Thursday, October 13, 2011

Question from a Writer - Degrees and Agents

I follow your blog regularly and value the opinions you give on the many different issues related to writing and publishing. I’ve considered going back to school and getting a creative writing degree (in addition to my BS Communications). My question is how much do agents such as yourself value a writer with a creative writing degree? Do you think its worth giving submissions more attention if the writer has such a degree?

I’ve been attending writing workshops and individual classes online that I’m really enjoying. The additional craft skills I’m learning are helping my writing significantly. I wanted to know if it’s worth spending the substantial additional money to get the ‘piece of paper’ to prove it.

I’d love to know your thoughts.

Personally, the degree doesn't matter for the submission, especially in cases of fiction. When it all comes down to it, we are looking at the material and you as a writer. I will emphasize, though, for non-fiction, and certainly some other genres in fiction, your degrees and personal information does matter. If you are writing a creative writing book, then knowing you hold degrees in these areas is something I would bring to the forefront.

As far as the courses go, there is nothing wrong with using that learning toward your growth as a writer. I think it is awesome that you are really pushing yourself to learn the craft. As for the degree, if you feel the degee and "that piece of paper" is what you want, then you should certainly go for it.


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