“Harry Potter”, “The Medicus”, “The Great Gatsby” or “The Perfume” … For many people there is nothing better than making yourself comfortable on the sofa with a good book in the evening. Despite the internet and television, reading is still one of the Germans’ favorite hobbies. Hundreds of new books come onto the market every year, with something for every reading taste. The books that make it onto the bestseller lists sell in the millions, are translated into dozens of languages and can often even be seen on the big screen. The authors of these works receive praise and admiration for their fluency and ingenuity.
But how do you actually become a successful writer? The remains of the genius cult represented by Goethe or Herder can still be felt in Germany. Accordingly, literary writing is a natural talent, a talent that cannot be learned easily. This attitude also explains why there are at German universities barely programs in which creative writing ( creative writing ) is taught. However, some universities have now responded to the great demand and offer courses that train people to become a writer. The most well-known institutions in this area are the University of Hildesheim and the German Literature Institute in Leipzig.
Studying creative writing: an overview
The creative writing courses see literary writing as a craft that, like any other craft, can be learned to a certain extent . The focus is of course on your own writing practice. But literary and art theories and rhetoric also play a role.
At the beginning of their studies, the students first write small scenes on a given topic. Later they write their own short stories, novellas, short stories and poems. They receive feedback on their texts not only from the professors, but also from the study group in which they regularly present their works. In addition to writing practice , the students get a theoretical background . You will get to know different literary theories and eras as well as text genres in order to be able to interpret foreign texts and reflect on your own texts. They also attend practical professional courses in which they get to know the practices of the literary business, the publishing industry and various literary professions.
According to Thembaprograms, there are also special courses in creative writing in the master’s area. Above all, they offer students the opportunity to realize a larger literary project . In these cases, the students have to present a concept for a novel or another type of text when applying. The accepted applicants receive their degree after the completion of their project.
But there are also master’s programs that pursue other approaches. For example, the master’s degree in “Biographical and Creative Writing” is aimed at social workers , psychologists and educators . Here they are taught techniques that enable creative writing to be used as a form of therapy or in a socio-educational sense.
Study creative writing: requirements
The demand for the few places in the creative writing field is huge. Out of several hundred applicants, the universities only accept twenty to thirty new students each year. The selection process is accordingly tough. Applicants must first submit texts they have written themselves in order to convince the professors of their literary talent. Anyone who has managed to do this will receive an invitation to a personal interview. If you want to study creative writing, you should already have written your own texts and have a certain talent for writing .
One thing must be clear: studying is no guarantee of literary success. Many graduates pursue other activities on the side in order to earn a living. Very few are lucky enough to make a living from writing alone.
However, the course qualifies for other professions: Graduates work as lecturers or journalists . Activities in adult education are also possible: Here they give courses on creative writing themselves, for example at the adult education center.
Graduates of the “Biographical and Creative Writing” course can apply their newly acquired knowledge in their respective field of work. They help their clients or patients to cope with trauma and crises through biographical writing.
Study creative writing abroad
In other countries, especially in the USA , courses in creative writing have long been established. The number of study programs there is significantly higher than in Germany. Here the students benefit from a long academic experience in the field of creative writing . For everyone who cannot get a place at a university in Germany, studying abroad can be a worthwhile alternative represent. A semester abroad in the USA or another country is also worthwhile for German students. The students not only benefit from different work techniques and teaching content, but can also collect countless new inspirations during their stay abroad. Improving foreign language skills can also be beneficial for your professional career.