Save Creative Writing in TAFE

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This discussion topic has been automatically created of petition Save Creative Writing in TAFE.

Angela Quarrington


Nov 19, 2010, 22:13

It does seem ludicrous to cut novel writing back to 50 hours. I have done this course and it is was extremely challenging last year and we had two years to write a decent draft.
Annabelle Hart

#2 The Toolbox

Nov 19, 2010, 23:46

In its original form, the PWE course presented a smorgasbord of options for any writer wishing to develop and build a toolbox of writing skills to hone their craft. Skills Victoria have, in one foul swoop, replaced the toolbox with a $9.99 plastic, universal, all-in-one that pertains to do the job but instead will leave its owner unarmed and ill-equipped. Skills Victoria you are a tool, and a useless one at that.
Rebecca Medwin


Nov 20, 2010, 00:52

I agree with Annabelle. I did two years doing the PWE course, and I found my eyes begin to open to a world hidden behind the world; a place of comfort,support, loyality, creativity, imagination and intelligence.
Writing shouldn't be structured, it should be embraced like a big bear hug. There should be unlimited resources with unlimited time. Because as writers, we don't live in the world of reality, we live in the world of story.
Patricia Melville


Nov 20, 2010, 01:04

In my opinion, the creative writing course at Tafe has served students from heterogeneous backgrounds, particularly well. It has enabled young people to grow in understanding, and at the same time harnessing their energies into something positive and creative. For the more mature students - they are given an opportunity to understand more fully the problems which today face the younger generation. An appreciation of the arts never goes amiss.
Daniel Garlick


Nov 20, 2010, 01:13

I've just finished doing my fist year for the Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing and the cuts from subjects have been pretty demoralising for everyone I know in the course. The course itself isn't just just there to encourage great writing but to encourage students to express themselves through their stories.

The thought of a world without this course is a frightening one for me.
Lewis Counihan

#6 Night of the long pens

Nov 20, 2010, 04:05

This reeks of government bureaucracy and a general lack of understanding and empathy towards those who will actually be enrolling/completing the Diploma of PWE. A purely financial solution from the educational Fascists, some would say final solution.
Rebecca Herrick


Nov 20, 2010, 09:04

Save creative writing!
Margaret Langdon

#8 No support for novel writing

Nov 20, 2010, 09:25

The idea of only 50 hours tuition for students trying to write a novel to second draft stage is just absurd. A novel is a huge project, with a steep learning curve, and you need many hours, weeks and months to learn the craft, and to get the support and encouragement you need to keep going when it all seems too hard. There are some fantastic manuscripts being produced by Holmesglen students right now, but they are the result of students receiving PROPER support for two, three or even four years.

How are the future potential novelists supposed to manage? Well... most of them will give up, and that wasted talent will be a loss to all of us.

Laura Pfundt


Nov 20, 2010, 12:38

I have done this course and it is the best thing for young creative writers. You cannot take this away from others like me. It gives you important skills. Don't make this mistake. This course has produced many successful writers. I have learned more about writing in my 2 years in PWE then I ever could have in any other course. It is testament to all writing courses, leading writers in the direction of opportunity. I also agree with Margaret, Novel writing takes time, lots and lots of time. It took me over two years to finish mine and I'm still editing. If you're not going to give students enough time to write their novel properly then why bother?
Lyall Haynes


Nov 20, 2010, 12:40

Save the writing course!!!
Norah Kaplan

#11 A society needs its artists.

Nov 20, 2010, 13:29

What use is a society without writers?
Who else can express so well what it means to be human? Writers use language to comment, provoke, reflect, report, entertain, give birth to ideas and more.
We must not lose more of these environments where these essential people, writers, can learn their craft, expand their creativity and knowledge, and contribute to a better society.
Writers contribute through novels, poetry, film, plays, short stories, social media.
A society needs its creative artists.

