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Victoria Zoe Callus

Victoria Zoe

Course studied: BA (Hons) English with Creative Writing

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"The most important skills I have gained from studying Creative Writing are through workshopping – listening to criticism but also learning when to stick to my original ideas."

More about Victoria Zoe

What made you choose to study at NTU?  

“I was primarily drawn to Nottingham as a city. I had made my mind up about wanting to live abroad and this seemed like the perfect place. NTU has some interesting alumni, such as Matt Berry from The IT Crowd – I came across the university while reading his Wikipedia page!”

What were the key features that attracted you to your course?

“I loved the module selection, particularly the fact that there were theory module options available to second and third year students. The fact that our Creative Writing lecturers have practical industry experience, which they readily pass on, was another attraction. The greatest incentive, however, was the creative piece, or pieces, we had to write at the end of each year.”

What did you enjoy most about your course?

“The best thing about it was meeting like-minded people. Having started the course in my mid-twenties, I didn’t expect to meet many students who were my age or on the same wavelength. All of our different interests in English and Creative Writing created the perfect learning experience to gain new knowledge from one another and our lecturers.”

What do you think about the course staff – include lecturers, tutors, administrators and technical staff within this. How do they support your learning and University experience?

“The staff are all lovely and have been one of the main reasons why I’ve chosen to carry on with postgraduate study here at NTU. Tutors and lecturers are not only immensely experienced in their fields, but they are also very helpful and understanding. I wouldn’t have made it through my undergrad without them. Administrators and technical support are very efficient and have always been very supportive, dealing with any issues encountered as a matter of urgency.”

What do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?

“Even though it is a small city, Nottingham is a cultural hub. There’s always something going on – live music, open mic nights, exhibitions. It’s also very cosmopolitan, so living here has been inspirational on many levels. I have found the ‘Totally Wired Poetry’ nights particularly beneficial in meeting and listening to other poets and writers of various levels, and also for gaining the confidence to read my own poetry out to an audience. The Critical Poetics group has been immensely interesting in reading into, and discussing, the marriage of critical thinking and creative writing.”

Why would you recommend your course / NTU to someone looking to study in that area?

“I would definitely recommend NTU because of the environment you study in. Clifton campus is small, so it very quickly feels like home and the Arts & Humanities staff are all immensely welcoming and very helpful. It’s very easy to settle in and to get all the help necessary to do well.”

Have you completed any work placements and if so can you tell me a little bit about them – where you went and what you did?

“In my second year I took on a placement with the National Caribbean Heritage Museum working as their ‘Creative Assistant’. This was good exposure as I’ve been credited on their TV programme which still airs most days, it was also a good chance to network. I’m currently undertaking a Postcolonial Studies Placement at Nottingham Contemporary through which, along with some fellow NTU students, I am learning about the curation of events at the museum.”

How will your course and/or placement enhance your employability for your chosen career? What skills have you gained?

“I would say that the most important skills I have gained from studying Creative Writing are through workshopping – listening to criticism but also learning when to stick to my original ideas and when to adapt, as well as sharing criticism with others and editing. Further to that, critical thinking, time management and adaptability are all skills that I’ve improved.”

What has been your greatest achievement at NTU so far?

“My greatest achievement has been more of a personal feat – managing to surpass my own expectations of what I am capable of doing. I had previously studied Creative Media Production and started a degree in Graphic Design, which I dropped out of to work full time. Seeing this course out till the end and working through the stresses that came with it has been so rewarding. Receiving the Carcanet Books/ PN Review Prize for my Creative Writing dissertation was an honour on top of that.”  

What are your plans for the future?

“The next few years are occupied with completing my MRes and pursuing a Critical/Creative PhD. While I haven’t fully decided what I’d like to do when I finish studying, I plan on sticking to the Creative industry, and am currently looking into Curation. With that being said, I am also working on slowly getting my poetry and fiction published.”

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