I passed!

Open University – Start Writing Fiction Course. Three months of reading, writing and thinking – with two assignments to submit – kept me busy. Some of it was easy. Some of it was challenging.

happy faceYes, I passed the Open University course. Yippee!

This was the Start Writing Fiction Course, A174, and counts for 10 credits. Three months of reading, writing and thinking – with two assignments to submit – kept me busy. Some of it was easy. Some of it was challenging.

Worth doing? Yes. Definitely.

One of the fun things about the course was the student forums. Our own ‘Tutor Forum’ was poorly attended, which was a shame. The course would have been greatly enriched with more active participation. There were four or five of us who regularly contributed and I am sure we got far more from the course by posting work, discussing others’ work, asking questions and sharing difficulties.

There was, however, an active Sudents’ Cafe. This was a forum where everybody from any tutor group could participate and it was a lively place.

Many of the A174 students are going on to do the Open University’s A215 course, Creative Writing, (worth 60 credits). Sadly, I am not one of them. But I hope to keep in touch with the friends I have made. And, I am looking forward to starting at Birkbeck in October.


No reason given.

hand writingSome months ago, I applied to do a MA in Creative Writing at a well known University.

I paid £25 for the privilege of applying online and found 2 referees and asked them (both very busy people) to write references and submitted a sample of my writing and found various ancient certificates and photographed them and sent them in by email. This took many days of careful thought, effort and work. And, of course, I rearranged my work commitments to make sure that I had the time to participate in the MA course, turning down offers of work for October 2011 onwards.

Photo of green binThree months later I receive a response, arriving late one evening in my inbox; a brief email asking me to look at a web page in the applicant portal. So, I find my user name and my password, logon and scroll down the page to find the single new word that tells me the decision status.


No reason given. No hints or suggestions for the future.

A few days later, I receive a letter through the post. The letter is a little gentler, but still gives no indication of why the rejection. Writing sample not good enough? Not enough previous experience? Had I set my sights too high? Poor personal statement? Too old? Fierce competition from better applicants? All these may be true, and probably are, but I am not told.

Working on the basis there is no failure, only feedback, I have applied to a few other places, offering creative writing courses.

Interestingly, I have not had to pay for these applications.

  • Been accepted by the Open University (I love the Open University!) for their Start Writing Fiction course. 12 weeks, starting in May.
  • Applied for a part-time BA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. Birkbeck offers evening tuition and the course looks really good.
  • Enrolled in a 3 day “Writing Great Short Stories” course at Knuston Hall

So, plenty of things to look forward to.

In the meantime, I continue reading ruthlessly and writing daily.