Why did you choose your course at the University of Birmingham?

I chose this course due to the flexibility and the breadth of modules – you get to try your hand in a bit of everything. I really wanted to experiment with various forms that weren’t just prose, such as scripts and hybrid text. In particular, The Writers’ Workshop module was a great way to introduce myself to all sorts of mediums and thankfully, there wasn’t any pressure to just stick to one style. Just from looking at the different modules on offer, I knew that the University’s programme would provide me the space to comfortably experiment with my craft.

What has been the highlight of your course?

There are so many highlights to this course. It’s hard to choose one! I’ve really enjoyed the interactive nature of the course. Talking to other students with completely different writing interests to my own and exchanging ideas, crafting worlds, and just sharing work together has been incredibly insightful. It’s been great setting up writing workshops outside of the module to build on the ideas we began in class as their different perspectives has really pushed my writing further.

Being a student here comes with so many free perks too – such as guest-talks with incredible writers and poets such as Madeline Miller, Bernadine Evaristo and Peter Gizzi and even a whole-day play-writing workshop led by the Royal Shakespeare Company, held exclusively for postgraduate students.

What have you learnt from your programme?

I’m a lot kinder to myself when I’m writing. I used to be so focused on making sure that everything I wrote was perfect that it would often take me a while to write anything at all. This course has encouraged me to experiment, to try things out and move on if I’m not too fond of what I’ve written. There’s a lot less pressure when you tell yourself that you can come back to things later. It’s made me remember that editing is a whole other process that can really transform your work; you just have to be willing to get words onto a page first. This course has made me a more efficient writer – there are days where I just know I won’t be able to write, and instead of trying to force myself to write something that I know I won’t like, I engage in other ways – such as reading or watching a play that I like the writing style of.

What is life like as a student at the University of Birmingham?

There are so many opportunities to get involved with. I did my BA in English and Classical Literature and Civilisation here, so I’ve managed to try out loads of different things. I’ve been the president of the Art Society for two years, where I held art exhibitions, workshops and personally launched an annual ekphrastic journal collection that pairs artists and writers up to create their own pieces that interact with one another based off a prompt. I’ve also written and produced a play called ‘Women, Scorned.’ which was such a wonderful experience, as I could see how my ideas could become a tangible, real thing. The whole process was so much fun, and I got to meet some brilliant new people. There are so many student societies here and so many ways that you can push yourself to try out something new. You definitely won’t be bored since there’s always something happening on campus.

What have you enjoyed most about living and studying in Birmingham?

The art culture in Birmingham is fantastic. There are so many events here, such as poetry nights, candlelight orchestras and art gallery exhibitions. As a writer it’s so important to invest time into different types of creativity since it’s a great way to be inspired. If anything, there’s almost too much to do here – I’ve lived here for four years and I’m always finding something new to do!

How has your course and your time studying at the University of Birmingham prepared you for your future career?

From getting involved with various societies, uni-based jobs and events, my confidence has soared. I’m able to articulate my thoughts better, even if it’s to a room of complete strangers – a skill that is transferable to any career. I’ve been mentored by people who are in the TV industry, met writers who are top in their field and have received personalised advice by the careers team here, who have really helped me think about my future options. Though I’m still unsure what specific career I’d like to pursue, I’m a lot more confident now that I have transferable skills that I can use.