The Best Creative Writing Courses in the UK

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The Best Creative Writing Courses in the UK
Take a creative writing course and write your first novel. (livre blanc ouvert pages a4 image by Melisback from Fotolia.com)

More than 50 universities in the U.K. offer master's degrees in creative writing, according to The Times in 2010. These courses aim to provide students with the skills necessary to become published authors of fiction, creative non-fiction or poetry. While there is no official list of the best creative writing courses in the U.K., this can be deduced from the number of graduates who have gone on to become published authors. Here are three universities where some of Britain's best-known authors of recent years have studied.

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University of East Anglia

The creative writing MA at the University of East Anglia is considered to be the most prestigious course and has produced a host of best-selling authors. Booker-prize winning author Ian McEwan studied here, as did the Japanese-English novelist Kazuo Ishiguro and the author of "Girl With A Pearl Earring", Tracy Chevalier. The course, taught by best-selling novelists including Trezza Azzopardi and Amit Chaudhuri, is organised into three strands: prose fiction, poetry and scriptwriting. Each strand involves weekly workshops around the theoretical and practical aspects of writing.

University of East Anglia The Taught Postgraduate Office Faculty of Arts and Humanities Norwich, NR4 7TJ 011 +44 1603 592154 pgt.hum@uea.ac.uk

Sheffield Hallam University

Best-selling author of "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian," Marina Lewycka, took the MA in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. Other notable alumni include poet Frances Leviston and novelists Jill Dawson, Kathryn Heyman, James Pollard and Margo Daly. Author Hilary Mantel, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2009, has been a visiting lecturer on the course for four years. It runs for two years and the MA is awarded on completion of a finished work such as a novel or a book of stories or poems. There is also a mentoring scheme for alumni who want feedback on their next work in progress.

Sheffield Hallam University City Campus Howard Street Sheffield, S1 1WB 011 +44 114 225 5555 enquiries@shu.ac.uk

University of Oxford

The Master of Studies in Creative Writing at Oxford was founded five years ago and has produced several published writers in that time. Annette Pas, a 2007 graduate, has had her debut novel "The Country Where I Love You" published in Belgium and the Netherlands. Colm O'Shea, a 2008 graduate, has been named as one of the 21 most exciting young poets of the 21st century. And Paula Bardowell-Stanic, a 2007 graduate, won the 2008 Alfred Fagon award for the best work by a playwright of African or Carribbean origin. The director of the course, Dr Clare Morgan, is also to have her literary fiction debut "A Book for All and None" published in 2011. The course runs for two years, part-time, and offers students a two-week placement to gain experience of writing in the real world.

University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education Rewley House 1 Wellington Square Oxford, OX1 2JA 011 +44 1865 270360 rebecca.rue@conted.ox.ac.uk

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