Melbourne Polytechnic graduate and writer, Monika Roberts, says the bachelor’s degree at Melbourne Polytechnic gave her an opportunity to develop a broad range of skills, including fiction writing and newspaper editing.
The course also boosted her confidence and helped her get a foot in the door of the competitive publishing industry.
When writer, Monika Roberts, decided to do a degree, she wanted a course that would give her an edge in a very competitive industry. The Bachelor of Writing and Publishing course at Melbourne Polytechnic was the only degree course she found that incorporated both aspects of the publishing industry. “I wanted a course that gave me insight not just into putting stories together, but also into what publishers and editors look for in a manuscript. If you don’t know these things, it can be difficult to develop your writing successfully.” As part of the course, Monika has learned how to put together a book proposal, from the intricacies of plot and character development to technical aspects like spacing and layout.
Now in her third year, the 20-year-old literary fiction lover is also working on her first novel, based around an upcoming trip to Europe. “I enjoy poetry and there’s a lot of that sort of lyricism in literary fiction. I’ve always liked the language.” As part of the course, Monika has been able to develop a broad range of skills including designing layouts for a newspaper and writing short stories and articles for the web.
“My teachers have been very helpful in developing my writing. We talk a lot about authors that inspire you and how you take inspiration from them and use it to inform your work.” The peer support and interaction during class has also helped her skills and confidence. “When you get feedback it’s from other writers with different interests and talents, so it’s a wide audience. It can be daunting at first but now you want to hear what everyone has to say.”
Monika gained valuable work experience when she was offered an internship at independent publishing house Spinifex Press. The internship came about after Monika met a guest speaker from Spinifex during the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing program. After completing the internship last year, Monika was offered a part-time job as a digital assistant. “I’m helping to collate a list of 100 titles for e-reader applications for the iPad. I also help with their data files and do some editorial work. It’s really good exposure to people in the industry. It gets your foot in the door and you can see how a publishing office is run.”
The inspiration from Monika’s work comes from writers like Helen Garner and Raymond Carver. “It can be difficult to distinguish yourself from other writers. You need to find something that’s your own. And this course has given me the confidence to do that.”
Bachelor of Writing and Publishing