The shortlist for the Fresher Writing Prize 2015, Bournemouth University’s first public creative writing competition has now been announced, and we are delighted that our own students have made a good showing on the list. Katie Gillingham, Mickey Harper, Amanda Jane, Olivia Johnson, Louise Jones, Jessica Kennedy, Jessica McComish, Elvin Mensah, Nicole Millian and Julia Watts are all studying either BA English or BA Communication & Media.
Katie Gillingham: Born and bred in Dorset, I am a freelance writer who has had articles published in the TV Times. I also work behind the scenes for satirical news site NewsBiscuit, the brainchild of comedy writer John O’Farrell. Although I love making people laugh, I equally enjoy writing stories which explore the world from a different perspective. I chose to write my undergraduate dissertation on using fiction as a tool for giving a voice to the historically marginalised.
Mickey Harper: I am a student at Bournemouth University and enjoy writing fiction of all kinds.
Amanda Jane: I have loved reading and writing ever since I was a young child. My grandmother was an English teacher and she would always buy me books as birthday and Christmas presents. Now, I love reading stories from all types of genre, and I regularly have a huge pile of books next to my bed ready to be devoured! My other love is travel because it, as well as a good book, lets you explore and discover new places. I hope that in the future I can find a career that combines both of my passions.
Olivia Johnson: I’m just a 20-year-old Brummie with a love for reading and a passion for writing. I am inspired by books that spark imagination and immerse readers within their stories. One day, I hope to achieve this through stories of my own. The strong narrative voices in Flynn’s Gone Girl and Zusak’s The Book Thief motivated me to take a risk with Letters on a Lap Tray. Stepping out of my comfort zone of light-hearted, comical literature, I decided to pursue something much darker.
Louise Jones: Signed to Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White literary agency, I’m currently writing my first Young Adult novel. I want to bring diversity to YA fiction and represent all the wonderful young people out there who are battling through education, relationships, family, sex, and all the rubbish in-between to get to adulthood, because let’s face it; it’s tough.
Jessica Eve Kennedy: Partly due to lacking the musical talent and biological advantages required to join the band Haim, I am a writer. Soon I’ll even have a degree to validate that statement. I blog about television, running, feminism and miscellaneous nonsense, with a healthy dollop of creative writing on the side for good measure.
Jessica McComish: I have always loved stories; I love reading them, hearing them, watching them, and telling them. I have always been heavily influenced by film and television and, while I enjoy writing stories, I also love the challenge of transforming a story idea into a script. She was partly inspired by my own experiences of dreaded writer’s block, but also by my favourite part of writing fiction: creating characters.
Elvin Mensah: I am a Bournemouth University undergraduate with a passion for writing stories that revolve around dark and unsettling topics. My obsession with the show ‘Desperate Housewives’ and its deceased, but still omniscient narrator, inspired me to write ‘Running to Stand Still.’
Nicolle Millian: I am a young poet who tends to have rhythmic style that is both heartfelt and purposeful. Inspired by observing human interaction and social constructions, my poems mainly consist of a discussion of the human psyche and the oddities in life. Writing from a raw and honest place, I aim to make people question their perspectives with my poetry. I have had guest slots at freeway poets and have written for Pebble magazine.
Julia Watts: I enjoy writing about young adults; the struggle of leaving childhood behind can be full of significant experiences. I also love to invent fantasy stories – the best cure for boredom! I grew up reading, writing and exploring in North Devon, and am currently finishing my third year of an English degree. In 2012 I made a trip to Iceland, and I hope to travel more.
Congratulations to you all!