Monday, May 27, 2013

Open Doors Event 2013 news flash: Ken Macleod extends stay as Writer in Residence

Acclaimed science fiction author Ken MacLeod joined the MA Creative Writing programme at Edinburgh Napier as writer in residence last September, and has been a big hit with our current students. We're delighted to announce Ken's stay has been extended until Spring 2014, so the new cohort arriving this September will have the benefit of his wisdom.

Ken MacLeod photo © Chris Scott
Tomorrow night [Tuedsay, May 28th] is our second Open Doors Event, where we invite people to come along and learn about our unique creative writing MA [free tickets to the event are still available here].

Ken will be giving a special reading at the event. To mark the occasion - and the extension of his stay as writer in residence - Ken has kindly written a guest post about his experiences so far:
When I worked in IT, there was a sequence of events that happened so often we gave it a name. Someone who'd got stuck in a programming problem would go round to whoever seemed most likely to help, outline the situation and then jump up and say 'Oh yes! That's it! Thanks!' and rush out. The person they'd consulted hadn't said a word. We called this 'the cardboard cut-out programmer' phenomenon.

Here at Napier, I've been the cardboard cutout writer lots of times. I've listened to students telling me about their creative problems, and sometimes given advice, but far more often I find that by explaining the problem they've solved it for themselves. That's one of the things the Creative Writing MA course is supposed to do: it helps students to formulate questions about their own work. Asking the right question is often all they need to find the answer.

I've enjoyed my time here even more than I'd expected to.

Sitting in on classes has stretched and broadened my mind -- students here get challenging mental workouts, which have been interesting to watch from the sidelines. I've also learned practical writing skills that I had never quite nailed down before. And I've had plenty of time to crack on with my own work: I've finished a novel and written several short stories.

So thanks to Sam, David and all the students for a great eight months.

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