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Sarah Shaw

Creative Writing

Where are you from?


Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle? 

Because they offered me a bursary, so I could afford to concentrate on my research.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do? 

People are really friendly. There's a great selection of literature events and art exhibitions. I love walking in the countryside and visiting the fabulous beaches.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most? 

I like attending world-class events such as the annual Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures. New Writing North is a wonderful support and networking organisation for writers.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming?  Was it easy to fit in?

Northumbria University has a programme of training and social events to welcome postgraduate students.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

I have enjoyed meeting other writers (staff and students) and other research students.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria? 

Other research students have helped me most, along with my supervisors.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

Other research students have given me inspiration, also Brenda, who works on Squires Reception and is really friendly and welcoming. Also one of the staff in CW, whose poems make me feel like writing.

What is your favourite place on campus? 

I like the top floor of Lipman Building, because the view is so spectacular, also the chaplaincy Quiet Room if I need some time to myself.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects? Tells us about the highlights?  

I love the Aquajog class on Weds at the Sports Centre. It's hilarious to go jogging in the deep end of the pool.

What is the best thing about your course? 

Being able to write full time.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

Make the most of any opportunities that come your way.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career? 

I have gained experience teaching creative writing to undergraduates, I have improved as a fiction writer, and intend to continue to write and send my work out for publication.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement? What were your most memorable experiences? 

I have worked on a project with Newcastle University students, and taught Creative Writing to teenagers as part of a project supported by New Writing North. I helped organise the departmental Creative Writing Workshop, and mentored a writer in Sierra Leone.

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course/undertake field trips? If so, please tell us about them.  

The department has supported me to give papers at conferences in Hull and London, and also to undertake research in London and Suffolk.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say? 

The School of Arts and Social Sciences offers extensive training and support to postgraduate researchers. Participating in this will not only enhance your CV but also give you the pleasure of meeting and exchanging ideas with other PGRs.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?  

I have earned my living as a writer for the last 3 years: i.e I am now a professional writer!

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?  

Worthwhile, worthwhile, worthwhile!

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend? 


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