Do authors need a writing degree?

December 4, 2016 | By | Reply More

Do you need to have studied for a Master in Fine Arts degree to be considered a ‘proper’ author? Well, the list of famous and best-selling authors who don’t have a MFA or any other ‘proper’ qualification in creative writing is as long as your arm … everyone from J.K Rowling through Stephen King to my old HarperCollins stable-mate chum, George R.R. Martin.

Yours truly got a Business Studies degree from a business school, and later went to the Saint Martins Institute (now the UAL) – mainly the Camberwell College of Arts – to study for a graphic design degree as well. Which was creative, but still not writing! Although I did get to do some gorgeous letterpress printing at what was then the London College of Printing and is now the more funky London College of Communication … but hand-setting lead type is still not writing.

So what are the pros and cons of taking a MFA in writing? In this podcast by author J. Penn, J.P. chats to writer Gabriela Pereira, the author of The DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose and Build Your Community. Another one of those self-help manuals for aspiring indie authors. There’s an awful lot of them about. Manuals, that is – although there are millions of indie authors out there, too, now, it seems.


Category: Video Blogs, Writer's Dojo

About the Author ()

I have been working as a full-time author publishing fantasy and science fiction novels for HarperCollins for the last seven years.

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