My top 3 resources for a creative writing student

Guest posts

Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Creative Industries
Course: BA (Hons) Writing and Film
Category: Language, literature and media

6 May 2022

I studied my BA and then my MA at ARU and so there are many resources that helped inform my writing and individual style. You will get a specific reading list as part of your course when you start your modules, but this isn’t about that. This is more about the resources that can help you join the course in the best place possible to help develop your writing.

1. Short fiction / poetry anthologies

There are loads and depending on what modules you pick at ARU, you might have different ones that are part of your reading list. However, on the whole having a couple of anthologies of fiction or poetry that really speak to you and inspire you are excellent resources to have on hand. They can be particularly useful for moments of writer's block but also great to refer to throughout your studies that show you are taking your reading further. A few of my favourites are:

  • The Winter Book by Tove Jansson (this author was also the creator of the Moomins)
    This is a collection of 13 short stories. They’re much darker than Moomins so bear that in mind but they’re beautiful.
  • Hieroglyphics by Anne Donovan
    Ever been interested in dialect? Or a child voice? This is the anthology of short stories for you, but be prepared – some of it is actually written in an amazing Glaswegian vernacular which is just amazing.
  • Hallelujah for 50ft Women: Poems about Women’s Relationships to their Bodies
    My favourite poetry anthology and it is exactly what you would expect it to be about.

    Find two or three anthologies that are personal to you that you’re ready to talk about, and prepare to be opened up to a world of recommendations from students and lecturers on your course. Having some firm favourites is a great conversation starter too.

    2. Aesthetica Magazine:

    Not only is this a great magazine covering art, film, culture and debates but it also has a fantastic short story competition every year! This is something you could maybe ask for a subscription to for your birthday/Christmas presents if you can’t afford the added luxury of a subscription as a student (who can?). They also have a section of their website where they keep you up-to-date with all the literary prizes that are going on. An excellent resource for any budding writer.

    3. Vlog: Reedsy

    This vlog is so helpful in quickly absorbing some simple writing tips from tackling writer’s block to finding starting ideas, structuring novels and more. There is a written blog which can cover more in-depth items like poetry forms or how to copyright your book, too. The website ( also has a “tools” section for writing contests, title/character name generators etc, which is really fun.

    The other thing I love about blogs and vlogs is that this is an awesome way to make content that is about the actual practise of writing. Documenting your process and the journey can sometimes be just as helpful or fruitful as the creative pieces themselves! Have you got a blog or a vlog? Maybe you should!

    Remember, once you join ARU your module leaders will tell you a specific reading list. The majority of which is available 24/7 on the library website and most hard copies are available too. Do save your money or time and wait until you start to really invest in a core reading list. For now, just keep reading and writing whatever takes your fancy, that’s the best thing you can do with your time!

Megan Herdson

Megan studied Writing and Film at ARU. To find out more about our degree courses and student life at ARU, book your place at an Open Day.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.