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Creative Writing Master's degree leads alumna to PhD study

Shelley Dootson-Greenland

I chose Brunel due to its Creative Writing programme and impressive staff list

Shelley, Alumni, Postgraduate

Doctoral Researcher - PhD Creative Writing, The University of Lincoln

Creative Writing MA - 2018

From UK

Previous Institution

Newcastle University - Master’s Degree

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

I applied to The University of Lincoln and was successful in gaining a place as the only PhD candidate in Creative Writing which commenced in October 2019. I am active within the Creative Writing Department and look forward to my first conference in 2020.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I am very busy writing chapters for my novel along with researching early nineteenth century history. In addition to this I have a part-time job in a busy cafe where I’m inspired by everyday people.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

I appeared on an episode of Flog it! (series 17, episode 29) where I chat to Paul Martin about my great-grandma who was a "knocker-up" (a human alarm clock for mill workers) on the Blackburn, Lancashire episode (aired in February 2020 on BBC2)!

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

I received a Distinction for my Master’s degree which led to my PhD study.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

I was living in France at the time and chose Brunel due to its Creative Writing programme and impressive staff list.

What is your best memory of studying here?

Approaching Bernardine Evaristo after one of her lectures and asking her to autograph her book 'Mr Loverman' that was on our reading list.

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

You will always achieve more than you think you will if you just keep working at it (and loving it).

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Keep in contact with alumni, remember your university experiences and keep aiming high.