“If I can turn it into a career then I’ll have achieved my life’s goal, I thought studying it at degree level would be a stepping stone towards that. I studied the business side of my degree to learn how to the business world operates under the surface.”
Sam has worked full-time since graduating, including working for a research team at UCLan writing a novel centred on hate crime, where they were testing the effectiveness of fiction on awareness-raising. At the same time, the UCLan alumni was writing both fiction and non-fiction for various projects.
One of these projects; ‘The Iron Country’, is now Sam’s biggest achievement to date, winning the National Association of Writers’ Groups’ novella competition, 2017.
“I came about the story as sort of an accident. At the time, the newspapers were working hard to demonise the unemployed and blame them for just about every problem the state had. The two went hand in hand one morning, and the initial concept was born.”
Studying at UCLan has allowed Sam to find work writing as a freelance and still working towards his dream of writing fiction full-time.
“My experiences at UCLan greatly shaped who I am today. I made new friends who I am still in touch with today, took up new and interesting hobbies, and learned a lot about myself in the process.
“Studying Creative Writing is a fantastic opportunity to not only learn new skills, but also to widen your scope as a writer. New people, new ideas, new concepts and opinions are great to learn from. The lessons I learned were integral as a foundation to my development.”
Sam also paid tribute to the late Dinesh Allirajah, former UCLan lecturer, saying:
“During my final term we used to meet up at 11am every Friday for a cup of tea, he’d spend the first half hour systematically telling me how bad my work was, then the second half giving me tips on how to fix it. I’ll never forget him for that. He taught me that failure is an essential component of improvement.”
10 May 2015