Do Creative Writing Courses Work?

Here’s a great post on the writer’s journey from the author S.J. Butler which addresses a subject that, as you know, is very close to my heart, and which also mentions yours truly… So do creative writing courses work? Of course they do!

There’s been a lot of bad press about creative writing courses recently, and I have to say that I sometimes agree: doing a course is no substitute for getting down to work and putting words on the page.

You don’t need a course to be a great writer, obviously. Equally, just doing a creative writing course doesn’t make you a decent writer.

But, but, but … twenty years ago or so, I signed up for a creative writing BA at my local university, taught by Susan Wicks. I was a book editor and had never written more than teenage drivel before, and it was a transformative experience: among much else I wrote poems that weren’t awful, comedy dialogue that was, and discovered that I wasn’t at all bad at writing copy. I’d assumed everyone could do it if they tried, but it turns out they can’t…

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1 thought on “Do Creative Writing Courses Work?”

  1. “I wanted to get it right so much that I couldn’t bear to get it wrong, and I needed to get it wrong to find out what was right.”
    I love this line so much! It speaks to every single thing I take on. It’s the very biggest block.
    Congratulations and well done you! Get writing! I’m looking forward to following your journey and to ultimately reading the novel.


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