Do you need a degree in English Literature to get published?
Dear Degree-less Writer,
First, I’m going to say that any degree can help a writer. For example, a degree in Criminal Justice could be valuable for a mystery writer. And a degree in English Literature can teach you a lot about literature and even influence your style.
A degree in English Literature is something nice to add to your bio as well as your resume when you query, but publishers don’t look at this as make-or-break. Granted, some might check to see if you have one, but it’s not a requirement. There are countless authors out there who are published and don’t have a degree.
For some reason, many writers just starting out (with nothing more than a dream) believe they need a degree to get published or to get noticed by a publisher. This is false.
I do not have a degree of any kind. As a matter of fact, I don’t have a traditional high school diploma. I have a GED. But guess what? I’m published!
I don't believe you need a degree to be an author. Your writing will speak for itself. A writer could write positively beautifully and not have a high school diploma, while another could write horrendously bad and have a degree. If you have the talent then it won’t matter if you have a degree or not.
|Image from Pixabay.|
What Degree-less Writers Can Do:
Write as much as you can and re-write if needed. Re-writing a story is a great learning opportunity.
Look for books on the writing craft and study them. Pay attention to what these authors are telling you, take note, and try it for yourself. You may agree or disagree. That’s all part of learning.
3. Challenge Yourself
I created a 30 Day Writing Challenge. Check it out, it may inspire you.
Yes, I listed this twice. On top of reading books on the craft, you should be reading in your genre and even outside your genre. Not just for pleasure, but to learn how the authors you enjoy get you to relate to their characters, how they describe scenes, etc. Even read blog posts about writing. There is so much information out there just waiting for you to find it.
5. Beta Read
Beta reading for others and having others beta read for you are two ways to learn a lot about writing and editing.
Taking classes and workshops can also help. I’ve never done either of these. Yet. But I know they can aid a writer greatly.
So, remember, you can get published without a degree. But if you want a degree because literature is your passion then by all means...go for it!
QUESTIONS: What do you do to learn about writing/editing? Do you have a degree? Do you believe having a degree is the only way to get published traditionally?
Have a writing-related question? Leave a comment and I may turn it into a post right here!