Karen Richardson headshot

Karen Richardson

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I’m originally from Cleethorpes in North East Lincolnshire but now spend most of my time in Leeds. I worked for a local bank for many years and then as an estate agent but have now finished work to concentrate on my writing career. I have recently signed with a casting agency to find work as a background artist.

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

Having received a first-class honours degree in Professional Writing from the University of Hull, I then wanted to study for a master’s degree in order to further my knowledge and gain more experience. My undergraduate degree did not cover writing for theatre or radio, which the MA in Writing for Performance and Publication did, plus I wanted to be taught by industry professionals who could pass on their experiences and give me valuable advice as I went forward with my career. As my partner and I own a flat just outside the city centre, Leeds was the obvious choice. 

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I love writing stories - losing myself in the world I create is a great joy to me. It’s been a dream come true to see some of my short pieces performed in the theatre and produced on screen and I will never get over the thrill of watching my characters come to life. Therefore, I am always keen to improve all aspects of my writing and so studying the subject, although hard work, is always a delight and never a chore.  

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?

I particularly enjoyed being tutored by writing experts who are still working in TV and theatre. It’s also been a thrill to meet so many highly successful guest speakers who have been able to pass on their experiences and have great advice for trying to make it in this highly competitive creative industry.

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

Excellent libraries and learning facilities.

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies and which ones have you tried out yourself?

I have recently been one of four students chosen for The Grand Writers Platform in conjunction with The Leeds Grand Theatre. The whole experience from pitching my idea, writing my short play and watching it come to life through rehearsal, has been an amazing and rewarding experience, and I’ve learnt a lot. I’m so looking forward to seeing my play, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, when it is performed at Seven Arts, Leeds.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

You need to be passionate about writing and proactive in your approach to the course itself.

What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

I plan to continue writing and try to establish my own theatre production company. The experience I’ve had with the course has helped me to write for theatre and to edit other people’s work.