#12 Re: The Toolbox

Nov 21, 2010, 13:06

The Pedant


Nov 21, 2010, 13:13

Here goes. As a graduate, and a devotee of proper English, I am not prepared to pretend that I am not offended by "one foul swoop"'s "one fell swoop". Looks like the word you were after rather than "pertains" is "purports", too.

#14 Re:

Nov 22, 2010, 01:53

#13: The Pedant -  

Thanks for your corrections, Pedant. You have me on "pertains", but "foul swoop" I'm claiming as poetic license, because what they've done to the course is quite foul...

komninos zervos

#15 please explain

Nov 22, 2010, 03:01

does tafe want to be rid of creative writing all together? or are they proposing another course/subjects to replace what has been removed from the dip prof writing and editing?
if creative writing is removed from tafe then the only accredited creative writing courses will be those offered by universities. cae courses have been accredited through tafe in the past but not so in the future?
i fear that numbers for the re-jigged dip pwe will drop significantly as the creative writing element was one that attracted people to the course which would probably lead to the justification that tafe should not offer the dip pwe in the future either.

maybe a separate creative writing institute could be set up with a panel of writers determining criteria for accreditation and awarding qualifications and degrees. perhaps the wheeler centre could be a co-ordinator of such a project.

it would be a shame to have a society devoid of community based activity consisting only of university based literary activities. community writing activists were instrumental in getting australian literary studies introduced into universities in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and again community activity that introduced creative writing courses in the 1970s and 1980s, which were absorbed into universities by educational rationalisation of the 1980s.

Amra Pajalic

#16 Save Creative Writing in TAFE

Nov 22, 2010, 10:16

This is the course that I did and that changed my life. It not only gave me the skills to pursue my writing, but opened up work opportunities in the administration sector and gave me skills and confidence to undertake a BA. I am now a published author and run short story workshops through high schools. Please support this petition.
Thomas Mackenzie

#17 Get In Line

Nov 23, 2010, 07:14

Civilization despite its history that tells the human story, of so much failure and how, of higher human values, and lower ones, still must we be guided(lead) by such foolish presumptive principals of determination. Einstein heralded in the era of relativity, circular thought is as important as square practical thinking, they need each other to come to something with an outcome of the highest quality. In this day and age it seems so tiresome, this statistical agenda of getting the most out of everything, yet we are getting so little of the essential value. Of all we have achieved technologically, still this constant winding up, it shows no insight into the human nature and the quality of reality we are able to create. Get in line, follow the policy criteria, we're gonna pump you out as a capable and efficient cog for the machinery of society - you'll be able to work under pressure in a competitive world. God it's so unprogressive, such a stupidly narrow return to something of an era of Dickens, but contemporary. My house mate recently did an exam, she is German, and has studied and even worked extensively. The whole experience was awful for her, the environment 'created' didn't at all support the nature of what they the students were needing to do, and the system showed itself up as cheat paranoid and mechanical. I can see a bigger picture -where all this is heading - as this narrow, unwise, and insensitive approach continues, there will be - as ultimately there always is - a backlash, a turning away and rejection of these values, of this world reality currently dominated by policy rather than human wisdom, discernment, and understanding. Now get in line and enroll
Koraly Dimitriadis

#18 Yet another blow

Nov 23, 2010, 08:28

Yet another blow to the TAFE creative writing sector. First we get government subsidised places axed for mature aged students, and now this. Well, to me it is obvious that there are people with agendas here at work, wanting to stop creative writing at the TAFE level so that it is only available at the university level when university actually kills the creative writer. Since when does one have to go to university to be creative? And the abolishment of subjects such as poetry, novel, etc, the abolishment of creative subjects is just outrageous because those are the subjects that students learn the most from, it is those subjects where creativity flourishes. This is an absolute disgrace. Whoever put this change in motion should honestly be ashamed of themselves. This just proves the point I made over on the Overland literary journal blog: this government just does not care about the arts.
Michelle Shearer

