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Famous Authors Who Didn't Have Degree in Literature or Didn't Major In Writing

Famous Authors Who Didn’t Have Degree in Literature or Didn’t Major In Writing

Writing is in an inborn talent – you can’t get rid of it if you have it, and you can’t obtain it if you don’t. To be a writer isn’t merely an occupation or profession, it’s a state of being. Being receptive to the inspiration present all around, thinking artistically and feeling intensely all constitute this state of being. It isn’t something education can teach you, and this list will prove that to you. We have listed down some famous authors who didn’t have degree in literature or didn’t major in writing.

List of Famous Authors Who Didn’t Have Degree in Literature or Didn’t Major In Writing:

Charles Dickens

Famous Authors Who Didn't Have Degree in Literature (Charles Dickens)
Famous Authors Who Didn’t Have Degree in Literature (Charles Dickens)

Believe it or not, the world’s most famous classic writer was largely homeschooled! In his early years, his mother taught him and then, he self-taught himself. However, he had a voracious appetite for books and devoured even the heaviest literature like Don Quixote at age 10. He did attend a few courses in academies but his most prized education came from the British Library and its wealth of knowledge. All the same, his formal education was rather incomplete and informal.

John Grisham

Authors Who Didn't Major In Writing (John Grisham)
Authors Who Didn’t Major In Writing (John Grisham)

John Grisham’s education had little to do with his career. He didn’t study writing at all, and in fact changed his degree twice before settling on JD – Juris Doctor. Before pursuing his degree in law, he studied accounting and tax law as well. He obtained his degree from University of Mississipi School of Law. Although his education didn’t directly help his career, the thrillers Grisham is known for are often based on the premise of law and lawyers. The meticulous detail they are known for, Grisham owes to his education. But the skill, that’s entirely his own.

Maya Angelou

Famous Authors Who Didn't Have Degree in Literature (Maya Angelou)
Famous Authors Who Didn’t Have Degree in Literature (Maya Angelou)

You might be surprised to know that Maya Angelou only graduated high school. Her turbulent personal life left little to be accomplished in way of a formal education, and she attended George Washington High School and Mission High school. Later, she took up a scholarship to dance in San Francisco’s Labour School. This school formed and shaped the political ideals that she incorporated in her books. Her writing draws on her personal experience, not on anything learnt at school.

Harper Lee

Authors Who Didn't Major In Writing (Harper Lee)
Authors Who Didn’t Major In Writing (Harper Lee)

Harper Lee studied law at the University of Alabama but ended up never getting her degree. She was also an exchange student at Oxford University. However she quit university to go to New York City, where she worked as an airline receptionist. Soon, however, she obtained financial aid from her friends which allowed her to pursue writing as her full time career. She converted her short stories into the famous novel, To Kill A Mockingbird which has earned her widespread praise and accolades. Her book draws on her father’s experience with racism and has little to do with anything she learnt.

JK Rowling

Famous Authors Who Didn't Have Degree in Literature (JK Rowling)
Famous Authors Who Didn’t Have Degree in Literature (JK Rowling)

Although the acclaimed Harry Potter author wanted to study ENglish Literature, she gave in to her parents’ pressure and chose French as her major instead. However, the learning of a foreign language did seem to help her design long, convoluted names of all her spells! Her books owe their success to her vivid imagination, her characterizations and plotting, not her education.

Danielle Steele

Authors Who Didn't Major In Writing (Danielle Steele)
Authors Who Didn’t Major In Writing (Danielle Steele)

The celebrated novelist has studied in three universities, namely Parsons School of Design, New York University and Lycée Francais de New York. She graduated from the latter in literature design and fashion design. Today, she writes about love, relationships, war and espionage. Her writing flows with ease and her plots are well defined, but that isn’t something she learnt in college.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Famous Authors Who Didn't Have Degree in Literature (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Famous Authors Who Didn’t Have Degree in Literature (Arthur Conan Doyle)

The famed creator of Sherlock Holmes and British Writer Doyle attended a Jesuit preparatory school and also the Stonyhurst College. Here he studied a melange of subjects like algebra, geometry, rhetoric and classics. Later, he also went to a Jesuit College in Austria in order to perfect his German. However, the medieval style of education did not go down well with him and he found it harsh and redundant. His writing was in no way related to what he learnt in school. He even looked at the religious foundation of his education skeptically and went on to become agnostic.

George Bernard Shaw

Authors Who Didn't Major In Writing
Authors Who Didn’t Major In Writing

This Nobel laureate’s early education consisted essentially of lessons from his clerical uncle. Later, he went to Wellesley College. However, his education was largely irregular and informal. His writing career began with his membership is the Fabien society, and like Doyle, didn’t have much to do with his education. His social commentary in his plays Arms and the Man and Mrs Warren’s Profession was largely based on his avid reading, his intellect and acute observation of society.

Robin Cook

Famous Authors Who Didn't Have Degree in Literature (Robin Cook)
Famous Authors Who Didn’t Have Degree in Literature (Robin Cook)

American novelist Robin Cook has studied in some pretty esteemed colleges. He graduated from Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons and post-graduated from Harvard University. He also worked for a while as an aquanaut! This doctor, however, was meant to be a novelist. He wrote his first novel in a submarine and has consequently written over 30 thriller novels since.

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