Samantha Thomas was attracted to Melbourne Polytechnic's Bachelor of Writing and Publishing because of its hands-on ethos and the increased job opportunities the two streams would provide.
Samatha's confident the skills she's developing will provide many career options, including corporate writing, editing and small publishing.
Samantha Thomas has enjoyed writing since she was 10 years old. English was her favourite subject at school and she wanted to study writing at university but didn't have the required marks. Instead she followed another interest, completing a Diploma of Legal Studies, and went into full-time work.
She always wanted to go back into study and found the Melbourne Polytechnic Bachelor of Writing and Publishing in a list of new courses. She applied and began the course in 2010.
"It really struck me as a great course to do because it has the two streams and there are more career outcomes from it."
Samantha's passion is for writing non-fiction and she has found the course to be a valuable experience. "We're getting the skills to become any kind of writer. I could leave here and do corporate writing or editing or become a small publisher."
"Since I've started I think I've developed a lot of skills. The course is more hands-on compared to other universities. The class sizes are smaller, there's more opportunity to be heard and much more help available."
"We have a Tuesday seminar series, where we have people from the industry come and talk to us about their experiences. We've had the Head of Kobo, writers, editors, illustrators, people who work for publishing houses, and every one of them has said how valuable this course is going to be for us."
Students are encouraged to complete a placement during the course, which Samantha organised herself at Think Publishing, a small publishing house that produces architecture books and magazines. She worked one day a week at the publisher and has contributed to Abode magazine, their flagship publication.
In April 2011, Samantha was presented with the Denise Anne Deason Memorial Grant, a $1000 study grant from Melbourne Polytechnic. "I haven't touched a cent of that money because I haven't thought of anything worthwhile to spend it on yet. I suppose I'd like to spend it on something meaningful, like a trip to an overseas writers' festival or the Frankfurt Book Fair."
Samantha would like to do postgraduate study in Information Management, which would qualify her to become a librarian or archivist. "It's so difficult to earn money as a writer, you need something to fall back on which is related to it."
"I'd love to be a music journalist. I'm really looking forward to starting one subject next year, because the teacher used to write for Rolling Stone. I'd love to work overseas, for some kind of music magazine. That's the ideal, but I'm happy to be any kind of writer."
Due to finish the course in 2012, Samantha is thoroughly enjoying the Melbourne Polytechnic Bachelor of Writing and Publishing. "I'm really thankful for the knowledge of all the teachers and how many opportunities are presented to students that you wouldn't necessarily get somewhere else. It's really hands-on. I probably couldn't ask to be anywhere better."
Bachelor of Writing and Publishing