“During my two-week placement at Nottingham City of Literature, I have had a chance to go behind the literary scene. In my zoom call with the director, Sandeep Mahal, I learnt about Nottingham’s rich history as a city of rebels and creatives. Through working with and talking to other members of the team, I have also learnt how Nottingham City of Literature aims to keep this tradition alive by inspiring and showcasing writers.

My first task, reviewing a book of Nottingham writers, artists and photographer and their projects during lockdown, helped me gain an insight into the great amount of talent the city possesses. My second task was creating Instagram stories to promote Nottingham City of Literature’s latest campaign, Letters of Solidarity. As the project is aimed at 14-25 year olds, it was exciting to be part of something that would give new and upcoming writers the opportunity to publish their work.

My third task was to write a blog post for the Nottingham City of Literature website. I conducted my first interview, speaking to award-winning novelist and short-story writer Jon McGregor about his experience of lockdown. This was my favourite task as I gained greater insight into life as an editor and writer. Even though Jon McGregor’s literary journal, The Letters Page has been affected by the coronavirus, McGregor’s view of the changing state of publishing and writing was positive. More and more literary events are being hold online, not only making them more accessible to people around the world, but also more sustainable, as it reduces the amount of people travelling.

Finally, as a writer who wishes to work within the creative industries, this placement has been extremely rewarding. I have gained hands-on experience in writing, interviewing and marketing. I have also got to talk to the staff at Nottingham City of Literature about their career and past experiences and ask them about local writing opportunities.”

Laura Stanley