My student experience


Student profile

Clare Holt

"The English department staff at Surrey are all published novelists, poets and academics, and their critical evaluation on work is both ruthless and invaluable."

Course
Creative Writing

"The MFA in Creative Writing was a new programme the year I started, and I was the sole student guinea-pig/pioneer. I chose it over the MA because the final project requirement was twice the length, giving latitude for a larger piece of work to help me on my way to publication, and because there was twice as much scope for research. 

The English department staff at Surrey are all published novelists, poets and academics, and their critical evaluation on work is both ruthless and invaluable.

Clare Holt
Clare Holt

Key elements of the course are the peer reviewed workshop sessions which provide multi-perspective feedback in a supportive atmosphere, and a selection of interesting modules to develop knowledge and writing skills.

Being the only student on a new programme had its hiccoughs, but it also brought opportunities, not least of which was the publication of a book of short stories, Mad, launched at the Guildford New Writers Festival in May 2016.

The stories in Mad are based on my research into the treatment of women’s mental health in the nineteenth century, which has been my main focus of study over the time of the course.  My portfolio submission is the first 30,000 words of a novel, ‘Asylum’, which brings together three strands of research. The next six months following submission will be my opportunity to finish the novel and seek representation, and I am considering returning to Surrey for a PhD."

 

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