Jessica Stevenson

Currently racking my brain for something witty to start this introduction and failing miserably. The truth is writing under strict time restraints is not my forte, but it is my hope that this blog will shake things up from my usual academic essay writing as part of the English Studies masters and help me evolve into a more varied writer, here’s hoping.

My literary journey began at a very young age, writing stories about princesses and ponies. This cringeworthy start to my oeuvre is thankfully contained to a box of old belongings stashed away in my parents attic to be forgotten until such a time as they feel fit to embarrass me at family gatherings.

Thankfully my writing has evolved since then, and my preferred topics now cover contemporary British literature, culture and visual art. My research often explores the function of literature as a means of social or cultural activism. My hope is that these research interests will blend with topical content to create an interesting addition to this blog!

Maria Sjöstrand

I don’t remember a time where fiction wasn’t part of my life. I used to swallow books like Johnny Fox would swallow swords. Except, you know, metaphorically rather than literally. I read Jane Austen and Neil Gaiman and everything in between, and writing was a natural extension of this.

I set off to write fantasy, but I quickly discovered that fantasy was only a way to get to my actual goal – humour. Sure, it’d be nice if I could make people think about life’s big questions, and it would be lovely if I could make them fall in love or even shed a tear or two.

But ultimately, I just want to make them laugh. A slight snicker. A full-blown seizure.

And that’s why I’m here, I guess. I’ve figured out what I want to do.

Now, I just need to learn how to do it.

Mhari Aitchison

I started to miss studying creative writing the moment I finished my undergraduate course. I have always loved reading what someone else is thinking and feeling – the moment you find someone else is describing perfectly how you feel in that given moment.

I grew up in London, moved briefly to Scotland, then to Switzerland. I was happy to return to Scotland for my undergraduate studies, and definitely don’t plan on leaving Scotland anytime soon.

My writing is usually inspired by the people around me. I am fascinated by the human experience and the relationships we form with one another. I always aim to write with wit and sensitive observation. I find short stories work well for what I have to say. I love reading poetry but have never had much luck with writing it.