Creative Writing & Degree

Monday, May 01, 2006

Question:

I'm a junior in High School and college is rapidly approaching. I would really like to major in Creative Writing and I'm generally really good about research but I can't find anything about the degree. I know a few schools that offer it but I don't know which ones locally (I live in Dallas, Texas). Also, does anyone think this would be a poor decision? Perhaps I should just major in English and minor in Creative Writing. Any information that you guys have would be appreciated.

I would like to be a novelist, but I also want to teach English in the Peace Corps. Thus my dilemma.

Answer:

Tip-1:

what's your goal?... if it's just to 'be a writer' anything you take in that line can't hurt, but a degree isn't a requisite for being a successful one...

If you want to be an editor, you'll need a degree in English and/or literature, but not necessarily 'writing'... to teach writing, you should get your degree in something more writing-focused...


Tip-2:

if it is possible you can pick up the magazine poets and writers, they always have add for schools that offer MFA in creative writing.

Here is one site I found

http://www.utdallas.edu/~nelsen/creativity.html

MFA degrees in the Dallas area-type that into Google and you will get some sites you might need.


Tip-3:

There is no degree that will make you a novelist. Like many of the arts it takes lots and lots of practice. English or writing degree will help you but it won't make a novelist at the end of four years.

As for the Peace Corps, what they primarily do is teach English, and they only requirment for the Peace Corps is that you have a degree, any degree.

So I will tell you what I would tell anyone thinking about college. Study what makes you happy. In the end there is little difference between the majors, unless you of course are dealing with something technical. But since you want to be a writer that doesn't really come into play. Do something you find interesting. College not only teaches you about whatever you major is but it also teaches you valiable life skills. The later I think being the most important thing I took away from college.


Tip-4:

I think college would be great for getting the technical part of the craft down pat - that is, how to know a verb from a toaster-oven. But as for the creative part - you either got it or you don't.

Sure, I'd go learn technique, syntax, sentence structure; learn about great literature. But Creativity? Learn that from you. Thats the best teacher you'll ever find.

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