1. CiaDavis
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    CiaDavis Member

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    Online degrees

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CiaDavis, Jul 2, 2011.

    So I recently discovered that I seriously need to go back to school if I have any hopes of getting a novel published. I can't write for beans anymore :(

    Does anyone know of any colleges that offer completely online degrees for creative writing. I've been searching the net for a couple of weeks and have only found the scams so far. Just posting to see if anyone on here may know of an programs.

    I live in NC, but depending on the tuition rates, I could do the telecommute thing at out of state places (comm college or university)
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know of any, but I have to say that I find the idea that you have to get a degree or go back to school, for creative writing or otherwise, if you want a chance at getting a novel published to be dubious at best. How many published authors do not have a degree in creative writing? And I've seen some pretty bad work from people who do...
     
  3. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    *cough* Stephenie Meyer *cough*

    But yeah, I agree. Any publisher that decides having a degree is essential to a writer isn't worth the effort.

    If, on the other hand, you want to do a course in order to improve your own writing skill, then there are plenty of free resources you can find online and in bookshops. Although you won't be getting ay official qualifications, it could still be worth it if you think you need to improve that much.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Given the number of books she's sold, she's not exactly a poster child against the degree...
     
  5. CiaDavis
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    CiaDavis Member

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    really, I would be happy with a few courses, just to brush up on it. I don't feel having a degree is imparative (sp? see why I need to go back to school lol) to getting published. Stephanie Meyer had a degree? Wow. That's just sad. I could write better than that crap and I think my writing sucks now.
     
  6. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    I was thinking more about her ability in fields such as grammar, and total lack of character development...
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Nevertheless she achieved something as a storyteller that 99.99% of authors will never even come close to approximating.
     
  8. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    Not so much as a storyteller, I think. More like a businesswoman, she found a target audience with potential (romantically-deprived schoolgirls), she wrote a book tailored to their desires, and raked in the cash.
    Anyway, this is hardly the place to discuss the success of Stephenie Meyer.

    As to the OP, it seems to me that you'd be better suited with an unofficial course (one that doesn't end in official qualifications). It would mean that you're not obligated to finish the course, and wouldn't need to spend any money, while still being able to "brush up" on your skills as a writer.

    That's just my opinion though, do what you feel is best for you. (Not that you need me to tell you that...)
     
  9. CiaDavis
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    CiaDavis Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys! A bachelor's degree is a little much, though I am planning on making this my living one day. I found a place that offers online courses in creative writing (as soon as I posted a thread on here, lol)
     
  10. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, and here I thought this was another thread from a bot spamming advertisements! :D

    Have you seen the paid advertisement banners on the website? There are lots of colleges offering online courses for writing. I can't really recommend any because all the writing courses I had I took in person while at college.

    I will say you don't really need a degree to be a good writing, but the english and writing courses will help your grammer and offer valuable tips.
     
  11. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    You can always get help from a professional without going to school. Yeah, I go to school, but I did not go to improve my writing. I am a newbie writer, but it is possible that you can get a book and even win an Oscar without obtaining a degree for it.

    I took a creative writing course in high school, but it has not helped me at all. Maybe I was young at the time.

    Taking a course really does help you ring the bell in your mind though if you are fully aware of what to expect. I have learned many things about writing a book. I did not even get a degree for it. Moreover, it seems like my knowledge do worth trying to write something, though I did not get a degree for it. Thus, in my personal experience, I do not think it is not impossible to get a book published without any educational background record in Creative Writing.

    If you want to get your foot moving by obtaining a degree, many degrees are available for you, thus t increasing your knowledge in publishing a book. You also do not need to waste a big sum of tuition fees (not trying to discourage you or nothing) to get a book published. Many online advices about colleges and books you can do to be published are available. Even that, you can call up schools and ask if they offer creative

    However, going to school to refresh your mind will, but not always, increases your odds of getting a book published.
     
  12. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    That seems to be a very outlandish figure. That assumes that, including her, there are 10,000 authors in existence right now, that have not yet died and are actually practicing authors, which means that they are at least writing something or have recently published something.
    Now, given that other authors do currently (or at least in the past few years) enjoy similar financial success, this increases the number of authors by 10,000 for each similarly financially successful author.

    We must also remember that a large portion of her financial success will be coming from the adaptations, not just the novels themselves.

    ... So, sorry to get into the semantics of that, but "99.99%" is a somewhat outlandish claim.
     
