Creative Writing BA student Lucinda Morton reflects on the value of a Creative Writing degree at York St. John University, sharing her thoughts on its importance.
When I first told my mum I wanted to do a degree in creative writing, she was delighted that I was following what I wanted to do, and supported me from the get-go. Whether this is because she’s brilliant (which she is), or because she knows that I’m stubborn and mostly terrible at everything else, I don’t know. But what I do know is that this was not reflected in everyone I told.
Despite being the first person in my immediate family to go to university, the most common response I got was “Is that degree even necessary? Anyone can write a book.” While that may be true, there is a certain skill to writing that no one is born with. It must be cultivated, and this degree is about more than just writing.
I love my degree, and I’m particularly glad I chose YSJ to study at. The ways that the course and the city itself have influenced my writing are innumerable. I’m more confident on a personal level with sharing my work, utilising the workshopping time the tutors give us to advance our writing. Other aspects of the degree, such as the one-to-one sessions with tutors and the exposure to such varied types of writing over different centuries. These are things that I wouldn’t have had the option of experiencing (particularly at such a young age) had I not come to university. I love my tutors, who all so obviously care about their students and what they’re teaching; it makes the course come to life. This degree has opened my mind to things I never would have considered just a year and a half ago.
I’m currently in my second year doing a module that teaches us more vocational skills in our chosen subject. As a Creative Writing student, mine is publishing, and we are tasked with creating our university’s anthology ‘Beyond the Walls’. In just eight weeks, we have to create something from scratch until we have a published book available to buy. This is valuable, tangible experience ready to take with us once we finish our time here at YSJ that will help us move on in life.
This degree has opened so many doors for me. This module alone is teaching me things I’d otherwise have no idea about. My degree will enable me to walk into a future agent or employer’s office with a physical thing that I can put on the desk in front of them that I created; I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. And none of it without YSJ.