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Poetic Percentages

Poetic Percentages

My apologies for taking so long, dear reader, to spill the beans on my MA result! It has been a busy month of things -- from job hunting to submitting writing with bits of Christmas shopping thrown in for good measure :)

MA in Creative writing

I do not pretend to know how the system calculates the overall MA grade .... I know the dissertation marks carry a heavier weighting than the end of module assignment marks, but beyond that all I know is that, to get a distinction overall, marks for the first semester end-of-module assignments need to average 65 percent, the second semester ones need to average 70 percent, as does the final dissertation and critical essay, and 70 percent overall needs to be achieved.

In all of my first semester end-of-module assignments, the marks for my creative work exceeded that of my critical work. On result day I looked at my creative marks for the 36 poems that went into my dissertation and they scored 75 percent; I was very happy with that :) Then I looked at the marks for my critical / reflective essay ... and I still have trouble believing this ... 80 percent!! That is the highest mark I received for any of the assignments during the MA! Overall I comfortably passed the threshold to graduate with distinction :)

Further Work

I have three main writing priorities for 2020 and the first one took its first steps at the end of October. I tidied up my 6,000-word Long Form Fiction module assignment and added about 1,000 more words and submitted it to Cinnamon Press’s mentoring competition. There were three prizes on offer ... first prize was a free year of mentoring on prose or poetry. Second and third prizes were half price years of mentoring. I didn’t win one of the prizes but I did make the shortlist of 25 and, more than that, my story was one of 5 shortlisted entries singled out for praise and an offer of a 20 percent discount on a year of mentoring. sadly the cost of a year of prose mentoring is £1,600 and I just don’t think that makes financial sense, even with the 20 percent reduction bringing the cost down to £1,280. It would be highly unlikely that sales of a first novel would recoup anything close to £1,600 in sales so I won’t be taking that mentoring option any further. It was a nice result that verified the storyline and the way I was writing it were of a decent standard and sometimes just a little bit of encouragement like that can invigorate one’s writing :)

My other main priorities are to collate my first full collection of poetry. I have one offer to publish it but, based on advice from a couple of very good poets I’ve talked to about this, I do want to send it out to other publishers to compare which offers the best service. And my third priority is to get some of my poems out into the wide wide world ... during the MA I wasn’t really able to enter any work into any competitions or magazine submission windows because, if a poem was good enough to be in a magazine or competition, it probably deserved a place in either of the poetry end-of-module assignments or the dissertation itself. Now the dissertation has been submitted and judged, all that material can be submitted elsewhere :)

The Day Job

and if all that wasn’t enough, I am hoping to find a full-time job! I’ve seen two in Cardiff that are interesting and I’ll probably apply for and which, should I get either of them, would require relocation. I did update the CV I paid to be written for the two-week placement I did with Seren Books, adding the fact that I had done that placement plus adding the result of my MA studies ... DISTINCTION!!! I’m still bouncing off the walls with that result ;) xx

Published incompetitions and submissionseducationPoetry


  1. Frances Browner Frances Browner

    Congratulations Giles on your distinction, great result. Looking fwd to seeing some of your new work in 2020.

  2. Helena Nelson Helena Nelson

    WONDERFUL news!
    Well done, Giles. I am thrilled to bits for you. x

  3. Congrats on your MA with distinction. Good luck with finding a job and getting your works published. I hope you have a happy holiday season.

  4. Susan Susan

    It took a long time for me to get over here, but we did talk about most of it already anyway. I’m just so excited and happy that you got the distinction level. Not surprised, but happy. I hope things continue to go well with your writing. The mentoring would be nice, and I would hope it would eventually pay off, but it is still a lot of money $US or ŁGK. Probably other things will be coming up that are better to spend the money on, and you still have lots of experience with getting your poetry out there, and good chances on that. The prose will come along, I’m sure. I’m always available to proofread, but I use American English rules. LOL

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