  13. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Same here :<


    OT:
    Writing is like riding a bike, you never forget how to to, but you'll end up making a mess of yourself if you don't practice frequently. I'd recommend just searching through the web for prompts to respond to or keep a journal.

    This website (http://creativewritingprompts.com) has a ton of writing prompts, try doing one or two a day for a while just to get yourself back into writing.
     
  14. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    I'm currently an MFA student, so maybe I can be of some help to you, based on my experiences.

    Majoring in Creative Writing with the idea that it's the only way to get your novel published is an irrational decision, and a naive one at best. Majoring in Creative Writing because you think it's the only way to get a career as a writer is another naive decision.

    Creative Writing isn't something you should major in lightly. Undergraduate Creative Writing in particular doesn't produce the next Faulker or TC Boyle. It might--because I'm not saying there aren't some extremely talented writers--but they are few and far between at the undergrad level, which is designed purely for the emerging writer.

    What a good Creative Writing program should do is get you in the practice of reading and writing habitually, teach you the value of a workshop and critique, and some of the better undergrad programs incorporate interesting craft classes. Perhaps even you will attend a few live readings here and there. But, you can do all that stuff on your own if you stick around these sites, form your own workshop, and check your local Arts section for live readings.

    I was fortunate to have a good teacher, so I did learn quite a bit from him. But I didn't choose to major in Creative Writing because I expected it was the only way I'd succeed or it would instantly land me a job. I majored in it because it was the only thing I was interested in, I knew I'd do well in it, and I enjoyed the constant workshop atmosphere. You get out of the major what you put into it. If you just want to write a story to get the grade and just coast by for your degree, you're not going to learn anything. However, if you have the discipline, the desire, and you're a little bit crazy, you may just get something out of it.

    So, as has been suggested, decide if you want to major in it for the right reasons. It's not going to make you a great writer by default, it's not going to land you a "writing" job because you have the degree, and it's not going to interest agents or publishers enough to publish your novel.

    If, however, you enjoy the dynamic of live workshops, want to involve yourself in a community of writers (which is hard with a low-residency), and maybe squeeze whatever practical knowledge out of the faculty you can, then go for it. But don't do it because you think it's going to get you published--there are too many of those kinds of writers in the program already.
     
  15. CiaDavis
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    CiaDavis Member

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    Ok, I think I really miscommunicated my point in my question :redface: I'm not looking to get a degree in writing just to get published. I love to write, and I want to be the best writer I can be. Thus, the next logical step would be to go to school and learn how to be the best writer I can be.
     
  16. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    Sounds reasonable enough. I assumed you thought it was the only way to get published.

    Then you have my encouragement. You might want to be careful about an online degree; it's not the right fit for everybody. Make sure you do all of the research, and assure you'll get out of it what you want.

    There are some benefits though. Usually, since you're not going to class, you might get a lot of one-on-one correspondence from the faculty. But it depends on the program. I benefit mostly from workshops and craft classes, others prefer the feedback from professors. It's all chalked up to the best way you believe you'll learn.
     
  17. CiaDavis
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    CiaDavis Member

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    I would love to be able to go to classes, but I have a mental health patient living with me, and I'm the worker for them through the state, so I wouldn't be able to leave all the time to go to school =/ Online is my only option.
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    No, that's what people like to tell themselves to explain it away, but the evidence doesn't bear it out. But you're right, that's for another thread.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you don't need a degree to be a successful writer, though it does help if you want to be a journalist...

    what you seem to need is just some good online writing courses... the 'gotham writers workshop' in NYC is generally considered to be the best, if you can afford it... but there are others you can find by googling that are almost as good and not quite as costly... the problem is there are many more that are poor and overpriced and/or outright scams, so you must be very careful in choosing one...

    start at: http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/ where you can check out the various places to see if they've been reported as legit or not...
     
  20. CiaDavis
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    CiaDavis Member

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    Thanks so much for the info!
     
  21. Deleth
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    Just keep in mind, having a degree does not good writer make. Some of the best writers present or past history (no I will not cite it) did not have fancy creative writing degrees, in fact some didn't even have a degree.

    Also, most of my favorite writers (I will cite Terry Brooks on this, he was an attorney) had other careers and jobs before they became writers, which is what makes me think they are better writers with the real world experience and all.

    But this is from someone who is just trying to get published not make money at writing, I do it for the entertainment, the money is just a side effect. I'm getting a degree in Drafting and Design to make money ;)
     

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