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MA-PgD-PgC Writing

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  • Objectives
    MA in Writing is for students who wish to develop their talent in a university setting, to work with tutors who are all practicing writers, to benefit from the close study of writerly techniques and strategies, to develop their work to a professional standard, and gain access to professional practitioners such as visiting novelists, poets and screenwriters as well as editors and publishers. It explores the process of writing from first inspiration to final draft, and is unique among British postgraduate courses for its training in electronic publishing. Assessment will be through analytic, creative and group workshops, with most marks awarded for creative writing.
  • Entry requirements
    Candidates must be able to satisfy the LJMU and School admissions requirements in one of the following ways: - normally a 2.1 degree in English, Writing or a cognate subject; however: - in this context due cognizance will be made of other academic qualification, for example: A Levels- BTEC- Irish Learning Certificate- Scottish Highers- GNVQ. • Applicants who demonstrate professional skills and evidence of achievement in a related area: film and video production, publishing, journalism, radio, theatre, and creative writing, will also be considered. - All prospective students will be required to complete an application form, which includes a one-page statement explainingfor applying, and to submit a portfolio of 30 pages of screen, stage and / or radio play(s), or 5,000 words of fiction, or an equivalent combination of these genres. We place particular emphasis on both the portfolio and the interview. The above requirements may be waived if a portfolio shows promise.
  • Academic Title
    MA/PgD/PgC Writing
  • Course description

    The MA in Writing is a two-year, part-time postgraduate degree course. It recruits biennially, and it's retention figures are extremely high and external examiners and visiting speakers from the world of publishing and broadcasting attest to its national standing, the scrupulousness of its assessments, the quality of the teaching, and the high standards of the work produced. It is currently recruiting for its September 2007 intake.

    Course Structure

    There is one compulsory module per semester.

    - The Foundation module in the first semester equips students with a common critical language and points of reference, emphasises the importance of wide and analytical reading, enlarges their understanding of a range of literary forms and establishes ground rules for writers’ workshops.

    - The second semester-long module, Writers’ Workshop I, is designed primarily to help students identify their writer’s voice, to widen their use of the web as a research tool and platform for their work, and to deepen their reflections on their own practice and that of others. This semester the class is taught through workshop/seminars, in groups no larger than eight, each with a writing tutor

    - The Electronic Module in the second year enables them to build and maintain a writer’s website, but also to further define themselves as writers with an intended audience.

    - The final taught module, Writers’ Workshop II, equips them with advanced editing and appraisal skills in preparation for the programmes concluding component. The sessions are primarily taught in workshops/seminars, in groups of no larger than eight

    - The Portfolio and Critical Commentary Module is a bridge between the course and the professional world, and encourages the students to work independently and to a deadline. Students will receive individual tuition from their tutor.

    Students are encouraged to write in two genres, but specialise in one of them, to explore the importance of reading, to learn the importance of redrafting, to experience and deepen self and peer appraisal, to research their writing on the web, to use the internet to promote their work, and to understand the business of publishing and broadcasting.

    Other Information

    The MA in Writing benefits from having direct literary representation from the ICM (the world’s largest literary agency), and independent production companies for film and radio such as Linda la Plante and Catherine Bailey Ltd. The MA in Writing also has links with professional bodies such as The Writers’ Guild, The Society of Authors, the Royal Literary Fund and NAWE. It also sponsors and edits the Pool and Poetry Pool anthologies, published by Headland Press and each now into their third issues, and in the red, now in its fourth edition, in which student work is published alongside that of established writers. There are also links to Mersey Television, the Moving Image Development Agency (MIDA), the Liverpool Film Office, BAFTA North, Northwest Vision, WOW Literature festival, The Arvon Foundation and Ty Newydd, FACT, many independent film companies and the International Centre for Digital Content within LJMU.

    Our students have published novels with national publishers such as Hodder and Stoughton and Harper Collins, to have their poetry published by literary magazines such as Mslexia, Stand and Poetry Wales, and have won or been shortlisted for international, national and local competitions, and to work at Granada TV, for BBC national and local radio and write for TV programmes such as Eastenders, Peak Practice, Doctors, Hollyoaks, Casualty and Emmerdale.


    has published three novels and short fiction nationally and internationally in Boomerang, Harrington’s, Blithe House and Pretext. He is the supervising editor of the Pool anthologies. His work is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4 and internationally, and he works with the film and radio production company, Catherine Bailey Ltd. He has received awards and bursaries from the Betty Trask Prize, the Society of Authors, the Royal Literary Fund, the Authors Foundation Award, and the Welsh Arts Council. He is a contributor to The Writer’s Workbook and The Creative Writing Coursebook, and he has written for Time Out, The Universe, Cercles, Fable, and Harper’s & Queen. He has been the external examiner for University of East Anglia, and works regularly for the Arvon Foundation and Ty Newydd, and is Visiting Writer at the Université de Rouen

    AILEEN LA TOURETTE is a novelist and poet. Her most recent collection is Downward Mobility (Headland 2004). Pandora, Virago Press, Faber and Faber have published her work, and her poetry and short fiction has been widely anthologized. She is an experienced radio dramatist, particularly for BBC Radio 4. She co-edits the Poetry Pool anthologies, and is coeditor of The Writer’s Workbook. She has tutored at the Arvon Foundation, and is external examiner for Writing courses on the Open College of the Arts.

    MARGARET MURPHY is the author of eight critically acclaimed psychological crime novels. Her first, Goodnight My Angel, was shortlisted for the First Blood award for debut crime fiction. A graduate of this MA in Writing, she went on to teach Writing for the Open College of the Arts. She is a member of the Society of Authors, and is active in the Crime Writers’ Association. She is the founder member of Murder Squad, a touring collective of crime writers. Winner of the year 2000 CWA Leo Harris award, she reviews crime fiction and regularly writes articles for Crime Time, as well as being a contributor to Radio 4’s The Message. Her novels are published in the USA and in translation

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