You may have found yourself wondering whether you need a creative writing degree to succeed as an author. Of course, many writers specialise in other fields before deciding to write their first book, with some of them having no prior experience in writing. So, the answer is no. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be a valuable experience for aspiring or established writers.
If you’ve been debating whether a degree is right for you, here are the pros and cons of undertaking a bachelor’s or master’s degree in creative writing…
If you want to spend a few years focusing on your craft, building a network of writers, and gaining feedback from tutors, then a creative writing degree is a rewarding experience. It can help you figure out your strongest and weakest areas and give you sufficient time to work on them. But bear in mind that each university is different, and depending on where you go and which course you choose (BA or MA), you will have a different experience.
That being said, it’s still possible to create these opportunities without this. The degree itself isn’t where the value lies. Seeking out writing workshops, having conversations with agents and editors, and finding like-minded writers are all possible without a degree.
As previously mentioned, there are other courses and services out there. There are book coaches and editors you can hire to look over your work, identify any structural or grammatical issues, and provide helpful advice on how to move your projects forwards.
If you’re interested in free alternatives, however, there are also a number of community workshops and meet-ups advertised online and in local areas; you just have to do a little extra work to seek them out!
At The Book Shelf, we provide coaching and editing services for nonfiction authors, so don’t hesitate to approach us if you need some additional support.
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