An aspiring fiction writer is now on track to completing her first book after achieving her BU Master’s.

Having completed her first degree whilst raising a young family, Laila Lock was used to balancing responsibilities and, when the pandemic hit, reasoned that she could now devote more time to her studies as a mature student. She said, “The global pandemic became, for me, a prompt to use my time at home constructively, and so I applied to do an MA at Bournemouth University. I am so pleased that I did during those difficult times.”

Laila’s aspirations to write fiction made the MA Creative Writing & Publishing degree a perfect fit. She said, “It’s very unusual to find these two elements together, right on my doorstep too. The course content links very well with the publishing industry. Primarily though, I wanted to explore whether I could become a writer and transfer my ideas and concepts into a coherent fictional form. My genuine love of research and academic study meant that I would have a very fulfilling two years.”

Now working towards completing her first book, Laila says, “I would not have believed two years ago that I would ever have got as far as I have in such a short time. My genre is fantasy fiction and I look forward to being in print within the next 12 months. Two other books within the trilogy are also in the pipeline.”

When asked about the highlights of her BU experience, Laila said, “I made lifelong friends and treasure the academic journey we have all been on together. I attended open mic events, book launches and a writing group, which offered support and advice in a constructive and social setting.”

“Since graduating, we still meet and have offered platforms to other writers who are currently students. The diverse nature of the course assignments made for an exciting and liberating experience, both intellectually and creatively. The course has enabled me to grow in confidence and to really hone my skills.”

Laila was also able to make the most of additional opportunities including having her poetry published, entering and being shortlisted for the International Human Rights Arts Festival NYC, and performing a section of her novel at the Bournemouth Writing Festival. And the university links continue to lead to new projects, including a current writing project documenting the life stories of local residents who are experiencing dementia.

When asked for her advice to others wanting to follow a similar path, Laila said, “If you have ever considered becoming a writer – do not hesitate to sign up for the degree. It may just be the stepping-stone to a career in writing or publishing that you might only ever have dreamt about. Dreams do come true.”