Doctoral thesis creative writing

Applicants for the Doctorate in Creative Writing may be eligible for a scholarship if 1 they are accepted into the doctoral program by the School; and 2 they have a strong academic and publishing record.

Department of English and Literary Arts

The thesis comprising the creative project and critical essay will be assessed by two examiners external to University of Queensland, according to the standard methods and criteria for doctoral theses in the creative arts. These include the creative project's originality and demonstrated expertise, its contribution to knowledge in its form or genre, and the critical essay's quality, synthesis and critical reflection on its topic.

The examiners have the option to recommend awarding a Master of Philosophy in Creative Writing in lieu of the Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Writing if the thesis does not meet the standard required for the PhD. Skip to menu Skip to content Skip to footer. Site search Search.


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Site search Search Menu. PhD in creative writing. Course of study The thesis Eligibility Application Domestic and international scholarships Examination. Course of study The Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Writing requires a minimum of three years of full-time study or six-years of part-time study.


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  • The thesis The thesis is composed of an interrelated creative project and critical essay that together present and examine an element of practice. Since not all creative thesis proposals are accepted and since students will want to have an adviser and a thesis topic settled by early in the semester, applicants should also consider alternate thesis topics. You should, therefore, be speaking with faculty members with whom you might want to write a critical thesis.

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    If the Committee approves your proposal, students will follow the same thesis schedule and meet the same thesis due dates as those students writing critical theses, with the exception of the Draft deadline , even though requirements may overlap. A calendar of specific thesis due dates for your entire senior year will be sent to you at the beginning of your thesis year or you may pick up a copy from the Division office Psych It is required that students proposing to write a creative thesis take at least two writing workshops at least one of which in the genre in which the student is applying prior to submitting their proposal.

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    11. PhD by creative writing

    Reed College. Creative Writing. Creative Thesis Information Students who are hoping to write a creative thesis only an English major may apply to write a creative thesis should keep in mind that creative thesis proposals are screened by the Division and must be approved by the Creative Thesis Committee.

    It does this by means of some sort of large-scale creative piece — long fiction, life-writing, a poetry or short fiction collection, perhaps something in the new media — and some kind of commentary, critical essay or exegesis. There is usually basic standard for this first part, for example that the creative piece must be 'of publishable quality', though whether it gets published or not is a different matter, and for any given writer may well be beside the point.

    The second part which I'll call the commentary , as that's what mine is is where there seems to be most variation between different universities, and so this is something to think about very carefully indeed. Some regulations prescribe only that the creative work is accompanied by a critical paper exploring a related literary topic.

    This seem odd to me, because it hardly classes as studying the work-in-progress, but so be it. Others tie the two tightly together, and demand that the paper is a commentary on the aims and outcomes of your creative project, perhaps including the history, theory and critical field associated with its genre, and so on.

    A third kind seems to stay closer to the original model for PhDs which are not practice-led, and to expect the creative piece to be an answer to a theoretical proposition or question: at least in principle, it would be possible to fail the exam if the creative piece didn't demonstrate the theory well enough. This seems odd in the other direction, since the very essence of writing is the making of a creative whole which may, or may not, bear out the original idea. Even more theoretically, I suppose the day may come when it's possible to research creative writing solely by examining other writers' processes, with no direct creative work by the researcher.

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    But I do hope that day never does come, because I'll be first in the queue to re-train as a plumber. You'll have realised by now that it's a lot of work : a full-length novel, perhaps, plus a , word commentary, and to do it most universities allow years for full-time study, and for part-time. It can also be very isolated: if you're looking for the camaraderie and workshopping of your Masters, you won't find it, partly because your and your fellow-PhD's projects are so different, and partly because you only have a handful of supervisions per term.

    It's possible to do a PhD at the other end of the country from where you live — and might well be worth it for the right supervisor and the right regulations — but then you're even less likely to bump into your fellows. On the other hand, if you work independently and at home anyway, doing a PhD can actually break that isolation, giving you an entry to that institution, not to mention its library, and also to other interesting people in other interesting discplines.

    It's also worth thinking about where you are with your writing. If you've never written a novel or whatever form you're working in before, when things get difficult the bottom can drop out of your confidence: do you actually have a novel in you? Indeed, I would suggest that it's a big gamble to take on two huge, unfamiliar tasks at once: writing a novel, and researching a PhD.

    PhD in creative writing - Graduate School - University of Queensland

    If you have an earlier novel being published, that can be incredibly distracting, and confidence-denting in disconcerting ways, as well as time-consuming: at best the PhD will take longer, but if you're lucky enough to have a research grant the competition is fierce you must submit by a set date, or pay the money back. If you're trying something really new, can you contemplate the possibility of your not quite pulling it off: of its being, as it were, a really exciting failure? Are you willing to be examined by at least one non-writer, who need only be an academic 'from the field of English Literature'?

    Another question is, what will having a PhD actually do for you? As far as I can see it's not at all necessary for teaching CW, though it will help you to find a foothold in academic CW if that's your bent. I suspect that as hard-core university CW gains in size and importance, PhDs will become expected if not, I hope, ever required: if academic creative writing is to live and breathe, it must always be open to people who have no other qualification than being really good writers and teachers of writing.

    As to whether it'll make you a better writer There's a strong argument that you'll be a better novelist on the far side of your next novel, whatever the conditions under which you write it: you learn something new from everything you write. But there's also a strong argument that exchanging the brute economics of the book trade for the creative rigours of a practice-led research programme will make you a better writer still, if not necessarily a more saleable one.

    What more proper place could there be than a university, for experimenting, innovating, exploring your art and your craft to the point of producing a creative whole without compromise? Of course, writers have always sought out mentors , thought about their craft, tried things out consciously, and observed their own process.