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New course match-making students with their perfect read

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Published on 09 December 2020

Creative writing course
Creative writing course

Teaming up with award-winning independent book shop, Forum Books, and UK book retailer Waterstones, the University of Sunderland is handpicking reads to students applying to the new Creative and Professional Writing course matching their interests to books we think they'll love. 

The English course launches in 2021 and has been designed to prepare students to work professionally as a writer in a range of communications industries or as a freelance writer, while ensuring they gain a solid foundation in English language and literature. 

Dr Sarah Dobbs and Dr Alex Lockwood, part of the team working on the course, which is the first of its kind in the region, believe that not only does the book-pairing partnership offer an innovative approach to the degree, but also demonstrates the University’s commitment to supporting local businesses. 

Dr Sarah Dobbs, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, explains: “At Sunderland we have always had the drive and most importantly the capacity to unlock each individual voice, to find the right text or perspective that works for that student. As our Creative and Professional Writing course begins to receive admissions, we are doing this before they join the University 

Working in partnership with Forum Books and Waterstoneswe are sending Recommending Reads to all our students who apply to the new program, matching their interests to books we think they will love. 

Senior lecturer Dr Alex Lockwood, a novelist and creative writersaid: “It’s been a real pleasure to read about our applicants’ interests and where they want to go with their careers and creativity, and finding the perfect book for them has been a lot of fun. The course has been designed to support individual journeys into writing professionally, and I hope these first books are a good indication of our commitment to local voices and local businesses.” 

Forum Books, based in Corbridge, was one of 10 independent bookshops across the UK to be awarded a prize from the HarperCollins Indie Development Fund 


A Webcast discussing the development of the new course and what is on offer takes place on Wednesday 9 December at 4pm - click HERE to find out more.



About Creative and Professional Writing 

The BA (Hons) degree in English: Creative and Professional Writing enables students to understand writing as a profession while exploring and developing their own creative talent. Students will be supported by published writers and senior academics to hone their writing and apply their knowledge to literary, technical and professional work. They will acquire skills in pitching, presenting and networking and learn about a range of industries where writers are in high demand. 

Students will learn from experts in their field who will connect them to creative institutions and networks both regionally and nationally, as they gain expertise in creative and professional writing. They will have the chance to work with established organistions as well as develop a portfolio for a varied and fulfilling writing career and take part in the Sunderland Creative Writing Festival and the renowned Sunderland Literature Festival.