Alex Robins, Mary Burrow Scholar

MA Creative Writing

Studying on the part-time Creative Writing MA alongside my own professional practice has been one of the most enriching years of my life. I have been able to make great strides toward my goals and started new projects in fields I would not have discovered without the encouragement of my lecturers and peers. I cannot thank you and your family enough for the financial support which has enabled me to be more confident, open more doors and strive to excel.

I am currently set to complete the Masters next year with a Distinction grade, as I have gained high marks in my first two modules. In the ‘Poetry of Events’, Dr Sam North (Programme Director and my personal tutor) led us in the creation of Treatments for novels, exploring the key questions and core philosophies intrinsic to storytelling. Then, the next term, Professor Vesna Goldsworthy put these skills into practice with her ‘Prose Writing Workshop’, which had us writing excerpts to share with the group for feedback. I finished my first year at Exeter with a detailed structure for a book and a series of short stories I am truly proud of.

The funding I received from the Mary Burrow Scholarship has allowed me to travel to Exeter from my home town of Plymouth, buy essential course texts and other reading recommended to me by Dr North and finally, the security to feel that I can focus on my studies over these two years without needing to juggle the time with multiple jobs.

I am excited to now be getting stuck in to the second year of the MA and from the modules I will be taking this year I am particularly interested in the ‘Nature Writing’ and ‘Screenwriting’ options, with the intention of writing further short stories for a complete collection and a full length film script.

Last October, I was able to write and produce my first full length play (Fireworks), involving a Director, Dramaturg and Performers for an R&D, South West Tour and run at London’s VAULT Festival. Being able to work alongside theatremakers who inspire me has been hugely beneficial for my practice. I’ve attached links to two ‘Fireworks’ reviews below and a picture of me (left) with the team on the set of the show.

I have also been lucky enough to be chosen for TRP’s Playwright Development Programme. Over the Summer, myself and five other writers submitted new full length plays for the Literary Manager to consider producing. To accompany this, we were visited by a number of working professional playwrights who led workshops for us and gave nuanced career advice. I have also worked on a project called ‘Hotline Coldcall’, supported by Visual Arts Plymouth for this year’s Art Weekender in September. It featured a series of choose-your-own-adventure stories which you can interact with via your phone.

After completing my Masters course in 2021, I will continue to create theatre, but feel like I will have developed the skills to write professionally for the other forms I have explored at Exeter, such as novels and video games. I’m excited to break into these new industries, and will keep you updated with my ongoing plans.

I would be happy to discuss further, in person or online, if you had any questions about myself or my work.

Thank you again for your continued support, Alex

Reviews for Fireworks : Hotline Coldcall :