English Literature & Creative Writing Personal Statement

I have always loved telling and hearing stories. In year 7 one author caused me to pick up a pen and never look back: Shakespeare, still my favourite playwright. I began writing sonnets after studying Macbeth in class, and somewhere within the frustration of meter and rhyme my fascination with writing began.

In summer 2012 I discovered another love: writing prose. After taking a short course with New Writing North I attended their workshops for several months. I write regularly, having completed National Novel Writing Month twice, a series of short stories and a novel about a girl who gets lost in her mind. My favourite novel is The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. I love the way I get lost in it every time I read it, and how well the magic element is integrated into the story. As well as contemporary fiction I enjoy classics such as Les Miserables. I loved the complexity in the story that couldn't be portrayed on screen.

Poetry is another style I enjoy reading and writing. My favourite poet is Robert Frost, as he uses simple settings to express emotive ideas. I am drawn to poems which use simple language, yet evoke complex feelings and can be interpreted in many ways. I also enjoy plays; I would like to explore scriptwriting so I can develop my understanding of placement in a scene. Dracula is my favourite play, and I have seen it both as a comedy and in the traditional form. I also enjoy musical theatre and love the way lyrics and music weave together to form a solid piece for stage or screen. My participation in various musical performances over the last five years - from choir concerts to school musicals - has helped me learn about many ways in which words and music can work together.

I have contributed to The Alnwickist, a newspaper run by local schools, and when I did my work experience in Parliament I spent some time running a twitter campaign for the current leader of the Liberal Democrats. In 2009 I joined a song writing club; working in that team helped me realise my aptitude for lyrics, and I have run club sessions on starting and developing them. I also helped write a song performed in front of 1500 people at the Sage Gateshead. In 2015 I completed the February Album Writing Month (14 songs in 28 days). I am preparing songs - and my voice - for Grade 8, and my feet for my Intermediate Tap Dance exam in summer 2016 which will be the culmination of my 11 years of experience as a dancer.

I am working on my Queen's Guide Award, a challenge requiring commitment, leadership, and research skills. It is equivalent to a Gold D of E Award and the culmination of my 7 years as a guide.
My Extended Project compared two pieces of contemporary fiction, after which I realised that my initial A-level choices were not in line with what I truly enjoyed: writing, reading and analysing texts. Upon realising I could pursue my dream of becoming a writer by studying English at University, I set about dramatically altering my studies, dropping a subject I was good at in order to study English A2 in school and arranging private tuition to study English AS. This has placed great demands on my time, but I have never been happier and know I made the right decision. In Psychology I am learning what motivates people and characters' behaviours. In French I have been learning to write stories and study literature in a foreign language, and in both French and Politics I have studied how different societies work. These subjects have taught me that wider research is crucial, especially for a writer.

The English Literature and Creative Writing course appeals to me as a reader and a writer. Analysing texts from both viewpoints allows me to think in different ways to those of just one or the other, gaining valuable insights. With practice I have become a more disciplined writer, knowing my limits and stretching them when I can. I want to gain the skills I need to become the best writer I can be.

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Author's Comments

Because I had to do English Lit in a year my personal statement had to be really really good. It also had to highlight the amount I had to change my life to do what I love.
Something must have gone right:
Bath Spa - Conditional (320 points, 260 of which from full A Levels)
Hull - Conditional (280 points)
Aberystwyth - Conditional (300 points) -Both here and Bath Spa replied within 24 hours.
York St John - Unconditional
Royal Holloway - still waiting

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