Kayleigh Cutforth (36), just completed her BA Hons English Literature with Creative Writing at UCP, finishing with first class honours. She’s off to study an MA in Publishing at University of the Arts London and has just been informed that her bid for a Scholarship has been successful.
Hi, Kayleigh, congratulations on the Scholarship. Can you tell us what it is and how it will make a difference?
The UAL Postgraduate Scholarship is a £5,000 fee waiver for Home students studying at one of UAL's institutions. There are 170 available through two routes each with different eligibility criteria. Studying at UAL is a dream come true as it is in the top two universities in the world for the Arts. I would not have been able to consider an MA like this without the Scholarship due to financial constraints, so I feel incredibly honoured and very lucky.
Why have you decided to explore a Masters in Publishing?
I launched an indie literary journal called MONO. in the second year of my degree and have seen it achieve some level of success through both print and digital issues. I have also organised two large scale international literary competitions, the most recent of which was judged by Joelle Taylor, winner of the 2021 TS Eliot prize. The MA in Publishing at UAL is a highly innovative and creative programme that will equip me with industry leading experience, technical skills and the connections to develop MONO. into an independent publishing house.
How was your experience studying at UCP?
My experience at UCP was an incredibly positive one. I started the degree with very little confidence in myself or my abilities, and a crippling fear of public speaking, however as I progressed through the degree I could feel myself changing. Developing new skills and knowledge opened up the world for me and gave me confidence to put my ideas across in my own unique way.
What advice would you give to other adults out there who might be worried that university isn’t for them?
I would say don't hesitate, there is never a right time and life turns up all sorts of obstacles. I didn't imagine at the start of my degree that most of it would take place during a global pandemic, I also lost my brother to cancer early on in my studies but if you have the passion and drive you will absolutely succeed regardless of circumstances. There is so much help and support from the university should you need it, and lecturing staff genuinely care about your journey. The small classes also mean that you create very strong relationships with peers over the three years. It very much feels like you cross the finishing line together.
Finally, where do you hope to be in five years from now?
Hopefully working freelance in the publishing industry, while also passing on my passion for literature and creative writing in some capacity. I have discovered the transformative power of creativity through my own writing and would like to perhaps lecture in prisons or HE. I am also hoping to get an agent and publish my novel.