The Distance Learning MA Summer School 2012
Students came from all over the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Greece, Portugal and Sri Lanka to attend the Distance Learning MA Summer School, 29th July – 4th August 2012.
A selection of responses drawn from anonymous evaluation forms completed by our Distance Learning MA Summer School:
Superb. Way beyond expectations. We’ve done 5 days at 14 hours per day (if we include chat at breakfast to end of evening readings.) Can honestly say that there has not been a single session that has been wasted or even below par. All highly relevant to my genre, my own project and my struggle to write competently. Stretching!!… Challenging but not confrontational, critical but not destructive. Sense of being among expert tutor/writers. Prepared to take risks… Thank you.
All the workshops were useful, in multiple different ways, but some in particular blew me away. Graham’s session on location was completely different to what I expected and couldn’t have been more relevant to some of the issues I’ve been trying to deal with. Conor’s sex workshop broke the ice brilliantly, Samar Hammam smashed all the stereotypes of literary agents, and her words that our job was first and foremost to ‘write a good book’ were sensible and tremendously encouraging. For absolute unbridled enthusiasm, Peter Samson was superb, allowing us to see how possible it all is. I think I learnt more in the critical reading session with George than I have all year, and Lee’s writerly reading session showed me how texts can speak to different people in different ways.
The workshops were of great use, particularly Tom’s workshop on the object as talisman – of great relevance to the climax of the novel I am writing on this course. Regular feedback allowed us to reassess our writing technique. All writing workshops were comprehensive and generated many new ideas. Peter Samson was hilarious as well as very informative! Tutorial with Tom, Graham’s session around the PhD programme and Lee’s session on the reflective thesis were also of particular use, allowing me to plan the final year of my M.A. and reassess my future direction academically.
What a privilege to be taught by these writers. I feel incredibly lucky to have been in such useful, practical and challenging workshops with all of the tutors. Each person brings a very different character and it has been great to spend time with everyone.
Where there were parallel workshops, I chose the one that I thought would be most useful, and that proved to be right. I felt the synopsis writing particularly useful as a way of thinking about your work in a focused way… I particularly liked Graham’s ‘Everyone has to be Somewhere’ as it broadened my thinking in terms of what we mean by place – very relevant for my work.
My workshops were all extremely beneficial. Sarah’s ‘personal image world’, Tom’s ‘object description’, and Geroge’s ‘action writing’ were excellently planned and had useful tasks which encouraged us to think on our feet. One group member commented that if you can write under that kind of pressure, then you can easily manage at home with only the day job to worry about.
An excellent and useful week at the mid-point of the course, great to meet everyone face-to-face and share our writing/experiences. I enjoyed all the workshops, the chats over lunch and dinner and the evening readings. This was a splendid opportunity to recharge creatively and critically for the second year and to reassess where we are going in terms of our studies.
Thank you very, very much for such a fabulous week. The evening readings were lovely… Digesting gorgeous food, sipping wine and being read to must surely be what it’s like to arrive in heaven. Quite simply wonderful – thank you. It’s brilliant being part of such an engaging, supportive group. I hope the plan to meet again early next year comes together. I want more more more more more. More.
It was brilliant to meet the other students and all the tutors face to face and everyone was so friendly. It was such a lovely week and I was really quite sad to leave. Shame we can’t do it every term.
Uni accommodation here is superb. Clean, comfortable rooms, towels, etc, rooms serviced, warm, quiet, bit of conpanionship by groupng in Flats. Food outstanding. Waiter service most unexpected. Might hold you responsible for my waistline!!
Accommodation was perfect. Great to have my own bathroom, clean towels mid week which was unexpected and appreciated. Food was fabulous all the way through the week.
It has been an excellent and really inspiring week.
Thank you for a most enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable week.
Thank you for a fantastic summer school.