The Creative Writing Interviews form a series of interviews with contributors to our Creative Writing Studies list. Find out about their work and approach towards writing.
Frances Haynes writes: Jennifer Young is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire. Her PhD in Creative Writing is from the University of Southampton. Jennifer is also a contributor to our forthcoming publication, Teaching Creative Writing. You can find out more about her at http://web-apps.herts.ac.uk/uhweb/about-us/profiles/profiles_home.cfm?uuid=D9EFF936-9E60-5D37-1C2C7B95A3A33B62
Jennifer, what do you write?
Until very recently, I’ve been writing novels. The first, On Mathers Land, is a magical realism novel set in the American South, and the one I’ve just finished, London ZA, is a dystopian novel set in London in 2035. I grew up in North Carolina, but I’ve lived in the UK for the last ten years. Both homes turn up in my writing.
Whom do you write for?
I write primarily for myself. My new project is a collection of short stories based on the archives of the Society of Antiquaries of London. I’m quite conscious when writing these that the Society is an active, thriving organisation, and I’m writing about their fellows – even though I’m focusing on the years 1718 to 1758!
What achievement are you most proud of as a writer?
In my final year as an undergraduate, I won the Max Steele Fiction Prize at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The prize money was enough to get my first laptop, and I felt like a real writer. I was recently shortlisted for the Impress Prize for New Fiction, and I was extremely proud of that.
What involvement do you have / have you had with creative writing as a university/college subject/discipline?
I am a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire. I teach fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction on all levels of the undergraduate minor, and we are validating a Masters degree now.
What is your ambition as a writer?
My long-term ambition is to publish my novels, and my short-term ambition is the finish Stories of Thursdays, my project with the Society of Antiquaries of London.