Department of English
“Manchester has a vibrant spoken word scene and many excellent writers living in its environs.”
I heard about the Manchester Met course after picking up a Manchester Evening News that someone had left on the train and reading an interview with a Children’s Writing graduate. I liked the idea of an online course, although I ended up taking the campus route which was a very good decision!
Taking the MA, and finding Manchester as a place within manageable reach, meant that I met other writers, which in turn meant I carried on along the route of publication after the course finished. Manchester Met is one of the few Universities to ask this of their students to complete a novel to graduate. Not only did the MA make sure I completed my first novel, it gave me confidence in myself as a writer with something to say.
My top tip for students is… Grab every opportunity but make sure you have something to show when the opportunities come along. I started out by volunteering for Lancaster Litfest (and later Manchester Literature Festival), writing reviews and interviews concentrating on writers in the North West. It was partly having an active website that got me my break with Transworld. However, nothing would have come from that if I didn’t have my novel ready to show when asked. Also, stay part of a writing community.
I’m inspired by... Manchester has a vibrant spoken word scene and many excellent writers living in its environs. It is encouraging, essential even, to be part of a wider community. I got my book deal after meeting editors from Transworld at an awards event I attend with another Manchester Met graduate, Graeme Shimmin, who had been shortlisted for the Terry Pratchett Award.
It gave me an excuse to write instead of feeling that I should be doing the housework! I felt that I was entitled to take writing seriously. And the residential week at Lumb Bank was pivotal in so many ways.
Sarah's debut novel 'The Summer of Secrets', which was also her MA Portfolio, will be published by Transworld in 2015.
To read more about Sarah and her work, visit: www.sarahjasmon.com