Student Achievements, Publications and Placements

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Students on our Creative Writing courses are given many opportunities to increase their employability skills. Here are some examples of their skills and achievements.

Amber De-Terville (on the right), with fellow creative writing student, Shenell Lewinson.

Projects and activities vary from year to year. For example, one year students participated in ‘We Have a Situation, Coventry’. It was a cross-departmental collaborative project, and you can read more about it by clicking here. This year we are joining our creative writers with dance students. You never know what might happen!

Collection of Digital Stories for Children

In their second year, students produce digitised picture books. We have created a digital album of these stories, which is housed on the Coventry City Library website. You can see this e-CD, and more of the individual stories, if you click on the Selection of Creative Work on this site.

Field Trips

Students are offered field trips/writing retreats on an annual basis. Previous trips include visiting the Shakespeare RSC, the Harry Potter film studios, and travelling to Whitby to inspire horror writing. Our Centre for Global Engagement (CGE) offer subsidies on overseas trips, and we make these known to students every year.

Whitby, 2016. Click on the picture for more information.

Performing Arts students take our final year theatre scripts and perform them on stage at the Shop Front Theatre in Coventry.

It was a wonderful experience and a real opportunity to be able to see something I wrote come alive. I know I speak on behalf of all the student writers when I say it was a very cool combination of excitement, nerves and intrigue… A generally rather surreal ordeal! But one I loved. Thanks for providing us with the opportunity to write a play with a view to actually getting it performed, and of course to all the actors and course directors involved. (Final year student, 2017)

Radio Dramas at the BBC

In May 2016, five radio dramas written and produced by our third-year students were aired on the BBC. This year, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire has offered to air our new dramas on Monday evenings.

I feel extremely grateful that you provided us with the means to get our work published. As creative writers it’s important to get your work out there, and for you to enable us to do that is fantastic! I feel excited that my play was good enough for the BBC and it has given me more confidence in my writing ability. (Alisha Solanki, Graduate)

Brody Swain, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, with Paul Adkins, Joe Griffin, Sarah Ssebandeke and Alisha Solanki
Brody Swain, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, with Paul Adkins, Joe Griffin, Sarah Ssebandeke and Alisha Solanki

Listen to some radio dramas by clicking on A Selection of Creative Work.

Producing a Creative Writing Magazine

I received the magazine and I was really surprised at how well presented it is. It really looks professionally done, and the contents are all good. I really love the mixture of poetry, prose and photos. People would pay good money for a publication like that. (Benjamin Zephaniah, 2017)

Coventry Words, or more affectionately known as CovWords, is our creative writing magazine. All students at Coventry University can submit to it. As a Creative Writing student, you will get to run the magazine, and maintain its website and social media sites.

I’m really grateful to have been involved in CovWords magazine across the three years of my degree, both as part of our first year module on article-writing/magazine production and as an extra-curricular activity. Over two summers, I helped out as a proofreader and, in 2014, I pitched in with some workshops where previous sub-editors passed on their experience to the new cohort. In my final year, I became vice-president of the CovWords Society. This further developed my insights into magazine production – in particular the submissions and editing processes, but also new elements such as budgeting, typesetting and printing. I also gained skills like public speaking, networking and organising promotional events.

Click here to read Volume 8.

The Coventry Words Editing Team, 2015

Being able to work on the CovWords magazine with Alyson Morris is one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences I remember from my degree at Coventry University. It gave me a taste, not only for what it’s like to work on an online and print publication, but also of what it’s like to work within a team, and how important it is to develop teamwork and leadership skills for a successful professional future (in any industry). The highlight of the module was the opportunity we had to showcase our own work, to brainstorm and come up with creative ideas that would make the magazine even better than it already is, and to receive constructive feedback on our own creative work. (Carlota Maura, Graduate of English and Journalism, 2016)

Two of our graduates (Matt Barton and Raef Boylan) are now running their own creative writing magazine called Here Comes Everyone. They’ve been filching our students for various jobs!

CovWords, it’s hard to think about it without smiling, about the profound effect it had on my life. I started working on it during my first year and in my second year I realised how important it was to the other students and to the University. In my third year, I took over as president of the CovWords society, and the magazine became something very special for me. I learnt an incredible amount related to publishing, marketing, printing and editing. This knowledge not only helped me secure an internship with Coventry University, but allowed me to continue my dream of running my own magazine. (Matthew Barton, Graduate, 2015 – and it was Matt who decided to rename the mag: CovWords)

I believe all of these things were highly beneficial when it came to applying for postgraduate studies because I was able to demonstrate dedication to a long-term project, alongside knowledge and experience of publishing from both sides of the fence. I am now equipped with invaluable experience of components like editing, negotiating decisions within a team, marketing, distribution and applying for funding. In addition to this, myself and the former president of CovWords, Matthew Barton, are now co-editors of the literary magazine Here Comes Everyone (HCE). This wouldn’t have happened without all that we learnt from running CovWords. I’m proud that CovWords is continuing to flourish across the Coventry University campus as a great source of student creativity – and we now aim to achieve the same positive results with HCE.  (Raef Boylan, Graduate, 2015)

Click here to view the magazine’s accompanying website.

Internationalisation

There are many international opportunities including study abroad, work experience abroad, online international learning (OIL) projects and the Coventry University Global Leaders Programme. Students can join Lingua Mundi (and have the opportunity to learn or teach a language) and take part in international cultural events organised by Culturae Mundi. Our students have taken placements in Malta, Spain and China and been involved in online collaborations with students in Mexico and the USA. We have links with writers, filmmakers and publishers in a number of European countries. In addition to this, we have a number of international guest lecturers.

Our graduates leave with increased:

  • communication and presentation skills
  • confidence
  • critical and creative thinking strategies
  • problem-solving skills
  • logical thinking
  • digital literacy
  • writing skills
  • emotional intelligence

Of the many jobs you could embark on, our graduates have gone into:

  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Teaching
  • Graduate schemes
  • Post-graduate education

There are part-time employment opportunities while you study:

  • Receptionists
  • Student Union
  • Senior Course Reps
  • P/T research assistants
  • Student ambassadors
  • + development of employability skills via number of dedicated tasks on the course

We also have an institutional membership with the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE). Students can access the website with their membership, and explore the many avenues that creative writers take to earn a living. NAWE supports the development of creative writing of all genres and in all educational and community settings throughout the UK.

Internships

During a placement, student Seonaid McKay worked as a Marketing Intern for New York University Press – an academic publishing house for Humanities literature. She was responsible for a variety of tasks including updating the webpage, making blog posts (https://www.fromthesquare.org/), updating book lists, working on social media based projects to promote upcoming books, copy editing, copy writing, writing instructor’s guides for upcoming books, and a variety of other projects. She learnt a great deal about the publishing industry, and in particular the academic publishing sector from a marketing perspective. She was fascinated by the journey of manuscript to published book, and by creating a successful campaign for promoting and selling new bodies of work. Seonaid then became our social media manager for the CovWords magazine.

Sophie Rowson was asked to blog for the Careers Department at Coventry University. She submitted information useful for students. Here are the links:

https://covunicareers.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Covunicareers/

Phoebe Barker was busy writing articles during a summer internship in 2016. The Huffington Post published her ‘virtual reality’ articles. Click here to see Phoebe’s articles appearing on the 27partners web. Phoebe graduated in 2017 with a first class degree.

I have enjoyed my internship so much I am hoping to extend my contract for a few more weeks! (Phoebe Barker, Year 3, 2016)

Getting Published

Our students are happily getting published. Here are just a few examples:

Aarushi Shetty published her eco/travel article here. And other article on vocal.media here.

Jordan Woods’ article appeared in HCE magazine.

John Adesina published his poem ‘Birth’ in Hebe Magazine.

Extract:

The dawn came not with light but darkness,

for heaven delivered me unto the bosom of the peccable.

I bathed in the Acheron under their shadows,

bequeathing me a muddled state, wondering if kindness merited such requital.

Sabrina McClune’s article is here: Halls vs. Commuting: Battle of the student habitats; and Chloe Evans’ article appeared in Native Commentary, entitled The Owl and the Pussycat.

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