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What Students Said about our Distance Learning Creative Writing MA in 2010
A selection of responses drawn from anonymous evaluation forms completed by our Distance Learning MA Summer School in August 2010.
“A great week”: writing, workshops, fellow students, tutors
I enjoyed all of the workshops, getting something from each one.
The workshops were run to a very high standard generally – I liked how particular they were and that I got concrete help with various questions I was facing in my work. I found the writing exercises fascinating in what they threw up and the amount of writing and ideas I could generate. The critical workshop (George Green) was especially useful in talking about the bigger structure of a work.
All workshops were useful. I especially enjoyed writing in prose – even though my primary genre is poetry. Notes on individual workshops: Conor – very lively and challenging; Sarah – excellent strategies to ‘jump-start’ flagging writing; fantastic resources and a warm teaching smile; Tom – excellent methodologies, wonderfully inclusive and motivating style; Tom gave students a ‘can-do’ approach which was empowering; Peter – such fun! A real treat, and again, a workshop which empowered; Graham – loved this! Learnt a great deal about self-editing and the power of a single word to transform a piece; Graham is a very intelligent and erudite teacher whose real skill is that of inclusion and validation.
The workshops were extremely useful and challenging. Tutors were knowledgeable and approachable.
Extremely useful and very well-planned – the discussions and presentations were aggregated – building our knowledge and comfort through the week.
I have never done a workshop before and found the process more interesting and useful than I anticipated. Was slightly dreading poetry encounters but this turned out for me to be an essentially interesting way into a sort of creative writing I had willfully refused to engage with. In different ways I found each tutorial very beneficial and would have liked to attend all six.
I’m impressed with how the tutors did the exercises with us – wrote poetry, shared their work, and treated us as colleagues, not students… Tom on landscape – brilliant building exercises loosened our eyes to write in new ways. Seems very easy and genial but a brilliant teacher. Graham – his workshop made me feel like a writer – that I can tap into this wide, deep vocabulary. Loved the discussion of communication, reading the world, mark-making and why… Peter – loved his passion for words. Great exercises, funny, smart, inspirational. George – we were ready for a critique workshop by Friday and he took us through our paces. Thought-provoking questions – really useful and helpful cinema parallels…I consider myself a writer now.
I really valued the opportunity to have the one to one tutorial and real time to go over my work. I loved meeting Tom Pow and thought his enthusiasm in the course was really impressive and motivational. I found the opportunity to have workshops with the publishers and literary agents to be fantastic. I very much appreciated the effort and hard work that has gone into this week – Graham and Lee, thank you very much.
I would like to thank my tutor, Diran, for taking time out of his own programme and schedule to talk to me about my work-in-progress. I believe we stood outside our flats, see-sawing from one leg to another, talking for almost three hours. He didn’t have to spend all that time with me and I do thank him for that. The fact that the tutors all interacted with us was, in fact, a great asset to the whole week.
Overall I’d say that the week was fantastic. A great success.
This has been a wonderful week for me and ranks amongst the most instructive, enjoyable and productive of my life. I am very grateful to Lee and Graham for all of their hard work and guidance. I am also indebted to my fellow students for their no-holds barred engagement with the Summer School.
It was thoroughly enjoyable to meet my peers. The mixture of focus on work and good humour was wonderful.
It was interesting to meet all of our group. I think we all shared our experiences, and I found this to be a wonderful learning process.
I have had an exhilarating week, meeting people from all walks of life from many different countries, all seemingly so different, yet bound together by our passion for writing (and spending hours in the kitchen, giggling, drinking and reading each other’s work). Thank you for this wonderful experience!
The fact that many students live overseas and come from such diverse countries enriched the week greatly. We share many common ideas and challenges in our work and the ideas of belonging / not belonging, writing the ‘other’, etc., were constantly under discussion. I am going away with the perspectives of so many different people and some concrete ideas for my work, to do with creating other worlds and voices.
Very useful to have a mix of students who could all share cultural experiences. Interesting to see a lot of pieces reflecting on culture, or with cultural nuances.
Thanks again for a great week. I really enjoyed the experience.
“A little home away from home”: accommodation and domestic arrangements
Excellent, was surprised by the high standard of food. The room was also very quiet and I liked privacy of having your own bathroom. Very good space for quiet writing time between workshops.
Excellent. The food far exceeded expectations.
Food and meal arrangements were excellent. Great to be able to buy wine!
Great – all food was excellent, lots of choice. Staff were very friendly and helpful. The accommodation was very clean and in good order.
Perfect! A little home away from home. Extremely comfortable.
Surprised and pleased with the food and the service. Room was great, clean and comfortable. Internet access a hiccup but not life-threatening.
Meals were absolutely lovely and all the catering was great.
Cake publishes poetry, flash fiction and reviews with work from established poets and newcomers alike. Go to Cake»
Share research and make connections with other researchers. Go to the Luminary»
The Flash Journal is an undergraduate run termly journal which publishes fiction, poetry, critical and hybrid work by current Lancaster undergrads. Go to Flash»
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