The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
October 21, 2021, 10:15:51 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 21, 2021, 10:15:51 am

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Degrees in Writing: Are they practical?  (Read 8116 times)
Áine
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 18, 2009, 08:41:03 pm
United States United States

Religion: Random Witchcraft
TCN ID: anya
Posts: 883


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Topic Start: October 20, 2008, 05:46:53 pm »

The topic idea was spun off of Mea's thread here

I'm am planning to finish my Associates degree in English next year with plans of completing a BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration.  I was wondering if any of you have degrees in English or Creative Writing and has the degree had an impact on your writing or your career as a writer?  Would any of you consider going for a Master's or Ph.D in this subject?   
« Last Edit: October 20, 2008, 05:51:44 pm by Áine, Reason: wanted to add the link » Logged


*Síocháin*

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Melamphoros
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:March 28, 2015, 11:01:26 pm
United States United States

Religion: Informed Eclectic with Hellenic Overtones
TCN ID: Melamphoros
Posts: 13621


Kiss My Scythe

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #1: October 20, 2008, 05:54:15 pm »

I'm am planning to finish my Associates degree in English next year with plans of completing a BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration.  I was wondering if any of you have degrees in English or Creative Writing and has the degree had an impact on your writing or your career as a writer?  Would any of you consider going for a Master's or Ph.D in this subject?   

I'm not an English major (nor do I plan on ever being one), but from my understanding publishers are only interested in the story and not any degree a writer may have (unless it's nonfiction, of course).

Now, I have taken more English classes than my degree requires (currently taking creative writing) and I have noticed some slight technical stuff has improved.
Logged



Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog
RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:October 30, 2020, 08:18:05 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #2: October 20, 2008, 05:54:28 pm »

I'm am planning to finish my Associates degree in English next year with plans of completing a BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration.  I was wondering if any of you have degrees in English or Creative Writing and has the degree had an impact on your writing or your career as a writer?  Would any of you consider going for a Master's or Ph.D in this subject?   

Most writers I've known (mainly SF/F and romance writers) did not get a lot of of most college creative writing courses -- if they took any at all. Now, some of the writer's workshop things (like Clarion for SF/F writers) are a completely different story. I know a number of SF/F writers who really jump-started their career by attending the Clarion Workshop.
Logged

Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog - Forum] -- Out Of Print & Out Of Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games
Software Gadgets Blog -- Interesting Software, Mostly Free
Cheap Web Hosting -- Find an Affordable Web Host
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #3: October 20, 2008, 06:45:25 pm »

The topic idea was spun off of Mea's thread here

I'm am planning to finish my Associates degree in English next year with plans of completing a BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration.  I was wondering if any of you have degrees in English or Creative Writing and has the degree had an impact on your writing or your career as a writer?  Would any of you consider going for a Master's or Ph.D in this subject?   

I actually specifically AVOIDED English or creative writing as a major - I wanted something to expand my mind, not shrink it.  I think it's far too easy for a writer to become insular in the first place - majoring in it seems to just encourage that problem.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't - but if your intent is to write, you don't need a degree in it.  You need to explore and learn as much as you can get your greedy little hands on to expand your mind in every direction to give your writing richness.
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #4: October 20, 2008, 06:45:39 pm »

Most writers I've known (mainly SF/F and romance writers) did not get a lot of of most college creative writing courses -- if they took any at all. Now, some of the writer's workshop things (like Clarion for SF/F writers) are a completely different story. I know a number of SF/F writers who really jump-started their career by attending the Clarion Workshop.

ohhhhhh .. to be able to go to that ....... Cheesy
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
Áine
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 18, 2009, 08:41:03 pm
United States United States

Religion: Random Witchcraft
TCN ID: anya
Posts: 883


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #5: October 20, 2008, 07:20:55 pm »

I actually specifically AVOIDED English or creative writing as a major - I wanted something to expand my mind, not shrink it. 

What did you take instead?  How does the English/CW major limit you (as a writer, I assume) 
Logged


*Síocháin*
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #6: October 20, 2008, 08:44:17 pm »

What did you take instead?  How does the English/CW major limit you (as a writer, I assume) 

I took psychology and sociology.

