Ruth Fitzgerald

Personal Website
"The book I wrote as a mature student on the MA at Manchester Met secured my first contract with a publisher and launched my writing career"
About my career

I have a career separate from my writing; however, the book I wrote as a mature student on the MA at MMU secured my first contract with a publisher and launched my writing career.

I had done some short writing courses before the MA but felt in-depth study would help and inspire my writing. I looked around for online courses and the MMU one seemed to suit my needs. Although I was based over 200 miles away, I attended events at MMU like the Manchester Children’s Book Festival and several study days and CPD conferences.

I think I learned a lot about current children’s writing. Before the MA, I was writing in a style which was probably more akin to books I had read as a child. The encouragement I received whilst studying helped me to have the confidence to submit my book to agents. I learned how to improve my writing through group and tutor feedback. I also learned practical skills around submission and layout.

My top tip for students is…

Decide what you want to do and then research it thoroughly. Join societies, attend conferences and do background reading. Meet people, join online communities, blog, tweet and immerse yourself in that world – opportunities will start to come.

If you want to be a published writer, read avidly, be open to new ideas, learn to accept feedback and understand that writing is 10% daydreaming and inspiration and 90% hard slog of putting words on paper for weeks and weeks!

I’m inspired by…

Although I found many of my tutors helpful and inspirational, Sherry Ashworth stood out for me. She was our first tutor and the first person to see the start of my published book which she encouraged me to finish.

Why I love Manchester Met

I made some lifelong friends and gained a lot of confidence in my abilities.