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Student view: creative writing workshops

“Any writer knows that the most painful, but most rewarding part of writing is getting feedback. So, despite how terrifying it may sound, this process is unavoidable if you are doing a Creative Writing degree. But that’s not necessary a bad thing…” Chloe, English Literature and Creative Writing student.

“As part of the Creative Writing course at Brighton, you will have to attend workshops in which you and your course mates can exchange work and get the necessary feedback to improve. I avoided these in first year as this was such a daunting experience and I wasn’t sure if I could handle it. However, as I start second year, I want to make the most of these opportunities and try and encourage everyone else to do the same.

“At these workshops, you are not pressured into showing a particular piece of work, you are free to get feedback on what you want. Ideally, you would want feedback on a piece of work which can go towards your portfolio, but if you want opinions on a piece of your own work, outside of the course, then that is completely okay. Make the most of these workshops, and even try and create mini feedback groups of your own. If you constantly share your work with other people then it will become easier to hear the constructive criticism and your work will most definitely improve. Who knows, you might end up agreeing with what people say.

“This works both ways too. Let people comment on your work and comment on other peoples too. This will allow you to identify what does and doesn’t make a piece of writing work. So, even if to start with, you are not too confident with sharing your own work, then comment on someone else’s. It takes a lot to open up and share, so I’m sure the other person would appreciate some helpful suggestions!

“There is something so utterly terrifying about sharing your work with others, especially if that piece of writing means something to you. Receiving feedback from your peers is in no way an easy task. So, if you are doing a Creative Writing degree, or even just thinking about it, then be aware of this process. Remember, despite the pain, you and your work will benefit from it in the end.”

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