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"Studying Poetry Changed My Life Forever"
Published: 27th November 2020, 8:38am
´Studying Poetry Changed My Life Forever¡ From redundancy to international award-winning writer, a postgraduate course has been genuinely life changing Fee Griffin.

In just one year since graduating with an MA in Creative Writing, Fee Griffin has won an international writing award, and has now started her PhD and begun lecturing at the University of Lincoln.

Fee Griffin came to the University of Lincoln after a difficult year, having been made redundant and struggling to find full time work. She began considering her next steps and Fee decided to look into postgraduate courses, finding herself drawn towards the Creative Writing programme.

Fee said: "I actually looked at courses I thought would be more vocational first, thinking about increasing my earning potential as things had been very tight a lot of the time. It felt very indulgent when I let my curiosity guide me into clicking on Creative Writing, and I told myself I was just having a look!

"I asked friends and family if they thought I should do a 'sensible' course or if I should do creative writing. They ALL said creative writing - even the sensible ones."

After being accepted onto the Creative Writing MA, Fee began studying in September 2018. With support from her tutors, she quickly began submitting her writing for publication during her degree, with her first piece of poetry being published in Poetry London in 2019.

Fee said: "My tutors have been really incredible - there's nothing like the feeling that they are on your side and excited about what they do. It's hard to believe everything that has happened since starting the MA, because I had never had anything published before then - not a single word!"

Since then, Fee has experienced huge success, winning the Amsterdam Open Book Prize with work she created for her dissertation, which is soon to be published as a book. She's also begun studying towards her PhD and is now an associate lecturer at the University of Lincoln, where her journey began.

"The biggest surprise for me was coming away from the course with opportunities for such interesting paid work. I honestly thought I was just going to enjoy one year of writing on the course then go back to my normal life, but in the year since finishing I've had three poetry commissions, been paid for my work in several journals, become an English fluency editor to a Danish arts organisation, been approached to act as a poetry mentor and now I'm working part-time as an associate lecturer too. It's all been very unexpected!

"I also hadn't anticipated what a good community of friends and writing buddies I would leave the course with. Keeping in touch with them has been lovely as well as helpful - I know we can always bounce writing ideas about, give each other feedback and share opportunities."

Fee is now teaching undergraduates while studying towards her PhD, using her own story to motivate her students to pursue their own goals: "I try to channel the story of my unusual path here into something that I hope will inspire my students, particularly those who, like me, have come from a lower-income family. I told them in our first lecture that I left a cleaning job to come and teach them after my MA; I wanted to be honest about my life, but also to show them that studying poetry – and studying poetry at Lincoln – can change your life."

Fee's book, a collection of poetry titled For Work/For TV, will be published next month.

More information on the postgraduate courses available at the University of Lincoln is available at https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/postgraduatestudy/.
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