I have always craved words more than food

Karla Brading, English and Creative Writing graduate

"Writing was in my blood from a young age and I remember craving words more than food," says Creative Writing graduate Karla Brading, author of Zombie Jig and Jive and Other Creepy Tales.

"Even now, there has been many an occasion where it’s been a choice of a) that new shiny hardback you REALLY want, or b) food for the week. And it’s always been obvious really, because the answer, personally, will always be BOOK.

I felt so lucky to have a university so close to home, offering such a wonderful Creative and Professional Writing degree – taught by lecturers in and around the industry. So much of what I learned at uni helped me to write to a higher standard and the snippets of advice sit like muses on my shoulders, whispering reminders once in a while, when I’m working away at my laptop.

It seemed I had a talent for writing when I arrived at the start of the course; my style just needed some nips, tucks and tweaks that as time went on – with much nurturing from staff and classmates – granted me a First Class Honours degree.

Sharing in workshops was always a useful / uplifting experience – a chance to read aloud ideas, with various voices performed and typos to have a giggle at (one girl wrote tits instead of its which bagged a few chuckles). But it was never a fearful thing, for me. Workshops were the perfect way to gain feedback and knowledge. 

I deeply miss those hours in a circle, listening to the imaginings of like-minded people.

With a story written during my degree, I submitted to a publisher called Candy Jar. Weeks later, I received a call to meet them; discussing work on writing an entire collection of short stories for children. They’ve since published Zombie Jig and Jive and Other Creepy Tales (by myself) and I’ve been enjoying trips to sell / sign / promote the book at various events such as the Hay Festival and north Wales’s Take PART.  

It’s been a truly magnificent experience and an adventure that continues to unfold. The more work I put in, the more a crisp, paper road to a literary lifestyle cushions my eager feet..."