Amy Head (Writing for the Page, 2010)

As well as giving me a goal to work towards, the course introduced me to writers and readers who could offer valuable insight...

Amy writes: 'I let my application for the MA decide whether I would return to New Zealand to live. I got in, moved back, and everything changed. For most people – I was one – there's discomfort in going public for the first time. Having the group critique my writing was always a nervy experience, but it was important to know the difference between what I'd intended to convey and what had landed on the page. Reading and critiquing work from the others in the group was just as helpful. I got better at seeing the spine of a story and being able to lift it away from the flesh.

'As well as giving me a goal to work towards, the course introduced me to writers and readers who could offer valuable insight, even if we did display signs of group maladjustment occasionally (a tendency to stonewall vistors, hypervigilance over food). I've had plenty of reservations about things I've written, but I've never any regrets about the decision to do the MA.'

Bio: After finishing the MA in 2010, Amy won a project scholarship grant that helped her to finish her debut short story collection, Tough. It was published by Victoria University Press in 2013 and won the Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction. Her stories have been published in Turbine, Sport, JAAM and Landfall. Her first novel, Rotoroa, was published by VUP in 2018.

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