In the School of Humanities, our creative writing students are involved in many activities, competitions and publishing projects, some of these are:
- Student radio dramas aired at the BBC
- Plays performed at Theatre Absolute
- Poetry events
- Collaborations with students from art, design, photography and performing arts
- Screening of Whitby horror writing field trip
- Displays and publications
- Production of e-CD of digital picture books with Coventry City Libraries
- Travel writing
- The Frederick Holland Poetry Collection Award
- Nandos Writing Competition
- Coventry Words printed magazine and website
A lovely project we took part in during November, 2016, was ‘We Have a Situation, Coventry’. It was a cross-departmental collaborative project and you can see more about it by clicking here.
Students on the English and Creative Writing course produce picture books during their second year. In 2014, we decided to create a digital album of their digital stories and this is now housed on the Coventry City Library website. You can see this e-CD, and more of the individual stories, if you click on the picture below.
We take our students on many field trips, such as the Shakespeare RSC to see a play, the Harry Potter film studio, and to Whitby to inspire some horror stories.
Here are some photos of the recent Harry Potter trip, January 2017. The third year students pictured from left to right are: Kelsey Vis, Olivia Impey, Elena Aldridge and Bethany Smith:
For the past two years, Performing Arts students have taken our Year 3 theatre scripts and performed them on stage at the ShopFront Theatre in Coventry.
It was a wonderful experience and a real opportunity to be able to see something I wrote come alive. I know I speak on behalf of all the student writers when I say it was a very cool combination of excitement, nerves and intrigue… A generally rather surreal ordeal! But one I loved. Thanks for providing us with the opportunity to write a play with a view to actually getting it performed, and of course to all the actors and course directors involved.
In May 2016, five radio dramas written by our third year students were broadcasted by BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio.
Here are some photographs of the event:
You can listen to the recordings (and other student radio dramas) if you click here.
Coventry Words Magazine
Coventry Words, or more affectionately known now as CovWords, is our creative writing magazine for students from Coventry University. All students can submit work, and creative writing students publish it. It’s a great experience.
CovWords, it’s hard to think about it without smiling, about the profound effect it had on my life. I started working on it during my first year and in my second year I realised how important it was to the other students and to the University. In my third year, I took over as president of the CovWords society, and the magazine became something very special for me. I learnt an incredible amount related to publishing, marketing, printing and editing. This knowledge not only helped me secure an internship with Coventry University, but allowed me to continue my dream of running my own magazine. (Matthew Barton, Graduate, 2015)
The magazine is printed each year in September, and it has an accompanying website. Our students get involved in all aspects of the publishing of the magazine such as editing, marketing and web production.
I’m really grateful to have been involved in CovWords magazine across the three years of my degree, both as part of our first year module on article-writing/magazine production and as an extra-curricular activity. Over two summers, I helped out as a proofreader and, in 2014, I pitched in with some workshops where previous sub-editors passed on their experience to the new cohort. In my final year, I became vice-president of the CovWords Society. This further developed my insights into magazine production – in particular the submissions and editing processes, but also new elements such as budgeting, typesetting and printing. I also gained skills like public speaking, networking and organising promotional events.
I believe all of these things were highly beneficial when it came to applying for postgraduate studies because I was able to demonstrate dedication to a long-term project, alongside knowledge and experience of publishing from both sides of the fence. I am now equipped with invaluable experience of components like editing, negotiating decisions within a team, marketing, distribution and applying for funding. In addition to this, myself and the former president of CovWords, Matthew Barton, are now co-editors of the literary magazine Here Comes Everyone (HCE). This wouldn’t have happened without all that we learnt from running CovWords. I’m proud that CovWords is continuing to flourish across the Coventry University campus as a great source of student creativity – and we now aim to achieve the same positive results with HCE. (Raef Boylan, Graduate, 2015)
The CovWords team in 2015 actually went a step further and produced an extra magazine for Black History Month. And in 2016, our Society President interviewed Benjamin Zephaniah for Volume 7. Well done Munira!
I received the magazine and I was really surprised at how well presented it is. It really looks professionally done, and the contents are all good. I really love the mixture of poetry, prose and photos. People would pay good money for a publication like that. (Benjamin Zephaniah, 2017)
All our activities make our students more employable.
Year 1 students are submitting articles to magazines. Here are two of the latest publications by Sabrina McClune: Halls vs. Commuting: Battle of the student habitats; and Chloe Evans: The Owl and the Pussycat.
Two students who worked on producing the Coventry Words magazine are now running their own magazine in Coventry called ‘Here Comes Everyone‘ (HCE).
I feel extremely grateful that you provided us with the means to get our work published. As creative writers it’s important to get your work out there, and for you to enable us to do that is fantastic! I feel excited that my play was good enough for the BBC and it has given me more confidence in my writing ability. (Alisha Solanki, Graduate)
Phoebe Barker, has been busy writing articles during a summer internship (2016), and Huffington Post is publishing her virtual reality articles here. And here for her articles appearing on the 27partners web.
I have enjoyed my internship so much I am hoping to extend my contract for a few more weeks! (Phoebe Barker, Year 3, 2016-17)
We encourage our students to enter writing competitions. See Maria Omena’s winning poem here.
There are many opportunities available to enhance your degree:
- You can choose an Add+Vantage module each year. These modules are designed to increase your employability skills. You can choose subjects such as photography, learning a new language, volunteering in schools, and many more.
- You can join a society such as The Coventry Words Magazine Society, Literature Society or choose one of many sports societies.
- You can get involved in publishing our creative magazine.
- You may like to undertake a placement year at home or abroad, paid or voluntary, or just study away from Coventry in places such as Spain or France.
- There are many UK work or voluntary placements we can help you with; one of these could be with Writing West Midlands.
There are many internationalisation opportunities, including study abroad, work experience abroad, online international learning (OIL) projects and the Coventry University Global Leaders Programme. Students can join Lingua Mundi (and have the opportunity to learn or teach a language) and take part in international cultural events organised by Culturae Mundi. Our students have taken placements in Malta, Spain and China and been involved in online collaborations with students in Mexico and the USA. We have links with writers, filmmakers and publishers in a number of European countries. In addition to this, we have a number of international guest lecturers.
On completion of our English and Creative Writing degree, you will have many career options to choose from. Our graduates are employed to write creatively for marketing and PR in various companies both in the UK and overseas, or have followed a teaching career. They have joined government schemes, or have gone into publishing, using the skills they have developed producing the School’s creative writing magazine, Coventry Words.
Our graduates leave with increased:
- communication and presentation skills
- critical and creative thinking strategies
- problem-solving skills
- logical thinking
- digital literacy
- writing skills
- emotional intelligence
Of the many jobs you could embark on, our graduates have gone into:
- Graduate schemes
- Post-graduate education
There are part-time employment opportunities while you study:
- Student Union
- Senior Course Reps
- P/T research assistants
- Student ambassadors
- + development of employability skills via number of dedicated tasks on the course
We also have an institutional membership with the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE). Students can access the website with their membership, and explore the many avenues that creative writers take to earn a living. NAWE supports the development of creative writing of all genres and in all educational and community settings throughout the UK.