Graduate Story

Ellen Freeman, MA Creative and Critical Writing

I secured a writing residency with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – something I would never have dreamed of had it not been for the support and encouragement of course lecturers on the MA Creative and Critical Writing. The Writers in Residence module has enabled me to research further into a subject I am incredibly passionate about, making new connections with experts in the field.  

I was initially drawn to the student-centred approach of the MA course. The emphasis on in-person workshops, delivered by experienced lecturers within a lively writing community, really appealed to me. Modules cover a wide range of topics, including adaptations, creative and critical writing as a blended form, and research skills. One of the modules which initially appealed to me was Children’s Literature, as I have been writing fantasy for young readers and love the novels of Kiran Millwood Hargrave. I was also drawn to areas which I knew would push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to grow, such as the Writers in Residence module.  

The course lecturers are incredibly supportive and encourage students to get involved with other creative projects throughout the MA. We have been invited to write short stories for an anthology inspired by Suffolk waterways, as well as enter writing competitions such as the Student New Angle Prize, both of which encourage research into Suffolk’s rich history and landscape. The English Department regularly organises events for students to attend, such as talks by published authors and literary agents. These events offer unique insights and have been particularly interesting to me, as I hope to work within the publishing industry after graduation.  

Applying for postgraduate study is a big decision but I would highly recommend applying for the MA Creative and Critical Writing. The application process was straightforward and the staff were welcoming and so encouraging throughout. With their support, I have gained confidence and motivation, entering a short story into a writing competition for the first time in my life and being shortlisted for the Canterbury Festival Fiction Prize 2022.

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BA (Hons) English

Our BA (Hons) English course provides a foundation in literature, creative writing, and linguistics, working with professional published authors, active researchers, and HEA-accredited lecturers.