University of Gloucestershire’s Creative and Critical Writing Program: An Inside Look

By Jodre Datu

After graduation, I was faced with the career inconvenience of a global pandemic. I had this romantic idea of obtaining a job right after my internship and, you know, beginning my life, convinced that the last thing I needed was another degree.

But plans change. After an internship of landing pages, email newsletters and Facebook ads, I felt I had lost some of that initial love that brought me to Humber in the first place: a love of crafting stories, characters and universes.  

Enter University of Gloucestershire’s Creative and Critical Writing MA program, a kind of light at the end of a landing-page tunnel. Through Humber, I was able to skip an entire year of coursework and fast-track to the thesis portion of the program, where I now spend my days reading and writing and thinking about my own novel. And it’s been a dream.

The program pairs you with a professor to guide you through your work, drawing out the theories and inspirations that you (perhaps unconsciously) are using. For my novel—a coming-of-age magic realist storythis means I submit a chunk of my thesis biweekly and we talk about everything from queer theory to narrative structure to Marvel’s Avengers. My professor also gives me feedback (would my main character really say that?). I then write, read, edit and repeat the process again.

As a writer who improvises most of the time, I’m surprised at how much I enjoy the “critical” part of this program, how I’m being forced to infuse every word with intention. Analyzing other texts has helped me become a better thinker as well, one who can make a little more sense of our current catastrophes.

I give this program two thumbs up, perfect for Humber students who have a little more art left in them—and for anyone with a story that needs to be told.