I attended the Writer’s Festival as a participant, I now come back once a year as a workshop leader, which I love.
Why I chose to study at Leeds Trinity
I wanted to get serious about my writing and learn from tutors who were published writers. All three of the course leaders at Leeds Trinity regularly wrote and published their own work.
It was always difficult to get critical feedback on my writing previously and the structure of the Creative Writing course at Leeds Trinity was full of opportunities for collaborative criticism.
My best memories from my time studying at Leeds Trinity
‘Having’ to read good literature again was brilliant, I used the Library regularly and the reading list was a green light to hit Waterstones. As a cohort we really engaged with each other’s writing, even when it was from a genre that they didn’t personally enjoy.
The biggest skills I took away
The biggest gain for me was my confidence. Martyn Bedford telling me I could write and to keep going really helped to motivate me. It reinforced the notion to keep believing and, crucially, keep plugging away and then sometimes good things can happen.
I also became aware of my weaknesses and bad habits and took on board advice about how to remedy them.
How my experience helped me in my career
The course gave me the technical language and tools to assess and improve my writing as well as learn more about the publishing side of things. It also helped me believe that normal people, unrelated to the world of publishing, can succeed.
I am now a full-time writer. My books include my debut novel, The Second Child (inspired, in part, by my experiences working with, and raising, a disabled child), The Forgotten Sister (which reflects on my belief that our life chances are hugely impacted by our upbringings) One Split Second (which explores guilt and forgiveness) and The Legacy (which is about bereavement and how it rarely brings out the best in people - even the deceased).
I get a real buzz when someone messages me to tell me what they thought of my books!
Opportunities that opened up to me at Leeds Trinity
A top opportunity I took advantage of was Word Space. It was the first time that I had ever ‘performed’ my work - which wasn’t as scary as it sounds as it was in a supportive environment. I also saw some very good guest speakers and performers who were very inspiring. This was a great way to learn.
I had my work published whilst at Leeds Trinity – a short story and a poem in an anthology. I attended the Writer’s Festival as a participant, I now come back once a year as a workshop leader, which I love.
My advice for prospective students thinking about enrolling on the course
Pick a subject that you are truly motivated by and be prepared to work hard to get the most out of it personally, educationally and financially. Don’t hesitate if you are a mature student. The University has all the support mechanisms available to teach you how to write a paper/essay.