#19 As a past student

Nov 23, 2010, 09:35

As a past student of the Dip of Arts and now a post grad. student I am more than horrified at the new changes. If it wasn't for my Dip of Arts and the pathways available to La Trobe University I wouldn't be where I am today in my studies if it wasn't for the basis TAFE provided, especially in the form of novel writing and script writing, as I am now currently doing my post grad studies in professional writing and editing, specialising in screenwriting. It is saddening to see that TAFE is also butchering the ARTS for the sake of a few dollars. The qualifications I have already amassed and the certifications I am now studying for will do nothing but enhance my future prospects in obtaining employment in my chosen fields.
The current students need the opportunities we were given just a few years ago to follow their study and career dreams.
Trish Bolton


Nov 24, 2010, 00:44

What price the artistic and cultural life of a society?
Dr Sue King-Smith

#21 Creative thinking: one of the most important skills

Nov 24, 2010, 00:46

As someone who has recently completed a PhD in creative arts at Deakin University, after doing several of the creative units in a professional Writing and Editing course at Tafe, I am very disturbed about the proposed changes to the PWE course statewide. The fact that creativity isn't considered to be a crucial vocational skill is very odd, given that all of the great innovators throughout history have been creative thinkers - the reality is, bureaucratic thinking doesn't produce innovation. Instead, it tends to kill it. Apart from the fact that the world would be a very bland unhappy place without creativity, innovators in all fields - science, medicine, engineering, arts - require people who can think outside the square, who can imagine a different future. Creative skills are not secondary, they are, in fact, the most important vocational skills in a world that considers itself to be progressive and forward thinking. Thus I find the arguments put forward by bureaucrats to cut subjects that teach these vitally important skills, vacuous and ignorant.

Matt Penrose


Nov 24, 2010, 01:18

Don't remove the course! I had loads of fun doing Professional Writing and it has helped me enormously to grow in that particular talent. It would be almost criminal to take that opportunity away from other people pursuing writing. The TAFE is a relaxing and ideal environment for the growing writer.
Sue Gillett

#23 Dr Sue Gillett

Nov 24, 2010, 04:31

As a senior lecturer in English at La Trobe University I want to express my strong objection to the proposed cuts of creative writing units from the TAFE diploma. Over the years I have seen many graduates from that particular course take up the BA and enter into postgraduate studies. These students are amongst the best in our BA, and the training they have received in creative writing at TAFE is a superb grounding for and pathway into further academic studies. I sincerely hope this proposed change is reconsidered and the creative writing stream is strengthened rather than weakened.
Jennifer Mellberg

#24 Save Creative Writing in TAFE

Nov 24, 2010, 07:03

I would like to make four points:

1. It is interesting to note that creative writing is presently EXPANDING in post-graduate programs.

2. Academic writing requires that ideas flow and are explained in an organised and thorough manner. Mastering creative writing techniques lays a solid foundation for future handling of multiple ideas that must be woven together into coherent and convincing arguments.

3. The capacity to write in an engaging and clear way is less likely to be nurtured by subjects such as those that are entirely theoretically based. Anyone writing for the public consumption (inc. govt, business and/or marketing) has to have the ability to catch and hold their intended audience. Again, creative writing creates a foundation for this.

4. Many of the great leaps made in Western Society have been made by those who are able to 'think outside the square'. Respect for, and nurturing of, this capacity is akin to the development of manners--no-one dies, but what a banal, unattractive and phatic society we would have.

Thank you.
Mileta Rien

#25 Better Writers Make Better Editors

Nov 24, 2010, 09:08

I am in my second year of a PWE course, studying a combination of fiction, journalism and editing subjects. While I consider fiction my main vocation, I'm finding that all three strands inform and enrich each other. Editors who are also writers have a special advantage as they understand the challenges and stresses that writers face. Writers who are also editors are able to produce more polished and professional manuscripts, and to fully appreciate the importance of meeting deadlines.
I would be devastated if the fiction subjects were dropped from this course, and believe my overall education would be greatly impoverished by this move.
Please, please, PLEASE do not do this!

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