Guest blogger Produced by

Student Tom poses for a selfie in a bright orange hoodie.This is a guest blog post by Tom Moolenaar. Tom is studying MA Creative Writing & Publishing

Hi, my name is Tom and this is my experience of BU’s postgraduate degree, MA Creative Writing & Publishing!

I remember searching for degrees in the creative industry and feeling quite anxious. I loved writing, but I wasn’t sure if it would help me find a job and pay the bills. Fortunately, the Creative Writing & Publishing course strikes a nice balance between developing your writing skills while also getting you to think about how you’re going to build a career around it. This is what gives BU an edge over most universities, in my opinion.

The first semester was mostly writing workshops and creative writing assignments. At first, I was a bit nervous about sharing my ideas in front of a large classroom, but eventually, I appreciated being put under the lens. It feels like VIP treatment, and it really is the best way to get creative feedback from industry professionals as well as your peers. This has really helped me come out of my shell and has given me confidence in my ideas. It’s also put me in contact with fellow writers who are a great support group.

Semester two covers the business side of things. The marketing unit has really stripped back the misconception that publishing your book is difficult. Chris is a fantastic lecturer and has helped guide me through designing a full marketing plan for one of my books. I’m also gaining valuable work experience via our Design Editing and Publishing unit, where we’ve been working through the process of publishing an anthology for Fresher Publishing. It’s nice to have the industry know-how to back up the creative side of writing.

Working as a student ambassador suits me perfectly. It pays well and lets me pick exactly which days I want to work, which helps me manage my studies. It’s busy work but helping at open days allows me to share my enthusiasm for studying at BU with prospective students and their families. These people are always happy to be here, and I usually come home in a pretty good mood. You can’t say that about most part time jobs!

BU is where I can really be myself. Our student union offers dozens of clubs and societies tailored to almost every hobby. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed their volleyball program. It gives me something to look forward to every Wednesday and Friday, especially during summer when we switch over to beach volleyball. You meet all sorts of characters, and my teammates are some of my best friends. I thoroughly recommend joining a society if you want to feel like part of a community.

Hopefully this has given you a feel for what this course can offer you and how you might spend your free time both studying and living in Bournemouth.

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