I've decided to pursue a MA in creative writing and things have actually been progressing rather smoothly, partly because I'm not dealing with the University of Toronto anymore. Concordia has been extremely helpful in helping me find my path.
My BA is only a three-year degree, although after a couple conflicting reports I've been informed that a three-year is adequate. The problem is the marks I attained during those three years. Of course as it is in life, I am much more driven to attain the marks I need now. And so I must prove that to be the case.
I've earned As in two courses so far, a grammar course and a creative writing course, but it seems the judgement of acceptance is dependent on English Literature courses. So before I am accepted into any Master's program I must take a handful of English Lit courses. Today I had a meeting with the head of the department and determined which courses would be best suited for me.
I had already been accepted into a creative writing course for the fall, although that mark will not help me very much. I still intend to take it, but I've also added four other courses. Along with the creative writing course I'll be taking a Milton class, in which the only reading is Paradise Lost, and Southeast Asian Literature, both are fall classes. The idea is to show that I can earn As in a diverse range of genres. In the winter session I'll be taking Video Game Theory, looking forward to that one, and English Renaissance Drama. I'll also probably need to add a third winter class, but I have to wait for space to become available in either 17th Century Prose and Poetry or Contemporary Canadian Fiction.
I'll be applying to the Master's program in January. They'll look at my portfolio, which has already gained me entrance into that single creative writing class, and if it's good enough, they'll look at my marks. I'll need to add poetry to my portfolio, that will prove most challenging since my poetry tends to be horrible, and I might need to write a play as well, or at least part of one. If I can achieve As in the fall classes, I should be accepted on the grounds that I also earn As in the winter courses.
I've already purchased some of the books I'll need so I'll have read them by the time class begins, something I would have sneered at thirteen years ago.
Aside from the obvious challenges of course work, some of these classes are scheduled in the morning. That is going to interfere with the potential for work, but I am working a fair amount at home writing for a telecommunications company, and I'm hoping that my French will earn me a job in a bar or weekend work somewhere. I'm also going to try to get money from other sources, mainly research grants, or possibly TA work, although I'm doubtful that I'll earn a TA position, and these sources of income will only become available to me once I'm actually in a Master's program.
The Creative Writing Master's is a two year program, and if I fail to be accepted, I could be accepted into an academic program, also two years but without the writing workshops that accompany my first choice of Master's programs. The thesis for the Creative Writing Master's is a novel or collection of work, which is much preferable to a research paper, which is required for the academic program.
I expect it to be difficult, but if I can get the As I need, I'll be fully confident that I'll do well in the Master's program itself. I've also got to mention that without Kate's support I wouldn't have been able to even get this far.
Well the rain has stopped so I'm going to head outside and begin my preparation for the fall semester by reading Cracking India by Bapsi Sidhwa.