The course starts on Tuesday. Well, officially tomorrow, but my first lesson is on Tuesday.
The structure of the course is interesting; we have a two-hour Fiction Workshop weekly, when three members of the group circulate their work in advance, and those pieces are discussed in the workshop.
In the induction meeting, I asked whether it is helpful to give information when we submit work; should we specify if our submissions are short stories or part of a novel, and if the latter, which part? And surely it would be helpful to supply a synopsis of the novel if that is the case, to aid understanding and context? And if we’re looking for specific considerations, can we ask about those: is the tense right, and point of view, and is it a short story, or in fact the beginning of a longer piece? But the answer was no, the tutors think it best if the workshop readers ‘go in cold’ and aren’t guided in their criticism in any way.
To some extent, I think that makes sense. An unbiased reading is best. But sometimes it does help if someone can read a piece with a specific question in mind. But the tutors know best.
Alongside the Fiction Workshop, we also have a Creative Writing Seminar, which I believe will be a more theoretical session on writing. This will be exciting, I think. A lot of preparatory reading necessary throughout the week.
And finally, there is a Literature Option each semester, and we have a weekly lesson for that, which also requires a lot of preparatory reading.
As a bonus, nearly every other week there is a guest speaker who comes to discuss their work. In semester one, these guests will be predominantly writers, and in semester two the theme develops wider, into publishing and the wider implications of writing.
I’m so pleased to be here. And I love Scotland.