And the English/CW limits you because you're staying in the same group, with the same ideas - the idea with CW classes, in general, is to write Great Literature.  And study Great Literature.  etc.

Most literature isn't great - it's entertaining, it's fun, it's good to read - but it's not the stuff that gets dissected in class.  And when you go into the process planning to write Great Literature, you're setting yourself up for a lot of heartache.  (who do you think makes more money writing - genre romance authors churning out a Harlequin every month or two, or people working on the new War and Peace?)

And creative writing classes tend to REALLY be down on genre fiction.  Guess what most people write?  guess what most people READ?

And, y'know, when you stick with English/CW - you're not exploring.  What are you going to WRITE if you spend all your time learning about mechanics and nothing about stuff TO write?  Books about aspiring authors are a dime a dozen, and most of them suck hard ......
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 23, 2020, 06:56:44 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7: October 20, 2008, 09:30:56 pm »

Most writers I've known (mainly SF/F and romance writers) did not get a lot of of most college creative writing courses -- if they took any at all. Now, some of the writer's workshop things (like Clarion for SF/F writers) are a completely different story. I know a number of SF/F writers who really jump-started their career by attending the Clarion Workshop.

And if you want to write genre (SF, fantasy, mysteries, romance) a mainstream writing program may be absolutely the wrong thing: many of them have absolutely no idea what to do with genre writers, or how the genres view things like pacing, character, etc. (a couple of my friends who took classes regularly got responses that simply wouldn't fly with people who regularly read genre.)

For folks who want a writing class, but can't do the major time/money commitment of Clarion, I have heard nothing but fabulous things about Viable Paradise, which is a weeklong writing workshop on Martha's Vineyard in September. It always includes at least two editors (Patrick and Terese Nielsen Hayden who are both a) brilliant and b) very good at explaining things, which is even more important) and several authors (there's some rotation, depending on year.)

For the cheaper (free) and stay-at-home version, Patrick and Teresa also run Making Light, a blog which has many excellent posts about writing: there's an index of posts on writing (the blog also talks about pretty much everything else in the universe) at http://wyrdsmiths.blogspot.com/2007/10/writers-index-to-making-light.html up through the end of 2006. Slushkiller (and its comments, which are numerous) is major important reading for anyone seeking publication in particular.

Also, I should probably put a plug in here: I'm the hotel co-chair for 4th Street Fantasy convention in 2009 (June 19th to 21st), which is heavily writer focused and in the Twin Cities (Minnesota). Reasonable rates, excellent company, and really really really amazing conversation about writing. 4th Street is unusual in that it's a small convention (this year will be capped at 250 or so) and has a single track of programming - so that everyone is in and around and moving through the same conversations. The GOH this year is Cory Doctorow, and we expect a focus on 21st century storytelling, and how technology plays both into stories, and into getting people reading them. (There are excellent music gatherings late into the evening, but mostly it's conversation and discussion and stuff, not the other things people may associate with large cons - no masquerade, no movie room, no vast tracks of panels. Dealer's room, but it's not the major focus.) A number of my favorite authors were there last year, which, once I got over the fan girl stuff, makes for really great experience, because you get to actually talk to them.

Seriously. I don't write fiction, and I learned a tremendous amount, and had amazing conversations, and am still thinking about stuff in panels now, 4+ months later. http://www.4thstreetfantasy.com/ has info, and I will nudge the con chair into getting an announcement together.
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #8: October 21, 2008, 08:09:10 am »


Damn - and this year was one of my favorite new authors as a guest of honor.

*muttermutter*

not that I could have gone anyway .. but ... *muttermutter* Tongue
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 23, 2020, 06:56:44 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9: October 21, 2008, 08:19:49 am »

Damn - and this year was one of my favorite new authors as a guest of honor.

