Roxy Freeman: From nervous newcomer to Guardian cover story

15 03 2010

As I walked through the doors for my first day at Brighton Journalist Works in February 2009, the sight of the desks and chairs filled me with panic and it occurred to me that my solitary existence as an Open University student was over.

No more sitting on my own with my books night after night, this class was rammed full of smart, confident students with opinions and questions in abundance.

Over the next ten weeks, with the fastidious guidance of Paula, Richard, Matt and Pete, my knowledge of journalism went from nothing to fairly comprehensive.

At times it was really tough; I doubted not only my abilities but also my motivation. I had invested quite lot of time and money in the course but it was all on a bit of whim. I had no intention of being a news reporter and wasn’t even sure I wanted to work in the press. I just liked writing and wanted to improve my skills in the shortest time possible.

I never doubted the expertise of my tutors, who were all superb in their field, but I had no faith in myself. I was surprised to get through the ten weeks and even more surprised to pass all the exams with a C or above.

The next few months involved a number of unpaid work placements and numerous rejection letters. I was starting to lose heart when I got offered an internship at The Guardian, followed by print opportunities in their various publications.

In September 2009 I wrote a cover story about my upbringing, for the Guardian’s G2 supplement. Following its publication, I pursued various avenues including a paid internship with The Copywriting Company in Brighton. The placement taught me the practical side of how to put my new-found skills to use and actually to make money through feature writing.

In December last year, I was approached by a highly respected publishing company who were keen for me to write a book. Once the initial fear and anxiety passed I threw myself into writing a memoir outline. The sample chapters and full proposal is now with my agent pending formal publication confirmation by the publisher.

Enrolling on the NCTJ course at Brighton Journalist Works was not only a nerve-wracking experience but a massive leap of faith. A year down the line I’m pleased to say it was one of the best leaps of my life. I’m now doing something I love and by the end on the 2010 I may well be a published author, I can’t ask for better than that.

Roxy Freeman’s memoir is due to be published later this year. Her website is www.roxyfreeman.com.

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2 01 2011
2010 in review «

[…] Roxy Freeman: From nervous newcomer to Guardian cover story March 2010 4 […]

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