feedback and offering constructive criticism. These key skills are not only useful in my own employment but I believe make creative writing students extremely employable in any area of work.

to download the file, click here

Lucy Banwell: Postgraduate Diploma, Creative Writing and Personal Development, Sussex University. Tutor: Celia Hunt.

...a daunting mix of writing and psychology with a threat of extensive self-exploration... and I lived a 400 mile round trip from the only university offering the course...

to download the file, click here

Sibylle Bonaert: Poetry, Form and Experiment (Open Access/Distance Learning), University of Exeter, Department of Lifelong Learning. Tutor: Bill Greenwell.

...writing creatively in a second or foreign language is challenging... some of my messages on the online forum nudged other students into looking at their mother tongue with more distance and playfulness...

to download the file, click here

Lynette Craig: MPhil, Writing, University of Glamorgan. Tutors: Tony Curtis, Sheenagh Pugh, Matthew Francis.

...I had attended local classes, joined a poetry group, enjoyed more than one Arvon week, so the postgraduate degree - about thirty years 'post' in my case - seemed the next thing to do...

to download the file, click here

Geraldine Green: BA, Imaginative Writing/Literature, Life & Thought, Liverpool John Moores University. Tutor: Dr Aileen la Tourette. Postgraduate Research Diploma, Ecopoetics, Liverpool John Moores University. Tutor: Pam Morris. MA, Creative Writing, Lancaster University. Tutor: Graham Mort.

...before this I was a secretary, whole-food shop worker (paid in lentils and flour), landlady, copywriter, mature student and had my first poetry collection published in 2003. I now use writing in health/community workshops...

to download the file, click here

Emma Hardy: BA, Imaginative Writing, Liverpool John Moores University. MA, Creative Writing, University of Leeds (Bretton Hall). Tutors: Rob Watson, Terry Gifford.

...the opportunity to develop within a supportive environment is the most beneficial thing a writer can ever experience...

to download the file, click here

Patsy Hickman: Creative Writing for Women, Birkbeck College, London University. Tutor: Miriam Hastings.

...I have already been offered writing commissions on the strength of the course. Small though they are, I am very proud of them, and I have grabbed a place in a small independent writing group organized by Dr. Hastings to give and receive help in finishing a book that I am getting together.

to download the file, click here

Gill James: MA, Writing for Children, King Alfred's College, Winchester. Tutor: Dr. Andrew Melrose. PhD, Creative and Critical Writing, University of Wales, Bangor. Tutor: Dr Graeme Harper.

...writing routines, contact with other students, being on campus, being alone, meeting my supervisor, taking part in seminars, real life and social life...

to download the file, click here

Vivien Jones: MA, Creative & Cultural Studies, University of Glasgow. Tutor: Tom Pow.

...managing life as a semi-professional early musician, establishing myself as a freelance writer and finding my feet in an academic environment has been a challenge I have run to meet. I am already being published and performed...

to download the file, click here

Beth Lomas: Postgraduate Diploma, Arden Centre, City College Manchester. Tutor: Alison Jeffers.

...my world has changed. I noticed this recently when I washed, deseeded and sliced a red pepper. I was aware of the vibrancy, smoothness and freshness of the fruit, the way I was holding the knife, the sound and smell of rain in my backyard, traffic vibrations and voices on the radio...

to download the file, click here

Nicola Monaghan: MA, Writing, Nottingham Trent University.

...It isn't about options and essays. It's about people... Through meeting agents and publishers, I found out why people weren't reading my work...

to download the file, click here

A D Paylor: BA, University of Derby. Tutor: Moy Mcrory. MA, Nottingham Trent University. Tutor: Graham Joyce.

...from writing teenage angst-ridden poetry to beginning my first novel...

to download the file, click here

Adam Raoof: BA, Writing, Middlesex University. Tutor: Maggie Butt. MA, Writing (Prose Fiction), Middlesex University. Tutor: Maggie Butt.

...one module was about London Theatre (an excuse to go out a lot), another involved organizing the annual literary festival, others writing drama and editing student films...

to download the file, click here

Sarah Salway: MA, Writing, University of Glamorgan. PhD, Imaginative Writing, Liverpool John Moores University. Tutors: Jenny Newman and James Friel.

...My first pieces were highly journalistic in content and exactly 800 words. Breaking out of the mould was hard and painful _ for both me and my tutor...

to download the file, click here

Helen Shay: MA (online), Novel Writing, Manchester Metropolitan University.

...online seminars, writing workshops, bulletin boards, website research, reading, criticism... this intensive course develops me as a writer and provides a feasible way to gain an MA - plus write my own novel - at this stage in my life...

to download the file, click here

Jon Stone: MA, English Literature with Creative Writing, University of East Anglia. Tutor: Paul Magrs.

...work and life are are not so much balanced as interdependent, tangled up together... work becomes part of everyday life, and everyday life becomes an important factor in workshops and lessons...

to download the file, click here

Carolyn Thomas: Postgraduate Diploma, Dramatic Writing, Sussex University. Tutor: Richard Crane.

...we had to come up with the goods - meet deadlines, learn to pitch without going to pieces and complete a polished script ready for performance by professional actors...

to download the file, click here

Carolyn Veldmeijer: BA, Professional and Creative Writing, St Mary's University College. Tutor: Robyn Bolam

...both my skills and my confidence have expanded, and in unexpected directions... from radio plays to journalism, print to new media, from second place in one of the St Mary's writing competitions to possible publication...

to download the file, click here

James Walker: MA, Writing, Nottingham Trent University. Tutor: David Belbin.

...I was so worried about being out of my depth that I didn't tell my family about the course, but ended up passing with a distinction...

to download the file, click here

Carolyn Waudby: MA, Writing (Poetry), Sheffield Hallam University. Tutor: Sean O'Brien.

...Advised by doctors to give up my full-time job as a journalist, the three years of part-time study were a rollercoaster between too much work to allow creativity and periods of financial despair, against a backdrop of nagging health problems. The sheer pleasure of reading and writing poetry drove me on...

to download the file, click here

Marianne Wheelaghan: Creative Writing, Open College of the Arts. MA, Creative Writing, Lancaster University. Tutor: Linda Anderson

...running my own full time business and caring for a young family meant a traditional face-to-face degree course was not an option. The part-time Masters by distance learning at Lancaster was a godsend...

to download the file, click here

Anna Woodford: MA in Writing Poetry, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Tutors: W N Herbert, Desmond Graham, Jackie Kay.

...I gave up my career in public relations to study on the MA full time. I've had a magical year which has seen me travel from Newcastle to New York - I'm here as I type, on a month's writing residency...

to download the file, click here
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