If you’re anything like me, when you hear writer’s studio, you imagine a mahogany desk surrounded by all the classics and a typewriter sitting in the sunshine. Perhaps this can be a reality. However, the writer’s studio at SFU is much more than just a picturesque scene in my mind.
I moved to Vancouver with the dream that I would write and the SFU writer’s studio sits at number one on the Huffington Post’s best alternative to an MFA. I promised myself I would get my degree done first, and with graduation looming around the corner, it’s almost time. Here is what you need to know about the writer’s studio if you’ve ever dreamed of becoming the next Hemingway.
In one year, with a total of 141 part-time hours, you will have worked under the wing of a published author and become published yourself. With the option to take the course either online, at Harbour Centre in Vancouver, or even in the beautiful mountain town of Whistler, there are plenty of options. While the locations are attractive what draws me most to the program is that you immediately become part of a tight-knit community of aspiring writers. This community is even important to the mentors within the program, according to Meredith Quartermaine it is a major part of her success.
Let’s talk numbers for a moment here. While tuition is $5,000 and there is no option for provincial or national loans, there are two scholarships available. Also, because it is a part-time course provided on evenings and weekends, working during your education is easy to do. You will also be finished sooner than a regular MFA, which takes a minimum of two years to complete, with tuition at anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000, and with no guarantee of publishing your work. I can see why SFU is at the top of the alternate MFA list.
The actual program consists of taking four core courses and picking two electives. These courses seek to equip you with constructive feedback in various forms such as poetry or fiction. They will also school you on the real world legalities that come with creative writing and how to navigate the not-so-simple questions that accompany copywriting your work.
With an impressive list of successful graduates, the SFU Writer’s Studio clearly produces results, giving creative minds the structure and feedback they need. If you want to get involved sooner, or enjoy a reading session in a quaint setting, I recommend going to the Reading Series hosted every first Thursday of the month.