The University of East Anglia and the Writers’ Centre Norwich have just announced the launch of “Online and Face-to-Face Creative Writing Courses,” commencing in 2015. “This is your chance to benefit from the UEA’s world renowned expertise and give your creative writing a real chance to progress,” the introduction states, and the online offering includes a “specially developed online learning environment using course materials designed by your tutor,” as well as bespoke criticism and individual feedback.
“This partnership between UEA and Writers’ Centre Norwich gives you the opportunity to work either online or face-to-face in 10, 12 or 24 week courses in poetry and fiction,” states the UEA/WCN introductory material. “The courses are led by writers who have excellent records.” For prose, this means Anjali Joseph, young Anglo-Indian novelist and former commissioning editor of ELLE India, and Ian Nettleton, writer and PhD creative writing teacher at UEA. For poetry, it means Helen Ivory, four times published by leading UK poetry house Bloodaxe Books.
It needs to be stressed that creative writing courses won’t always put in what God left out, and that even this program’s excellent credentials do not guarantee that the money you pay them will turn you into an immediate best-seller or literary lion. And you could be paying up to £900 ($1420) for the 24-week programs. That said, “quality and quantity of educational programmes” is exactly one of the credentials that secured Norwich the status of UNESCO City of Literature in 2012, and the UEA/WCN partnership has other ambitious goals for literature and culture in Norwich, including a National Centre for Writing, so students will be tapping into a powerhouse of cultural initiative through the courses.