Another Ship Tanks And The Reasons I Do This

Another ship went belly up today. I wrote to UEA to prompt them to give me an answer re funding and they replied….. One of those “the competition was strong this year” bla blas. So, without funding, I’m not doing a PhD. Newcastle is the only university yet to reply. If they turn me down for funding too, I’m going to give up on the whole PhD thang – I’m just not going to get there without a first and I can’t afford to self-fund *(they’ve all offered me self funded places).

Also, today, I received an email from a fellow UEA MA graduate. She was congratulating me on my recent win and commendations. She also asked me what I thought these competitions gave me re my writing/career. That got me thinking and here’s the answer:

a) It encourages and motivates.
b) I get published in literary magazines.
c) Money, if I win.
d) It keeps me on my toes and hones and polishes my writing skills.
e) It helps me build up a portfolio just in case I’m ever offered a collection.
f) It gives me an edge when applying for bursaries, residencies, funding etc..
g) It might bring  the attention of agents.
h) Short stories are something I can work on when time is limited.
i) One of the agents who visited UEA on our MA said its important to build up your writing ‘credits.
j) Agents are human and sometimes don’t trust their own judgement, so wins and commendations give you that ‘seal of approval’/credibility.
k) It reminds me I”m a writer.

L)It’s a better displacement activity than making a cup of tea.

M) It helps in the applying for writing jobs game.

And in light of a ship tanking, I launched another one, sending off a radio play of mine to the Sussex Playwrights’ competition.


About suehealy

Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre and associate lecturer in playwriting at the universities of Lincoln and Portsmouth, Irish playwright Sue Healy has a PhD in modern theatre history. Her most recent stage play Imaginationship (2018) recently enjoyed a sell-out, extended run at the Finborough Theatre and is headed to the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in August. Cow (2017) was staged at the Etcetera Theatre and Brazen (2016) ran at the King’s Head, funded by Arts Council England. Her work has been performed at the Criterion, Hackney Attic, Claremorris Festival (New Writing Award winner), Brighton Festival (the Sussex Playwrights’ Award Winner) and Sterts Theatre and has been developed by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and support by the Peggy Ramsay Award. Her nine radio-plays have broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has won prizes for her prose including the Molly Keane and HISSAC Awards and the Escalator Prize. A UEA Creative Writing MA alumna, Sue spent eleven years in Budapest editing Hungary A.M. Sue also tutors Creative Writing at CityLit. View all posts by suehealy

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