A creative writing degree will give you a practical skills which employers like. They are called “soft skills“. Team work, working as a group, to look at a piece of writing/project to make it better, learning how to speak to give criticism, to accept criticism, to speak positively, to be nurturing but tough, and to say your piece.
It also teaches you to take away a piece of work after the workshop and work on it on your own and make it better, remembering the comments sifting thru them deciding which ones are the best ones for your piece of writing – that’s an amazing skill to have.
Also there is the obvious thing to working to deadline which you get in all degree courses.
What would be the first course for most of the people is Writing Skills. It’s the first course because it gives you what are considered to be the important building blocks for any of the writing that you go into after that.
It gives you ideas about what to use in your writings and notebook, about getting a commonplace book together about learning skills for characterization, describing setting, plotting, dialog – the fundamentals of writing. But also the fundamentals in each of 3 genres that to say prose fiction, poetry and drama.
So that course is where you should begin and even if you’re quite an experienced writer you must know that other students founds it often very useful because it gives you a fresh look and it gives you exercises that you may have not come across before.
Art of Poetry
Building on the ideas that you get in the Writing Skills in goes onto offers the students experience in different forms of poetry. Rhyming, unrhymed – the different forms and structures that poets use. It gives you you much more detailed advice and exercises and help on drafting and re-drafting poetry. On working the notes towards the finished poem and on ways of polishing the work.
Even if you’re not going on to write poetry as the main kind of writing that you’re interested in focusing on words, images, structures in the way that poetry course will make you do will feed into your prose writing if that’s your main interest. It will feed into it and inevitably help to improve it.
Narrative and Dialogue
This course is aimed mainly at improving skills in prose writing and drama. The emphasis is very much on structuring and building commencing plot – working out the shape of a piece which is often something that not only students but publish writers found the most difficult part of their work.
So working on plot, drawing on existing plots, figuring out how can you adapt existing plots, change them and bend them into your purpose.
Also working on dialogue. The kind of dialogue you may include in a novel but also obviously the dialogue you may get in a play, and the course covers not just writing for the stage but also writing for radio and writing for screen. Dialogue on all the forms that it appears different kinds of writing.
Taken together those three courses will provide very good broad base for the courses that follow. If you’re just interested in pursuing one particular genre of writing then obviously if you’re a prose writer or a stage writer you would go narrative and dialogue or if you’re a poet you’d go for the art of poetry. But in either case it’s recommended to take the Writing Skills first because it gives you the most basic skills that you need to pursue the other courses.