Marianne Wheelaghan BA (Hons) MA Creative Writing
I decided to set up writingclasses for two reasons: I love writing and wanted to share my passion for it with others. I believe to teach a skill is an honourable way to earn a living. In the words of Hanif Kureishi "I felt if I knew something, I should pass it on."
In January 2003, after a lot of research and much preparation, the first presentation of creative writing(1) began, with one tutor (me) and five students. Since then literally hundreds and hundreds of students have walked through our virtual doors. We now present four creative writing courses three times a year, including the brand new Magazine Article Writing (1), and are developing an Advanced Fiction writing course. We have four tutors, who are extremely experienced educators as well as accomplished writers. As for our students, they come from around the world and from all walks of life and are artists, builders, cleaners, doggy-walkers, nurses, journalists, teachers, hairdressers and tree surgeons (to name but a few).
I am often asked by these students if completion of one of our courses will help make him or her a famous writer. To this I have to say, probably not. It would be wrong to set up a false expectation of success. However, what is true is this: when you enrol on one of our courses you will discover that there is no mystery to being a good writer and that writing is not the prerogative of a chosen gifted few, but something all of us can learn to do, and do well – if we want to. For some of you, you will thoroughly enjoy your chosen course, take on board what you learn as part of a liberal education, and that will be enough for you. For others, however, it will be just the beginning, and as previous students have done, you will go on to do further courses. You may even eventually win a scholarship to pursue your writing further, and, yes, you may even publish your stories in magazines and/or elsewhere. And why do some of us keep writing while others do not? Because for some of us there is nothing more magical and wonderful than creating an engaging story from out of absolutely nothing. And luckily for us, there are hundreds and hundreds of people out there who want to read just such stories.
We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little.