Thursday 8 February 2018

3 Guest Speakers in Week 3

By Charis Buckingham

Leicester University welcomed three guest speakers this week to discuss various applications of Creating Writing: journalism, authorship and publishing.

On Monday, we heard from campaigning journalist Emma Howard. A previous graduate of the university, Emma has worked for The Guardian and currently writes for Unearthed, an investigative news platform launched by Greenpeace. Emma directed her talk primarily to those considering journalism, with the aim of providing information she wished she’d known. Topics ranging from on-the-desk stresses, her goal as a journalist and how influential the media can be; she held nothing back. She discussed not only her successes, but her mistakes along the way. It was open, honest, and utterly compelling.

On Tuesday, novelist Mahsuda Snaith gave a guest talk and reading. Mahsuda is a Leicester-based author, whose debut novel, The Things We Thought We Knew, was published in June 2017. She discussed her writing processes, her experience with editors, and, excitingly, read from her novel. Her advice was fascinating – she highlighted the importance of feedback, both online and from writers’ clubs, the necessity of being critical of your work, and assorted editing tips. For anyone looking to write or complete a novel, this talk was a must-see.

Cecilia Bennett from Sweet Cherry Publishing provided a very different insight into the creative world. Rather than being a writer herself, she edits others' books; and as Managing Editor of the company, she helps to decide which books are selected to be published. Much of the talk, therefore, focused on what Sweet Cherry Publishing looks for in books, the roles of the different publishing departments, and the things that authors should think about before submitting their work. Cecilia Bennett did a fantastic job of addressing the many different aspects and stages of publishing, and her passion for working with authors and putting their work into the world really shone through. The talk was a fitting end to a superb week. 

About the writer
Charis Buckingham is an aspiring novelist, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester.

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