We're hoping Bear will come back this year Wink
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #10: October 21, 2008, 08:40:27 am »

We're hoping Bear will come back this year Wink

*twitch .... twitch .....*

*starts packing up herself and her swug .....*
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
Áine
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 18, 2009, 08:41:03 pm
United States United States

Religion: Random Witchcraft
TCN ID: anya
Posts: 883


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #11: October 21, 2008, 10:11:55 am »


You made some valid points.  In my experience, the CW class I took actually was a benefit to me because it made me sit down and discipline myself.  I'm not sure I would have the "driving force" to actually write a book on my own. 

But if I wanted a career related to writing, I suppose the degree would come in handy?  Would it limit me to teaching careers only or could I expand into other things?



Logged


*Síocháin*
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #12: October 21, 2008, 10:19:42 am »

You made some valid points.  In my experience, the CW class I took actually was a benefit to me because it made me sit down and discipline myself.  I'm not sure I would have the "driving force" to actually write a book on my own. 

But if I wanted a career related to writing, I suppose the degree would come in handy?  Would it limit me to teaching careers only or could I expand into other things?

That I don't know.  But I think it does require a good long look and thought before you jump.
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
sashapablo
Board Staff
Staff
Master Member
***
Last Login:January 19, 2012, 05:37:09 pm
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic polytheist
Posts: 335


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #13: October 21, 2008, 12:08:44 pm »

The topic idea was spun off of Mea's thread here

I'm am planning to finish my Associates degree in English next year with plans of completing a BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration.  I was wondering if any of you have degrees in English or Creative Writing and has the degree had an impact on your writing or your career as a writer?  Would any of you consider going for a Master's or Ph.D in this subject?   

I have a degree in English. I have never been a writer in the creative writing sense, so I don't have a lot to offer in that area, other than the fact that MFAs (graduate creative writing degrees are usually master of fine arts degrees) don't result in any further progress toward a career in writing. About the only thing they are good for is keeping you disciplined in actually writing, if you find that that's an area in which you need help. An MFA will not get you a job, nor a book contract. It will also not help you get a college teaching job.

If, however, you are interested in a wide variety of jobs related to writing, there are plenty of jobs in corporate or non-profit communications, and a degree in English will certainly help you out there. My husband (although he wasn't an English major), currently has a job as a director of communications in which he completely writes and edits a monthly magazine put out by his organization. He has complete editorial control and although there are definite themes throughout the magazine, he gets to do a lot of creative stuff. So if you are open to exploring the "non-traditional" job avenues, you could land a steady paycheck (even a high paycheck, comparatively speaking), that allows you some degree of creative freedom.

As for the PhD, be aware that these are research degrees. There are very few PhDs for creative writing that let you do a creative dissertation. A PhD prepares you for a job as a professor. You certainly don't need PhD to get a publishing contract for a creative work, and if that is your end goal, a PhD would be a waste of time.

FYI, there are lots of career paths open to English majors.

Sasha
Logged
sashapablo
Board Staff
Staff
Master Member
***
Last Login:January 19, 2012, 05:37:09 pm
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic polytheist
Posts: 335


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #14: October 21, 2008, 12:15:43 pm »

I actually specifically AVOIDED English or creative writing as a major - I wanted something to expand my mind, not shrink it.  I think it's far too easy for a writer to become insular in the first place - majoring in it seems to just encourage that problem.

Shad, I know you aren't meaning to be so, but this is mildly offensive. The comp classes I took as an English major helped me become a much better writer (although again, I am not a creative writer) and helped me become much more analytical. I can understand your line of reasoning here, but the classes I took within my major included far more than the great classics (I'm thinking particularly of a class I took entitled "The Gothic Sublime.")

Of course, I agree that any major is suitable for someone who wants to be a creative writer, as long as he or she has a solid grasp of the foundations of good writing. I just object to the notion that being an English major somehow shrunk my mind.

Quote
That doesn't mean you shouldn't - but if your intent is to write, you don't need a degree in it.  You need to explore and learn as much as you can get your greedy little hands on to expand your mind in every direction to give your writing richness.

This I completely agree with.

Sasha
Logged

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.097 seconds with 48 queries.