Catriona's Creative Writing Degree Pays Dividends
The Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University was really important for the completion of Catriona's first novel, Trackman. She had the main plot worked out and had written the bare bones of it, but had no idea about how to turn those notes into a completed novel. 'The Distance Learning MA was perfect ' she says – 'I didn’t have to give up my day job, it gave me two years to develop my novel and I was able to interact with other writers from all over the world. It also gave me the confidence to start calling myself a writer and show my work to other like-minded people. I received great advice from both tutors and students on topics such as editing and character development and also guidance on how to approach agents and publishers.'
Halfway through the MA she spent a week’s summer school in Lancaster. This allowed her to work on the writing, attend workshops and one-to-one meetings with our tutors and spend time at the University. It also allowed her to finally meet the other writers she'd been communicating with for the last year. It was funny putting faces to names - images she'd built up in her head based on writing styles and online conference chats did not necessarily turn out to be accurate! She's stayed in touch with a lot of the other writers on her course and still receive valuable editing advice and support.
She finished the MA in 2010 and Trackman was published by Luath Press in February 2012. She's just had her second novel, Swim Until You Can’t See Land, published, also by Luath Press and feels she definitely owes a great deal of this success to the MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster.