"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?
Creative writing challenges you to explore the universes of your imagination. You must love words and language and be passionate about reading and writing, 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 this competitive marketplace the transferable skills of this course are second to none.
Creative writing anthology
We recently published Square One, an anthology of work submitted by our Creative and Professional Writing students. Read the anthology...
Why St Mary's?
There's no snobbery in the teaching of creative writing at St Mary’s. Our job is simply to make you the best writer you can be. We're open to all kinds of writers with a wide array of interests, from science fiction to screenplays and from rap to romance. You tell us what you want to write and we will help you to write it as well as you can.
There's only one way to write, and that is to write. Perhaps that sounds like circular reasoning, but it’s the fundamental truth about the craft. In the Creative and Professional Writing programme we want you to write. A lot. Because if you love writing, and we assume you must, then you just have to sit down and get to it.
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.
Our teachers include major literary award winners and bestselling novelists, fantasy and horror writing experts, international journalists and TV scriptwriters.
You will also have the opportunity to study abroad in the second year in countries including America and Australia.
The Creative and Professional Writing programme is taught by means of lectures, seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Enthusiastic student participation is essential to success in the programme.
Students are encouraged to start creative writing at a very early stage in the course and to regularly share their work with colleagues. There are opportunities for collaborative projects and developing skills in constructive criticism of creative work. Jonathan Gibbs (Programme Director, Creative & Professional Writing) has written an article on the role of the short story in teaching creative writing.
With no exams, the programme - by its very nature - places a premium on practical exercises, coursework and projects, so skills will be assessed by a diverse range of methods.
Modules are assessed on the basis of creative writing portfolios, course workbooks and presentations. Attendance and active participation in writing workshops is an essential aspect of assessment for some modules. All assessment is coursework based, with no examinations.
In the final year of the programme it's possible for you to be assessed in large part on lengthier-scale projects. These will be produced within the framework of a special study or portfolio, under the close supervision of a specialist tutor.
- 91% teaching satisfaction among English and creative writing students at St Mary's (Guardian Uni League Tables 2019).
- Lecturers include Costa-winning and best-selling novelists
- No modules are assessed through exams
- Transferable skills that apply to any industry
- Opportunities to study abroad
- Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus