Judith Cowley (Scriptwriting, 2014)

I learnt a huge array of skills, and discipline... We had to write three drafts of our scripts. That was invaluable.

Judith writes: 'Eighteen months on, I'm still not sure what I expected when I sat on that first day in the Master's scriptwriting course at the IIML in 2014. I was just excited to have already made a commitment to write a TV or film script over eight months.

'But I got so much more out of the course than that. I learnt a huge array of skills, and discipline, and learnt how to separate myself when class members and my tutor critiqued my writing.

'Now I see myself as a scriptwriter foremost, so find paid work around my writing. I just want to write. Actually that's not always true. I procrastinate and divert myself often, especially when it comes to a rewrite. Ah rewriting! That is one of the scariest and hardest tasks with any writing but that is what I learnt to do on the IIML course. We had to write three drafts of our scripts. That was invaluable.

'Last year I completed a first draft of a stage play Tender on a 300-level course in Writing for Theatre, taught by Briar Grace Smith. I have entered the third draft of this into ATC's The Next Stage. Last year my short play script In the Pound was produced and made it into the final of the Short and Sweet Festival in Auckland and was also shortlisted for Sydney. I also have a short film Walk a Mile in pre-production at the moment and other stage and short film scripts on the go.

'I just keep writing. I see myself as an apprentice: everything I write will be my teacher and I will gain more skills as time goes on. I shiver now as I remember that falling-in-love feeling I had with writing! And I still love it, all of it.'