What makes a text a good or captivating text? How do you recognize repetitions, inconsistencies, faulty logic and other problems in texts? What does it take to guide a text from writer to reader?
Working with texts in a professional setting involves a special set of skills. The Writing, Editing and Mediating Master's track (often abbreviated to WEM), offers students a choice of courses that focus on non-fiction writing for specific audiences, the history of texts in their various forms (from manuscript to digital book), proof-reading and correcting English texts, and producing texts for publication. Topics addressed include censorship, copyright, scholarly editions, critical theory and social issues in contemporary literature.
Students on the course typically have a BA in English or in an Anglophone culture (e.g. American Studies). Some students with other humanities qualifications and a sufficient level of academic English are accepted by the admissions board.
The one-year Master's track in Writing, Editing and Mediating (WEM) is a track within the Master's degree in Literary Studies and is run by the Department of English Language and Culture. It is taught and assessed wholly in English.
Being one of the only Masters programs that specialised in publishing, while offering such flexibility, the decision to enrol at the University of Groningen was an easy one
I chose this programme because it provides students with the knowledge and skills required for working as editors and publishers, and combines this practicality with academia maintaining familiarity with literary texts. The interdisciplinary courses, which aid in broadening students' knowledge over a range of different fields, help to strengthen research skills in preparation for writing the thesis. Being one of the only Masters programs that specialised in publishing, while offering such flexibility, the decision to enrol at the University of Groningen was an easy one.
After nine months of living here, I have certainly fallen for this charming city for so many reasons: a vibrant and communal student life; plenty of social-and-literary-related events; a famously vibrant nightlife with an array of lively (but cheap) cafes and bars; fun social events arranged by ESN where you can meet international students; beautiful parks to relax during the spring summer days; cheap membership at the student fitness centre; every place is accessible by bicycle; and (for the international students) fifty hours of free Dutch classes!
“It's the combination of academic and practical perspectives that helps you prepare for a job.” – Laura Baeten
People used to ask me whether I wanted to become a teacher or a translator when I told them I studied English. “Neither,” was my response. I studied English because I wanted to become an editor, which is why the Master's track in Writing, Editing and Mediating was the logical next step.
Right after graduation, two freelance opportunities came my way, so I decided to register my own freelance editing business, EditUp. Clients included Noordhoff Uitgevers, Audi and SEAT.
Considering the unpredictable nature of being a freelance editor, I also had a part-time job as a content editor at a start-up. After a year, I decided to hand in my notice to embark on a new, full-time adventure. Little did I know that this would become a rollercoaster of experiences!
From being a desk editor at SVH (an educational publisher for the hospitality industry) to being a content coordinator at an instructional design agency to being an editor of English translations at a translation agency, I am happy to be back at being a desk editor at SVH. As a desk editor, my responsibilities extend far beyond the text, and it’s this combination of project management, collaborating with people from various disciplines and editing that makes me look forward to each new workday.
And each workday I notice that the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired during my MA are incredibly useful. Even though I was taught in English, I can transfer these skills to the Dutch language. I learned how to think about language, how to think as an editor, and how to substantiate all my editing decisions. This practical approach is what I think makes this programme so valuable, even more so when you take the opportunity to do an internship. It’s this combination of academic and practical perspectives that helps you prepare for a job, which in my view is the strength of the Master's track in Writing, Editing and Mediating.
In fact, this master track made me realise what potential I have and the University of Groningen itself is an amazing university with which I can really identify myself. I am proud and very glad to be studying here.
My name is Katrin Kugler, I’m 22 years old and come from Munich, Germany. This is where I did my bachelor in English studies. I now chose to study the MA in Writing, Editing and Mediating at the University of Groningen, because I wanted to specialise more in the field of creative writing and the process of producing literature. The WEM master track here is the perfect opportunity to do so because it offers a good range of fascinating seminars. Although the workload is sometimes more than I had expected, I enjoy the courses a lot and all of them are taught by excellent lecturers.
Of course, this master track requires me to do a lot of self-study but at the same time, it allows me to develop and extend my knowledge and also to interact with other students during group assignments too. In general, Groningen is a vibrant student-city. Studying the WEM master at the University of Groningen was the best decision I could have made and I can only recommend it. If I had to summarize the WEM master in three words, I would say it is inspiring, challenging and creative. In fact, this master track made me realise what potential I have and the University of Groningen itself is an amazing university with which I can really identify myself. I am proud and very glad to be studying here.
Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Mexico, Russia, China, India, or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.
Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts