Social Icons

14 Feb 2012

Ode to university

Dear Leeds Trinity University College,

University didn't make me start writing.  I was doing that well before I even started applying.  But I think it made me the writer I am today.  When I first stepped onto the campus in September 2008, I was all about the horror.  YA Horror.  That's the kind of writer I was.  Not very versatile and rarely stepped out of my comfort zone.  I took your course in English and Writing because I wanted a degree that gave me options career-wise.  I could have English and use it to move onto whatever I wanted to do, all the while having options to fall back on if my plans failed.  As for the writing side of the course I wanted to learn more.  I could have settled in with journalism students but I wanted to be with other writers.  Share my work and get feedback and talk about our projects together.  The first time I visited your campus I fell in love with you and knew it was where I wanted to be.

I had a fantastic time.  I did meet fellow writers and was taught by two very awesome lecturers, one a poetry guy, the other into prose.  I met my boyfriend there who I've been so happy with for almost two years now.  But most of all I was introduced to my interests and inspirations.  In second year we took a module called Life Writing.  Learning to draw experiences from life into autobiographical and biographical creative pieces.  Prior to that there was nothing about my life that seemed interesting enough so I was set on never using life writing in any piece.  Then I kept going back to London where I grew up and started to realise that most of my friends there weren't really bothered to stay in touch with me.  And then it made me think about our friendship to begin with.  How often they had made me feel left out and different.  At the same time I was also living with two freaks in rented accommodation.  They were moody with me often, anti-social, and had nasty, cliquey attitudes.  Another experience to use in a future w.i.p.  All of a sudden I thought about Life Writing and how I could actually use it.  The people I knew in London actually inspired small aspects of my third year writing project.

In third year we had three creative writing modules, two were Writing Practises and Writing for Children.  The latter was a dream come true! I was totally looking forward to learning more about writing for younger people.  There I discovered more things I actually liked writing about in addition to horror and life writing.  In Writing Practises we were looking at experimental writing.  I hated it at first.  I'm a straight forward kind of girl so experimenting and messing around with writing rules wasn't really my thing.  Then I started looking at fictocriticism and found it quite interesting.  I worked on two projects for my overall portfolio and came out with a piece on degeneration using fictocriticism my growing obsessing with 19th century Gothic and two narratives arguing with each other over a fictional fantasy book.  In Writing For Children I tried my hand at fantasy again, creating a world and a plot along with sample chapters for my end of year project.  So what did third year bring? An interest for experimental writing and fantasy for children.

So Leeds Trinity University College, I love you! You helped me develop more writing interests and loves. More genres that I would love to write for and more ideas to keep in store for the future.  YA is still my market but I'm not a one-genre girl anymore.  Be my Valentine?




  1. What a fantastic post and love letter to your school!

    Enjoy the day and continue to wrap your heart around all that makes you happy!


  2. What a great letter! It's hard to say what exactly led to my love of writing, but I think I can pin it on being a reader. :-)

  3. Aw, that was very sweet! I loved college, and it made me very nostalgic.

    Happy Valentine's Day.

  4. Great post, Robin. I hope this inspires those either pursuing further education in English, or contemplating it. :)

  5. Aw. I wish my English experiences at uni were as complex or broadening. I've had to do a lot of self-educating after the fact, so I'm totally jealous of your opportunities!

  6. That's awesome that you were able to branch out in school and learn to love other genres :) Happy Valentine's!

  7. Thanks, guys! Hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day as well!