Thursday, April 06, 2006
Writing Programs in Australia and New Zealand
Flummoxed in Farmington writes:
Love the blog, I read it with quasi-religious devotion. Could you tell me about any MFA programs in Creative Writing (Poetry) in Australia & New Zealand? I'd like to spend a year, or two, honing my writing skills, and I'm wondering if you could provide information about any programs in these countries that are particularly good.
Well, this is information in the MFA Handbook, but since flattery will get you everywhere, I'll tell you. Five of them that I know of: Macquarie University, U of Adelaide, U of Melbourne, U of New South Wales, and Victoria U of Wellington.
I don't know any information about their reputation etc., but perhaps someone out there in the blogosphere will. Let us know how it goes, Flummoxed. G'day.
UPDATE. This comes from Anonymous in Australia:
I'm currently doing a Masters in Creative Writing at (a University in Australia).
The difference between MFA's in the States and Australia is
that over here writing is not seen as a legitimate form of academic
research. Therefore at the major, prestigious universities, a big chunk of
your thesis is going to be taken up by a research dissertation. In my case
this mean 15,000 words theory, 15,000 words fiction. That's not a lot of
creative writing for 1.5-2 years of your life. If you're looking for
something more practice-based I'd suggest RMIT in Melbourne or UTS in
Sydney. These are both more industry-focussed institutions and both
writing programs have excellent reputations.--
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I recently studied for a semester at the University of Tasmania and while I was there I took a writing workshop course. It was taught by Andrew Peek (poet), and Danielle Wood (fiction). They don't offer an MFA. However, they do offer a Phd with a creative writing focus. I know that's the program Wood did and she later went on to win The Australian/Vogel literary prize for her novel "The Alphabet of Light and Dark." She was a great teacher and/but young. I don't know about the funding for the program but the city (Hobart) is awesome.
In Australia, a lot of the MA programs by coursework are big money spinners - though having said that they're no more expensive than MFAs in America. But then again I remember when tertiary education was free in Australia.
In NZ there is the IIML at Vic Uni which has links to Iowa, UC Irvine and University of Nevada. It's limited entry - 10 students and is run more like an MFA program. For local students they cost $3-4K a year.
There are a few MA's around the place which are government funded places such as the one at UWA but they are researhc degrees for the more experienced writers who want to gain a formal qualification - no workshops.
Hello, I'm wondering if there are any reputable screenwriting or playwrighting MFA programs in Australia. Thanks.
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