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Five Reasons to Study Creative Writing

Creative Writing is an exciting subject. To study it is to learn all the skills needed to enter a long, illustrious and ongoing storytelling tradition. It’s a subject about creation. About producing worlds with nothing more than language and a blank page.

For all those hopeful young Hemingways, for all those flowering Faulkners, here are five reasons to study Creative Writing.

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1. Story-telling is important

A point is only ever as strong as the way it’s argued, a story is only ever as good as the way it’s told. Understanding what makes a story work, how it ticks, and how to get people to care about it, is a genuinely valuable skill. It’ll help make people see the world your way, make you persuasive, intelligent and emotionally aware. People care about stories, and they like the people who know how to tell them.

2. It’s… creative

Almost more than any other subject, Creative Writing demands you make something from nothing. Though you’ll be channelling the skills you’ve been taught into a specific project, you’ll still be making something entirely new, drawing something into existence, producing something that didn’t exist before. Characters; creatures; entire, living, breathing worlds. Creative Writing is a mammoth challenge, and a unique one, demanding you do things no other subject does.  

3. Getting to work with published authors

Just like English and History students get to work with published, fully-fledged academics, so do Creative Writing students get to work with actual authors. For a writer, the chance to work with someone else, someone more experienced, someone who’s been through the grinding trauma of the creative process, is a rare one. And the tutelage is always valuable.

4. Flexibility

The brilliant thing about Creative Writing is that it blends so well with other subjects. Take it through a standalone English course or in union with one, and you’ll be exposed to and influenced by a rich literary heritage. Take it alongside media or film, for example, and you’ll tap into a long-running screen-writing legacy. Pursue it alongside your Psychology degree and your deep understanding of how people work might well influence how you craft your characters. Creative Writing, as a subject of study, is invariably informed by other areas of study. As a result, you can pair it with pretty much anything.

5. Transferable skills

Pursuing Creative Writing at university will make you a master of language. Or, at least as close to mastery as it’s possible to get. You’ll be writing all the time. It’ll be your job. That’s great, because the world is always going to need writers; people who can both accurately convey information, and make it engaging as they do so.

If you’re thinking of studying Creative Writing at university, why not check out the league tables for Creative Writing courses, and see which one suits you best?

If not, read some of our guides to studying other subjects.