Student interns with academics Billy Cowan and Kim Wiltshire from Edge Hill’s Creative Writing department

Creative Writing students from Edge Hill gained a wealth of literary experience when they interned at two high profile University events in London.

Now in its twelfth year, the University’s annual Short Story Prize was held at Waterstones, Piccadilly and the third title from Edge Hill University Press Scenes from the Revolution: Making Political Theatre (1968-2018), was launched at an event at Foyles, Soho.

The events presented students with the opportunity to network with authors, editors and theatre makers from the professional world, as well as to experience the events themselves, and it was all made possible by the University’s Student Opportunity Fund, which covered the cost of students attending the events.

Students were also given the chance to witness first-hand how book launches are organised, and what is expected of writers, as well as gaining experience of networking, and learning from industry experts.

Billy Cowan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, played an instrumental part in organising both events:

“Being able to access a ‘real-world’ event linked to a major literary prize and a book launch with a major independent press is invaluable experience for students who want to work in the writing or publishing industry,” said Billy. “They met publishers, professional writers and professional theatre makers and had the opportunity to find out not only how an event like this is organised and costed, but also how to behave and network at such an event. We know this is a great opportunity because at previous Edge Hill Prize ceremonies, some of our students were asked to send work to literary agents who had attended.”

Julia Clayton, from Southport, has been approached by two agents as a result of interning at the events and winning this year’s MA Prize:

“I enrolled on the MA Creative Writing course in the hope that it would help me get my work published and make me feel more confident about approaching publishers and literary agents.  After winning the annual MA Short Story Prize, two agents have approached me – one in person at the event, and one subsequently by email.  If I hadn’t taken the MA I’d still be sitting at home wondering if my work was any good; the course has certainly opened up opportunities that I would never have found otherwise.”

Second year Creative Writing student Zainab Chohan, from Blackburn, hopes to pursue short story writing as a career, and found the experience working at the Short Story Prize really useful:

“The event was phenomenal,” said Zainab. “I have been able to meet writers from various backgrounds and inspirations, and it’s given me a real insight into a world that I want to be involved in. The enthusiasm and humour of everyone created a contagious atmosphere, and I hope I can be involved in another event like this in the future.”

Antonia Bowler, a third year Creative Writing student from Walton, found the events equally insightful:

“Hearing established and emerging authors read passages of their short stories is inspiring for me as I can see how the form is constantly innovating and improving,” said Antonia. “It was also a great experience gaining inside knowledge of how these types of events are run.”

Find out more about studying BA Creative Writing and MA Creative Writing.

Images below are from the EHU Press book launch which was held at Foyles, Soho.

Images below are from the Edge Hill Short Story Prize event which took place at Waterstones, Piccadilly.