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Tips for 1st years studying Creative Writing

Posted: December 09 2020

If you love reading and plan on becoming an author one day, the chances are that you will choose to study Creative Writing at University.

I am currently a third-year student of English with Creative Writing at Brunel, and these are my top tips for first years!

Do the reading

I can't stress how important this one is - if you don't do the reading, it will be obvious both to your lecturers and your colleagues! Of course, sometimes life gets in the way, and if for some reason you can't do the required reading for the week try to read a detailed summary or watch a good film adaptation so that you're not totally clueless about the book and have something to discuss at the seminar.

Do your weekly writing tasks

Let's face it, you're in a creative writing course so you will definitely have to write, and, frankly, that is something you should enjoy doing. The weekly tasks and prompts set by your lecturers can train you to write quickly about different things and will prove to be a huge help when you need to start preparing your portfolios for coursework submission. Regularly doing these tasks also means that you will regularly receive feedback from your tutors and colleagues to help you craft your pieces.

Read other people's work

Everyone likes to get feedback on their work to know what they can do better, so it's not cool when you show up to a workshop without having read the work your colleagues sent beforehand. Make sure you set some time apart every week to go through your group's work so that you can give them insightful and detailed feedback. And don't try to give them only good feedback, they want to know more about what they did wrong than what they did right! You'll see that the better feedback you give, the better feedback you receive in return!

Look for work experience alongside your degree

Even if you want to be an author and write all day long, you'll most likely still need a 'day job'. Now, this day job doesn't have to be boring, and ultimately it could help your writing journey. Try to find short work experience placements during your degree to get a sense of what you would like to work on after you graduate and which industries appeal to you the most. While studying at Brunel, you'll be supported the whole way through by your department and the Professional Development Centre, so if you ever feel lost when it comes to finding work experience, ask for help!

Enjoy it!

Lastly, make the most out of your course and enjoy it! Three years will go by incredibly quickly, and you will wish you had the chance to go back and do everything again.

These are my top tips for first years studying Creative Writing at Brunel! I hope you find them useful and if there's anything else you would like to know about the course, you can message me via UniBuddy :)