Gregory Leadbetter, Reader in Literature and Creative Writing, takes a moment to talk to MA Creative Writing Student, Dan Witherall about the recent shortlisting of his short story submitted for the Bridport Short Story Prize 2017 – and how his studies at BCU have helped to develop his writing practise.
1: You made the shortlist for the Bridport Short Story Prize 2017 – a huge achievement that you must be incredibly proud of!
Why thank you. And this is solely down to my MA Fiction module, really. I worked closely with my then-tutor / now-mentor and friend Rhoda Greaves on each of my pieces. Rhoda really gave me the confidence to start sending my work to the more prestigious competitions out there. Honestly this is Rhoda’s achievement every bit as much as it is mine. Without her notes and guidance, I wouldn’t be within a hundred miles of where I’m at now, creatively speaking. Continue Reading
With retirement fast approaching, Andy Tyers yearned to achieve his aspiration of becoming a writer. We took a moment to see how an MA in Creative Writing, at Birmingham City University, helped him to make that dream a reality.
Can you tell me why you decided to join the course and why did you choose BCU?
I had already had a successful career as a photographer and film maker, finally taking to lecturing in Media Production. It was when I saw the inevitability of retirement looming I decided to fulfil a lifetime ambition and become a writer. I had already drafted out a novel but I needed to be able to write with skill and confidence to take it to the next stage. I looked at various courses but it was the MA in Creative Writing at BCU which fitted the bill. As I had graduated from the Birmingham Polytechnic many years ago it felt like I was coming home.
We caught up with Shirley Lloyd, a Postgraduate student on our MA Creative Writing course, to get some insight into her experience at Birmingham City University and what attracted her to our course.
1. Can you tell me why you decided to join the course and why did you choose BCU?
I decided to apply for the MA in Creative Writing course as it had been a dream of mine for some years, to fully immerse myself into the world of writing. Then the dream became a promise to myself which came to fruition. I chose BCU because the creative writing course offers a spectrum of fiction and non-fiction writing modules. I knew I would be taken out of my comfort zone which is something I found appealing. I was also impressed with the English Faculty senior staff whom I met prior to applying for the course. The genuine passion they showed for the course was enough to convince me that BCU was the university for me.
Plus, I am a BCU alumni student. I achieved my Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) qualification here in 1998. So it was like coming home.