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‘Studying with the OU has made me a more confident writer’ says Emma

Since starting an Arts and Humanities degree with The Open University, aspiring novelist and swim teacher Emma James has developed her confidence as a writer and is now a step closer to achieving her dream of becoming a published author.

Writing her own story

In 2020, Emma knew she wanted to write fiction.  The lockdowns of the pandemic offered the 25-year-old time to renew her love for learning – rekindling her interest in storytelling. When life in the UK began to shift towards a new version of normal following the pandemic, Emma wanted to continue honing her writing skills while keeping her roles as a swim teacher and scout leader. So in 2021, she embarked on her degree and hasn't looked back since.

Emma says: “I decided after lockdown that I wanted to learn more and develop my writing skills. By studying with the OU, I hope to be an author, writing fictional stories for children and adults.”

Studying Arts and Humanities offered Emma variety, from history to creative writing, equipping her with the skills to write and examine the work of world-renowned novelists both past and present, all with the support of the OU’s team of academics and support staff.

“I’ve loved gaining new skills and learning all about different historical figures. It has been a fantastic experience, and I can't wait to start my Creative Writing module."

Overcoming challenges

Like many writers before her, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Agatha Christie, Emma has dyslexia, but has found support from her OU tutors essential when producing assignments.

“As I have dyslexia, I’ve struggled with elements of the assignments,” says Emma. “I often write something, and it makes sense when I read it back, but it may be unclear to others. Thankfully, my tutors have worked with me to improve my skills, and their feedback and support has made me a better writer.

“Studying with The Open University has made me a more confident writer and given me more insight into today’s world and how history has played a significant role in how we live. After I've completed my Arts and Humanities degree, I would love to do a master’s degree in Creative Writing on my journey to becoming a published writer.”

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