The main reason for studying a master's at Loughborough is that I had already studied my undergraduate course here, and thus knew the facilities, town, and lecturers. I was also encouraged by Loughborough’s high ranking in league tables for Creative Writing.
The teaching quality for my MA was generally very good; given the nature of Creative Writing, the lecturers did well at balancing the need to guide our studies with recognising that everyone on the course will be working in their own styles and genres. I also don’t have any complaints about the facilities I used; Martin Hall is a great focal space, and the library had the resources I needed (and if it didn’t, the inter-library loan service meant I was still able to acquire what I needed).
My lecturers were very good at highlighting relevant opportunities to take advantage of throughout the course. These included letting me know about the States of Independence festival, as well as Nottingham Poetry Festival. I also received lots of academic support when I began thinking about applying for a PhD.
I would usually wake up in time for a morning lecture or seminar if there was one. If not, I would get up at approximately nine in the morning and begin working on what I had scheduled to do that day. Because of how I tend to work, I would usually focus on several goals each day (these could be to work on the plan for a piece of coursework, work on creative work for external submission, or read any materials I needed). During seminars, there is usually a very friendly environment, and we (the students) would often migrate to other areas on campus to carry on with our work, especially if it was a shared project such as the ‘Behind the Mask’ literary festival. I would often then be involved in rehearsals for LSU Shakespeare society on various evenings.
Post-graduation, I hope to spend a year or so operating as a poet and taking any relevant paid work I can (such as from running workshops or open mic. nights). I am now a published poet (with one poem published in Ink Sweat and Tears, and an upcoming publication in Magma Poetry Magazine as well as my work in the university), and these publications were only possible due to advice and encouragement from my lecturers. I intend to carry on and gain a further publication list. In the meantime, I am looking for any relevant PhD funding opportunities, especially from the midlands, (including from Loughborough), and hope to then continue into the academic world with the skills I gained from studying at Loughborough.
Aside from creative skills, I believe I have managed to improve my time management skills during my MA. This is both from carrying out self-motivated studying, particularly with my dissertation, but particularly in the work I had to opportunity to carry out in scheduling for the ‘Behind the Mask’ literary festival. You will have space to explore how you operate as a writer, you will have friendly and approachable lecturers who know what they’re talking about, and you will undoubtedly develop close bonds with your course mates.
I am not the type of person to go out to nightclubs or house parties of an evening, and there have been plenty of ways I have been able to have fun outside of my course. I was heavily involved in LSU Shakespeare Society during my MA (In fact, I was their Welfare and Outreach Officer), events such as Speech Bubble with LU Arts are very worthwhile, and if you like going to the theatre you can watch a show from LSU Stage Society or LSU Shakespeare, but also see an NT Live screening at the Cope Auditorium. I watched Leopoldstadt, The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, Henry V, and, Straight Line Crazy. They were all fantastic. So there’s always something to do. Also, fantastic natural spaces around campus if you like a good walk.