IWCEP - Cultural Education Partnership Ident - Teal, Pink and Fern
Fulfilling the creative potential of young people on the Isle of Wight

Emily Bullock – Writer / Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Employer: Self Employed / Open University
Primary School: Newport Primary
Secondary School: Medina High
Where do you live and work now? Ryde IOW and London

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Was there an experience you had at school that made you want to go into the area of work you are in now?

I had great English teachers at school who encouraged me to read outside of the curriculum. I came to writing through my love of reading.

What are the main roles and responsibilities of your job?

I teach undergraduate and post graduate creative writing students, write new module materials, and line manage other tutors. As a writer I work in prose, with two novels published, a collection of short stories, and a novella to be published in 2024.

Could you briefly share a bit about your career journey? (What did you study? How did you end up where you are today?)

I did a BA Hon. in English Literature at King’s College London, followed by an MA in 19th Century Literature. I worked in film production for a few years after university before taking an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. From there I went to work at the Open University, they funded my PhD in Creative Writing which led to the publication of my first novel.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with other writers and creative writing students.

What is the hardest thing about your job?

Writing can be isolating and it’s important to keep contacts and networks going both professionally and personally.

What skills or attributes do you believe have been crucial to your success in your career?

Finding something you love to do, working hard and not giving up. The ability to receive feedback and learn from it is also important.

If you could give advice to someone aspiring to have a job like you, what would it be?

Writing is hard, slow work and it can be isolating, it is also not very well paid. Finding another career that fits with writing is an important part of the process (unless you’re very lucky and become the next JK Rowling). Contacts and networks can help you to find opportunities and people who can provide mutual support and encouragement – this could be in person or online.

What do you think was a benefit about growing up on the Isle of Wight?

Once you leave the Island it’s easier to reflect on what a special place it can be. Use the smallness to your benefit, get involved with local theatre or writing groups – or start your own.

What was the most difficult thing about growing up on the Isle of Wight?

The smallness was culturally isolating at times, but now with access to online libraries, cultural events, theatre, it is much easier to understand what is currently popular, and what gets published.

What do you want to do next?

Keep reading, writing, and teaching.

How can we connect with the work you do?;

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