BA English student profile: Claire Cusack

Claire Cusack  is a 2020 BA English graduate from Middlesex University and winner of the Dean’s Award for Best Independent Project in English.

Claire Cusack

“Studying BA English at Middlesex was a great experience and one that allowed me to grow immensely as a writer. Over the past 3 years I have learnt new skills that have helped me to enrich my creative pieces and become a more confident writer.

My third year at Middlesex especially helped me hone in on the skills I have learnt as my final project was a 5,000 word piece of creative writing. After putting a lot of time and effort into finishing the piece and therefore completing my studies, I feel satisfied knowing that I have done my absolute best and can take what I have learnt and use it in whatever career path I end up taking.”

Read Claire’s award-winning crime-fiction that she developed for her final year Independent Project, featuring detective Jennifer.

‘On the Chase’

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The meeting room fell silent when the retrieved footage appeared on the screen and showed the robber at work. Covered from head to toe in all black protective gear and a motorbike helmet, the individual opened the money vault, having punched the numbers in without hesitation. They strolled away confidently. Hips swayed. A woman? She departed with two gym bags filled with cash.

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BA English student profiles: Natalie Rose

Natalie Rose (third-year BA English student) describes her experience of studying at Middlesex:

Natalie Rose BA English.png“Being a student is about indecisiveness and experimentation. It’s about trying everything possible so that, once you graduate, you know exactly which path is right for you. It’s about figuring things out, and then changing your mind and having to figure it all out again.

English at Middlesex University epitomised this experience for me. The course was so widespread that not only did we journey through the depths of language, we uncovered the definitive rules of genre, and marvelled at the complexity and importance of literature, both old and new. Each topic covered was not only interesting to learn, but with each class it revealed to me something new I could be capable of. Every experiment was a test – could this be what my future is made up of? And each lesson learnt was an accomplishment, an experience I had gained, something new to push me over and beyond what other students from other universities had to show.

There is no one path selected for you at Middlesex. You are not bound to academia, to teaching, to linguistics. You have every available option spread out before you, and you learn how to excel in whichever of these options interest you most. Extra-curricular opportunities and dedicated, friendly lecturers mean that your education does not stop when you leave the classroom. There is no limit at this university to the things you can discover, only how much time you give yourself to try each new opportunity out.”

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Read Natalie’s outstanding romance, Disengaged that she wrote for her third-year module ‘Writing for Popular Markets’, taught by Adam Dalton.

Disengaged

Chapter One

All along the bar were shimmering, giggling girls falling over their half empty drinks while chatting to greasy looking guys. Unfortunately, Bree was one of them. I was pissed – tonight was meant to be our time.

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Free creative writing mini-lessons

Dr Adam Dalton, lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at Middlesex University, has been producing free creative writing mini-lessons on his website, one a day, Monday-Friday. He’s posted eight lessons so far.

https://metaphysicalfantasy.wordpress.com/ni-lessons/

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He’s producing the lessons to help those stuck at home in the current circumstances to find a routine. A routine can help with well-being. And the lessons just might help people became globally successful writers!

 

The Multimodal Writer

 

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE A PRESENTATION BY award-winning author of theory, fiction and creative non-fiction, Dr Josie Barnard on how can a writer optimise his or her ability to move between genres and technologies.

When? Thursday, 12th March 2020, 15.00-16.00

Where? Room CG09 (College building), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

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These are exciting times for creative writing. In our digital age, the ability to move between types of writing and technologies – often at speed – is increasingly essential for writers. Yet, such flexibility can be difficult to achieve, and, how to develop it remains a pressing challenge. Josie Barnard’s academic research has at the centre one question: how can a writer optimise his or her ability to move between genres and technologies? Her new book  The Multimodal Writer sets out to provide theoretical background and serve as a practical tool to help writers face challenges and embrace opportunities presented by new media technologies robustly, effectively, and with pleasure.

 

Biographical note:

IMG_7293-768x512Dr. Josie Barnard SFHEA is an award-winning author of theory, fiction and creative non-fiction whose academic research centres on the application of creativity to the challenge of bridging the digital divide.  Her research into digital literacy is represented by her Macmillan International Higher Education monograph The Multimodal Writer: Creative Writing Across Genres and Media (2019). Her research into digital inclusion is represented by her BBC Radio 4 programme, Digital Future: the New Underclass (2019).  She has developed an empirically tested pedagogical model for teaching digital literacy.  The author of six books, including the Betty Trask award-winning Poker Face (1996) and extensive print and broadcast journalism and international academic articles and chapters, Josie is currently co-editing a Multimodal Writing Special Issue of the National Association of Writers in Education journal Writing in Practice (2021).  She collaborates with government departments and other key stakeholder groups to inform policy and develop citizens’ digital literacy.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2019-20 Language & Communication research seminars.