Interview Feedback

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In preparation for last week’s job interview, I read articles about the social benefits of writing residencies in prisons, re-read my application and re-read the brief they sent me.  There was a wealth of information on the Writers In Prisons Network website and the interview pack they sent me contained sample questions as well as a detailed run-down of how the day would go.  On the morning of the interview, I had a friend mock-interview me.

Unfortunately I did not get the job.

Read the rest of this entry »


18 Bloggers

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Following a training session earlier today we can now boast 18 bloggers!

Over coffee and danish pastries the new recruits got an insight into blogging, Newcastle University Careers Service style. As a result, you may well receive posts from research staff, research students and a diverse range of university staff that have a remit to support you. So look out for what they write and encourage their contributions by adding your comments. Now could be the time to remind colleagues and friends to subscribe to alerts from us!

Happy Reading…….

‘Creating Friction’ conference: 22/04/2010

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This Thursday is the ‘Creating Friction’ conference: the UK’s first interdisciplinary creative practice postgraduate conference. Working with steering committee members Isabella Streffen from Fine Art and fellow Creative Writer Jane Thomas has been both fun and useful.  When we started, we had no idea that chat between Creative Writing and Fine Art PhD students would throw up so much common ground to grumble about and share tips over, as well as highlighting future networking possibilities. Read the rest of this entry »


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When I tell people I’m a writer, they ask me what my novel is about and if I have a publisher.  When I tell people I’m doing a PhD in creative writing, I’m usually asked how a creative discipline functions within a traditionally academic environment.  Actually, people usually ask if I think creative writing can be taught.  For my answer, read this recent article in the Guardian Review by Rachel Cusk and pretend I’m there, reading it out loud and passing it off as my own words.

As a writer, there’s a clear – albeit financially unrealistic – career path: write a book then publish it.  Repeat ad infinitum.  As a creative practise-based academic, the boundaries over what I’m writing and why I’m writing it are much less clear, as are my thoughts about where I want to go next, and how I want to get there.

My PhD has prepared me for a career in academia but, having gone straight from my undergraduate MA Hons in English Literature at St Andrews University to an MLitt in SELLL here at Newcastle University, and then staying on for a Creative Writing PhD,  I feel like I’m due a break from foot-notes.

So, for the first time since I started my PhD, I’m looking around the recession-scarred landscape to see what jobs both interested in and qualified for and trying to work out what I want to do once I’ve submitted my thesis

Over the next twelve months I’ll be finishing the writing-up process, going through my viva, and looking for paid employment.  I’ll be blogging here regularly about the ups and downs of career hunting as a writer and a researcher, and what I’m doing in terms of professional development.

Viccy Adams is a final year Creative Writing PhD student at Newcastle University, funded by the AHRC.  Her research examines the intersections between single-author short story collections and novels, with a particular focus on the contemporary British publishing industry. 

New Research Student Blogger!

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Viccy Adams, a 3rd year Creative Writing PhD student at Newcastle, is our first ‘Blogger in Residence’. She’ll be contributing regular posts and updating you on the ups and downs of her PhD and everything else she is doing alongside it. Watch out for her posts and feel free to add your comments!

If you are a Researcher at Newcastle – staff or student – and like the idea of being a ‘Blogger in Residence’ and sharing your experiences of academic life and your career development, let me know – .

You are Wanted!

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Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Perhaps you are a member of research staff or a research student at Newcastle University?

Maybe you are a recruiter of those with a PhD or research experience – in academia, industry or elsewhere?

Your role might involve the support of  researchers?

Could you be a past researcher from Newcastle, having moved on in your career to another institution or a different career path entirely?

We are looking for guest bloggers to share their insights and experiences with others via this blog. Your contribution could be a one-off or a regular thing. You might have insights to share on a specific topic; academic career progression; moving out of academia; what makes a good CV; where to look for vacancies or how to network. Perhaps you are making a transition and want to share your progress with others as you go through the process? Maybe you have recently made a significant career move and want to document how you get on in your new position?

Whatever your idea on contributing to this blog – let me know – just send me an email at