Ellen Freeman

My name is Ellen, and I’m an MA Creative and Critical Writing student at the University of Suffolk. I have a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University, and I am currently working as a private literature and creative writing tutor.

I applied for the Inspiring Futures fund in 2022 for a trip to Amsterdam as part of my MA. One of the modules I am studying this academic year is Writers in Residence. This module involves students organising a creative residency with an organisation of their choice. For my residency, I chose to approach the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, with a proposal to create a collection of poetry inspired by the life of Vincent van Gogh.

This residency was exciting but ambitious, and I knew I would need to secure funding in order to make a physical trip to the museum. The majority of my residency took place virtually, via Teams meetings and voice calls. But, thanks to the Inspiring Futures Fund, I was able to organise a trip to Amsterdam to visit the museum, and meet the researchers and museum staff I have been in contact with throughout my residency.

This residency was the best experience of both my academic career, and my personal life. Being able to work with the Van Gogh Museum to research my poetry collection, and to meet Van Gogh experts, and - of course - to see Van Gogh’s artwork and letters in person, was life-changing, and has opened up so many new opportunities for me, both personally and academically.

I would encourage any students who are looking to pursue opportunities related to their academic studies and future careers to apply to the Inspiring Futures Fund. The team are very supportive, and always encourage students to achieve their goals. I am so grateful to the Inspiring Futures Fund for providing funding for my trip’s costs. Without the funding, I would not have been able to visit the museum.

"This residency was the best experience of both my academic career, and my personal life."

Ellen Freeman