Stephanie’s Master’s Degree Adventures: Introduction

As you might know from the “About” page, I started a postgraduate program in creative writing this past September. For months I’ve been frantically keeping up with deadlines, reading feedback, and making friends with fellow writers from around the world. Along the way I have realized that this opportunity, although stressful, is the best thing to have happened to me as both a person and a writer. I can’t imagine what my life would be like right now without it. Then I realized that other writers, both established and aspiring, could benefit from my new insights. And thus starts “Stephanie’s Master’s Degree Adventures.”

The best introduction to these adventures, I believe, would be a description of the program. There are a lot of details that I can’t cover here, but here are the highlights:

  • It’s online distance learning, so you don’t have to move to attend.
  • It’s through the University of Edinburgh, the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world. Fun fact: Edinburgh was once home to renowned authors J.M. Barrie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and is the current residence of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
  • It’s a three-year, part-time program, which leaves room for work, family, and other commitments.
  • The first two years of the program involve a mixture of literary study and creative practice. The final year focuses on the dissertation portfolio.
  • The final year incorporates a biennial online colloquium called “Virtually, The Business,” which includes information on the publishing business. Sometimes the staff arranges similar presentations for the first and second years, too.
  • Most importantly, the program directors and personal tutors are published authors and poets.

That’s about all that I can provide in this first post, but you can learn about the program by following this link. For more information about the university overall, be sure to visit the University of Edinburgh’s homepage.

I realize that these straight-up facts may not be very helpful right now (unless they’ve helped the program peak your interest). They may not even be all that interesting. However, tune in to future installments of “Stephanie’s Master’s Degree Adventures” where I will give you my advice for successfully applying to a master’s program, tips for surviving grad school rejection, and the most important lessons I learn during the program.

For those of you who are already in a Master’s program or will be starting one soon, e-mail me your stories and wisdom and I will try to include them in my posts.


Designed by Stephanie Hoogstad circa 2011

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