Creative writing careers
03 May 2012
Television scriptwriter Jane McNulty, who studied on the first Imaginative Writing MA programme in 1997, will be bringing her new play 'Our Lady of the Goldfinches' to the Unity Theatre Liverpool on 8 May.
Since graduating with distinction, Jane has worked for many years as a television scriptwriter with screen credits for episodes of various long-running series; including EastEnders, Doctors, Crossroads, Heartbeat and Peak Practice. She has also written for the theatre, her monologue '5 Kilometres to Grozny' won the 1997 One Voice Competition. Jane has won awards for her short stories and poetry. She credits the Masters course at LJMU for helping her achieve this success.
"The play, based on real life events - the killing by the IRA of Belfast mother of ten, Jean McConville - has taken me so many years to bring to life, and I am thrilled that it is getting its preview tour at last.
"If I hadn't been a student on the MA at LJMU, I don't think I would have had my writing career. The tutors were really inspirational and supportive, and the opportunity to workshop my writing and that of other students was invaluable in helping me hone my practice. Winning a Lynda La Plante prize for best original screenplay in 1998 was a milestone as it put me in touch with TV production companies and helped me get representation.
"I now teach scriptwriting at graduate and postgraduate level, and I advise people considering a career in writing that in order to develop they need to read and reflect on scripts by other writers. At university you get chance to advance your practice in the workshop situation, under expert guidance from tutors with a proven track record in their field."
Jim Friel, LJMU Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the MA in Writing commented:
"From the start, Jane was an amazing student and to watch her progress has been one of many pleasures that come from leading the MA in Writing at LJMU. Jane has always kept in touch and has even supported our undergraduates by sponsoring a short story prize for In the Red Magazine. To have a play touring the nation is a real achievement and a testament to the very high quality of her writing. We are very proud of her and look forward to seeing this fascinating play."
Another LJMU Creative Writing Graduate, this time from the undergraduate course, has just won an international poetry prize. Kaddy Benyon, one of the first students to study Creative Writing at LJMU, has won The Crashaw Prize, an international annual prize for a first collection of poetry.
Kaddy comments on her time at LJMU and as a writer:
"During my time at LJMU I was very lucky to have studied Creative Writing with the late Dr Edmund Cusick. Not only was he an incredibly gifted poet himself, but he was also a very exciting and inspiring tutor. He taught me some of the best ways to maintain a writing life, for example keeping a dream diary and notebook with me at all times; knowing that a lot of the writing process takes place away from one's desk and not to feel guilty about this; how important it is to spend time with other writers for discussion, advice and feedback. Some of my happiest university memories are from the writing retreats I attended."
Find out more about the LJMU Centre for Writing
For further information on Jane McNulty's play 'Our Lady of the Goldfinches' please visit Unity Theatre Liverpool
You can follow Kaddy on Twitter at @KaddyBenyon. Her first collection of poetry, 'Milk Fever' will be published by Salt Publishing in November.