The power of the written word
01 Sep 21
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Professor George E Holmes DL | President & Vice Chancellor
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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Categories: English and Creative Writing, Undergradute
Why Greater Diversity is Still Needed in the Publishing World
When you write, you write first from experience. It doesn’t matter whether you are penning a biography of a well-known individual from Greater Manchester or creating a fantasy world full of demons and dragons; your experience will shape your writing. Developing your English creative writing and gaining a better understanding of your experience and that of others is an integral part of the exceptional English and Creative Writing degree at the University of Bolton.
The Importance of Diverse Experiences in Writing
We can only step outside our own experience and write from another’s point of view to a certain extent; the rest is imagination and creativity. Now there is nothing wrong with this; after all, we can only imagine being a dragon or a demon hunter. But for if we are going to appeal to the broadest possible audience, then we need characters that our audience can identify with, and that means developing diverse characters.
Writers are often worried about ‘stepping outside their lane’, writing characters that they have no personal experience of; white writers writing BAME characters for example or straight writers including LGBTQ+ characters. There is much discussion around this subject and little agreement. One thing that is generally agreed on is that there needs to be more diversity at every level of the publishing industry. Not only do we need writers from different backgrounds and with different experiences, but this needs to be reflecting in Creative Writing degree course leaders, publishing houses, editors, agents, proof-readers, beta readers, and sensitivity readers.
Encouraging Diversity Encourages a Love of Reading
A Creative Writing degree gives you the essential skills you need to develop your prose. However, it takes the skills of a critically-minded reader to show you where you may be missing something crucial in a character whose race, colour, gender or sexuality is different to yours or of which you have no personal experience.
It also takes a determined editor to take on new writers who do not fit the ‘publishing norm’. Encouraging more involvement in English Creative Writing and Writing degrees is the first step in widening participation and greater diversity. Opening different career paths and encouraging people of BAME backgrounds and those who identify as LGBTQ+ into publishing, editing and becoming literary agents is also essential to getting diverse characters out to the world.
Why Choose the University of Bolton for your Degree?
Developing a love of reading requires books that have characters that we can relate to; this requires good, diverse writers who have studied English creative writing. However, diverse writers need diverse representation. Could you help bring diversity to the publishing world? Whether you are looking at becoming a writer or want to run your own publishing house, studying an English and Creative Writing degree with the University of Bolton is a great place to start. We offer high-quality teaching in a supportive, enjoyable and creative learning environment. Join Bolton University in January and find out for yourself why we are #UniAsItShouldBe and have been named No.1 for Student Satisfaction three years running.*
Get in Touch
Take your first steps into publishing by studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Bolton as part of the January 2021 intake. Get in touch today to find out more about the English and Creative Writing course and how it could benefit your future career. Our award-winning Student Services Team is here for you if you have any questions relating to life in Manchester and the North West, accommodation, wellbeing, finance, funding or disability support.
*Complete University Guide 2021, 2020, 2019 – North West Region.
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