"Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work." - Stephen King
Why study Creative and Professional Writing (with a Foundation Year)?
Creative writing challenges you to explore the universes of your imagination and to sharpen your practical writing skills to the highest degree. You must love words and language and be passionate about reading and writing to undertake this course of studies, but the rewards can be immense and hugely satisfying.
Few people write really well, but if you learn to do it - and we can help you - you will always be a step up on the competition. In the current marketplace the transferable skills offered by this degree in terms of critical thinking and coherent, compelling expression are second to none.
Creative writing anthology
We publish an anthology of work submitted by our Creative and Professional Writing students every spring. Read the anthology...
Why St Mary's?
Our goals on the St Mary’s Creative and Professional Writing programme are threefold: to help students develop into the writers they want to be; to hone the core writing skills that will set them up for all manner of careers across the creative and other industries; and to give them a general introduction to the publishing world and literary scene in the UK and beyond.
There's no snobbery in the teaching of creative writing at St Mary’s. We're open to all kinds of writers with a wide array of interests, from science fiction to screenplays and from rap to romance. We recognise that reading and writing is changing, and we try to reflect new developments, from social media to video game writing. You tell us what you want to write and we will help you to write it as well as you can.
In the Creative and Professional Writing programme we want you to write. A lot. And read. A lot. We give students regular writing exercises to guide them towards their assignments, and we encourage wide reading. Most of the set texts on the course are contemporary – from the last 20 years – so that students learn how people are writing now. Much of what they read is very recent. We want our students to be up to date on what is happening in the creative writing world now.
At St Mary's we are friendly and supportive and get to know our students very well. We operate an open door policy in Creative Writing where we meet students regularly to discuss books, film and life. There is a lively Professional and Creative Arts Society, and regular informal reading evenings, where students share work with each other.
Our teachers are all practising, published novelists, poets and writers. There are fantasy and horror writing experts, acclaimed book critics and literary novelists, international journalists and TV scriptwriters.
About the Foundation Year
Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.
On successful completion of the Humanities Foundation Year pathway you will progress on to the three-year undergraduate degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
- 91% teaching satisfaction among English and creative writing students at St Mary's (Guardian Uni League Tables 2019)
- Acclaimed journalists and novelists on staff. Innovative teaching techniques
- Transferable skills that apply to any industry
- Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus
Please note: Creative and Professional Writing (with a Foundation Year) is subject to revalidation.