Tuesday, 2 October 2007

MA Creative Writing Courses in Ireland

MA Creative Writing courses seem to be the natural progression for anyone who has the time, the money and (we hope) the talent to get through a year's creative writing course. What use is such an MA. Firstly, after you assume the learning process is the number one reason, there is the networking side. Also an MA after your name allows you then to teach with more kudos than just, say, years of experience writing and teaching will give you.

I wish I had the money to do one. They are all around the 6,000 Euro mark. That can buy an awful lot of part time evening courses, often given by the same tutors.

Galway do an MA in Writing. Fees 6,005 Euro for EU students. It is a 48 week course. Staff includes Michael Harding, Mary O'Malley, Joe Woods and Jonathan Williams. Maximum 15 students.

The UCD MA course on Creative Writing is in its second year now. it is a one year course. Deadline 1 May 2008. Staff includes Paul Durcan, Denis O'Driscoll, Hugo Hamilton, Billy Roche, Conor McPherson and Jonathan Williams. Fees 5,000 Euro for EU students. Last year there were about 16 people on the course.

Trinity College Dublin does an M Phil in Creative Writing, a one year full time course. There are two terms of 9 weeks and the third term concentrates on writing portfolios. Staff include Gerard Dawe, Deirdre Madden and Jonathan Williams (who really gets around!) There are usually about 16 people on the course, half from non-EU countries. Fees 6,623 Euro for EU students.

The other well known Creative Writing Masters is the MA in Queens, Belfast. It is one year full time or two years part time. Staff includes Medbh McGuckian, Ciaran Carson, Sinead Morrissey, and Glenn Patterson (what? no Jonathan Williams?)

Carlow have now started an MFA in Creative Writing which I hadn't heard of before. It is low residency and (I think) aimed at the US market. Residency is 4 lots of 11 days in Carlow and Pittsburgh. I didn't know Pittsburgh was known for its writers. I haven't heard of any of the US staff but only huge American writers are known over here. The Irish writers in Carlow are not yet announced. The fees are in dollars and seem phenomenally expensive to me.

The University of Glamorgan, Wales MPhil also seems to be aimed at Irish based writers with residencies arranged here. Total costs about £1,500 per year for two years, low residency. Staff includes Tony Curtis (the Welsh one, I think, not the Irish poet) and Sheenagh Pugh. The course has about 8 students per year. Fiction and Poetry.


therehas2bmorethanthis said...

I completed a distance learning diploma in journalism last year, which got me off my but writing-wise for a few months. But ever since, I seem to be constantly in the grip of a humungous bout of writer's block. Any ideas?

Emerging Writer said...

I don't know really. Are you trying to write journalism or fiction or what?

Shane said...

Good information, thanks for that! Thinking of a return to Ireland after 5 years in Thailand. I'm very excited.

Happy writing and never mind browsing the 'net get back to your novel now!!!

Brendan McLoughlin said...

I'm starting the MA in Queens in Seotember (1 year full time) and I'm so excited. I got an interview for a place on the MA in UEA but just missed out (my undergrad is law and everyone else that day being interviewed was English lit - they said they felt I might struggle with the academic modules - still it was an amazing experience and a huge confidence boost)

I think MA programmes in creative writing are hugely beneficial. I don't think you can teach creative writing as such but the beauty of these courses (particularly UEA) is the peer effect. Being surrounded by like minded peers, who more than likely are very talented due to the tough competition to get a place on these courses, is extremely helpful. You can push one another to succeed. It also provides some structure to your writing life and gives you the time an space to really immerse yourself into your work. The tutors are usually quite good as well. For me, I think Glenn Patterson will be heading the workshops (I'm taking the prose fiction strand) and I'm Just looking forward to spending a year of my life (within the university setting) as a writer.

My parents were surprised (no one knew I wrote) but happy for me nonetheless. Im still young (21) so the decision to apply for the MA was easy (no kids, mortgage, loans, job to think about) and I really do think I'll get a lot out of the year! After UEA, Queens was a close second tor me (structured similarly)

I really liked this post btw, very informative!!