Is a Creative Writing Degree Really Worth It?

To anyone thinking about studying creative writing,

It’s 11 o’clock at night. I’m sitting here, having just submitted my last university assignment, scrolling through jobs on seek.com. Look, I’ll be honest; there aren’t many. In fact, where I really want to go, I haven’t even found one that’s just right. It’s scary to leave “the academy” after being a student for almost 17 years. First kindergarten, preschool, primary school, high school, and then uni. It’s scary to think that I have to leave this privileged safe-haven where I can work on my creative writing without having to hold down a full-time job.

During my studies, I have had so many discussions about whether or not creative writing degrees are really worth anything. Will that really get you a job? Do real writers really need a writing degree? Creativity can’t be taught, can it?

All I know is that the time I have dedicated to my creative work over these three years has made all the difference. This degree has given me the chance to go all in, and really get something down on the page. Something that I’m almost happy with (on a good day). Something that I’m going to finish at a writing residency on the other side of the world.

As well as this, I’ve also made connections with the most supportive and interesting people that I have ever come across. People who give up their weekends to write reference letters, and who do everything in their power to get you ahead. I can’t even count on my fingers the number of people who have offered to read my work and give me feedback, even for years after I graduate.

Studying a BFA in creative writing has improved my creative writing, and that’s all I was expecting from it. I chose this degree for the knowledge, rather than the qualification.

Maybe this degree won’t lead me to the perfect day job, and I’m not expecting everything to just fall into place. But the past three years have been the happiest and most fulfilling years of my life. For me, that makes it all worth it.

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