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Why writing is the ideal student hobby

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University is the perfect place to try a new hobby. Dominic Lam tells us about why writing is one of the best pastimes you can undertake while studying, and discusses the best ways in which to do so. 

In Mark Rylance’s acceptance speech after winning the BAFTA for Leading Actor in 2016, he said that we are a nation of storytellers admired around the world. Whether you were born in this country or whether you’ve moved to this country, writing welcomes all, and university is the time to let your ideas flourish. I’d like to tell you how you can take advantage of your years at Warwick by getting involved with the many writing opportunities on offer.

Creative writing is one of the most popular forms of writing. Whatever people tell you, anyone can write creatively, regardless of degree and background. It is the great leveller of the arts. If you enjoy writing poetry, for example, consider submitting a piece or two to ‘Dodo’, Warwick Writing Society’s publication that arrives in the form of wax-sealed scrolls in a box on the fifth floor of the Humanities Building. Each edition has a different theme so why not give yourself a challenge and see your work in print!

Anyone can write creatively, regardless of degree and background

Calling all thespians! If playwriting is more your cup of tea, there is a society for that too! Freshblood New Writing allows you to submit a play at various times of the year and culminates in Fresh Fest in term 2, in which 6 or 7 plays are chosen and performed in two intense weeks of theatrical extravaganza. There are opportunities to audition for the various roles as well as to produce or even make your directorial debut.

Journalistic writing helps you to play an active role in current affairs and politics, and looks great on your CV. At Warwick, we have several political publications written by students such as ‘Warwick Globalist’, ‘Perspectives’ and, of course, ‘The Boar’, Warwick’s student newspaper. If you want to blend your creativity with a more journalistic style, then consider writing for Cobalt magazine which has a broad remit.

Journalistic writing helps you to play an active role in current affairs and politics

Getting involved can also give you a leg up when applying to write for external publications. For example, I am currently a freelance writer for ‘Loud! Magazine’, which is an online publication directed at prospective university students giving them advice about student life, and benefitted greatly by getting involved in Warwick’s writing opportunities. They help you to hone and develop your writing skills, challenge you to write new material and to comment on global affairs. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing you own work in print or online. It can give you the confidence to continue writing and expand your portfolio.

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing you own work in print

Balancing time at university can be hard, but you won’t regret putting in the effort to play an active role on campus.  As Mark Rylance said, let nothing come between you and your stories.

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