After a spell studying in Glasgow, Theresa was keen to continue her education in Scotland – and soon settled on Stirling.
She said: “The University had been on my radar for a while. I finally decided to explore the campus last summer and fell in love instantly.
“It is such a beautiful place in all seasons. I knew I could write here, so I plunged in last minute and applied.”
The work of the University’s Professor of Poetry, Kathleen Jamie, and the structure of the MLitt Creative Writing further enticed Theresa to choose Stirling.
Theresa added: “Everyone on the course comes from such a variety of backgrounds – from scientists and engineers to artists and activists. This is reflected in diverse work across all genres.
“Meeting other writers through workshops also allows you to create independent writing groups. Four of us established an independent writing group for creative non-fiction and we took turns presenting different genres and shared work while working on our dissertations. You build up a trust, which is so important.”
Outwith her studies, Theresa worked part-time as a library assistant and completed a counselling skills course – and even moved from Glasgow to Dunblane, to be nearer to the University.
She praised the “honesty and encouragement” offered by Stirling teachers.
Theresa said: “It's hard to hear the truth when your work doesn't cut the mustard. But honesty changes your work for the better.
“All the tutors are working writers, so they know what it's like to doubt yourself, to struggle with the work and how a critical voice is as important as continued support and encouragement to keep going.”
Theresa advised future Stirling students to spend lots of time enjoying the campus. She added: “The beauty of the setting is amazing: there are so many opportunities for nature walks close by.
“Because the University is removed from an urban environment, with all the temptations that come with that, it really allows you to focus on your work and not be distracted. I always loved arriving at Bridge of Allan train station and walking up to campus via back roads: it felt like entering a different world and I miss it already.”