It had always been something that I had planned to do someday, September always came around and I managed to find some excuse for not doing it, usually that I was too busy at work or that I couldn’t afford it. This year I have put all excuses to one side and I have finally signed up for a creative writing MA.
So why this year? One of the catalysts was the Pulp Idol Competition back in May where everyone who did well in the competition seemingly had done or was doing an MA in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores. This was an option as a place to apply to and I spoke to one of the lecturers about their course and he sold it to me perfectly well.
There was only one place that I wanted to do it at and that was MMU in Manchester, given its good reputation and where it’s situated. Also what dissuaded me from doing it at Liverpool JMU was that I’d already previously studied there for my degree and masters. Though I enjoyed my time there, I wanted to experience working in a different academic establishment.
The route that I am taking is part-time over three years, two years in class and one writing up the novel that forms part of the final project.
For now, the first module, of the first term is Contemporary Novels, where there will not much writing to do, but we have been presented with a reading list of 10 books that we have to read in as many weeks.
I’m genuinely pleased that from the list I have not read any of these particular books – I have read a couple of the author’s other works (Nabokov and Burgess) but this list will be a real journey of discovery.
First up is Patricia Highsmith’s, The Talented Mr Ripley followed by Anthony Burgess, Time for a Tiger. Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin. VS Naipaul, Miguel Street. Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker. Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries. Beryl Bainbridge, Master Georgie, and finally JM. Coetzee’s, Disgrace.