Writing in Portsmouth: Pubs, Movies and Retro-Shops

Level 4 (first-year) student Charlotte Maguire explains how she has been able to develop her life-long passion for writing while at University.

Writing has always been a source of escapism for me. My first pieces were comics that I drew when I was five. Picking up a pen and writing felt natural and I even wrote chapters of stories in class at school! Initially, I kept my writing to myself. In Sixth Form, however, I started contributing to my local magazine, The Aylesbury Guide. Even though I wrote my first article during a free period, I enjoyed every minute of the writing process. The article focused on a theatre club for people with additional needs, a topic that I understood strongly.

The first thing I searched for at the Fresher’s Fayre was The Galleon (the University’s newspaper) and its Pugwash magazine. In October, I wrote my debut article for them, a movie review of Venom. From that point onward, I had set a writing schedule, where I would write one article a week. Contributing to the student magazines has given me the chance to write about films and TV shows, my main area of interest.

But I wanted to write more! I emailed the editorial team of a local magazine, Southsea Lifestyle, asking whether I could write articles for them. On the same day they responded, and set me my first assignment: an article on pubs. I spent hours on the article, trying to keep to the word count (50 words per pub). When I collected the information, I visited the pubs and shops I wrote about. Since I was at home during the Christmas when I wrote the vintage shop article, I had to use their websites and email or call the proprietors. Writing for a local magazine has improved my writing style, both for essays and for future articles.

My next article will focus on the Music society’s production, Cinderella. Although I only attended the university orchestra in the Winter term, I thought it would be a great thing to write about. Since many locals are involved in the orchestra, writing about this could encourage more people to join. In the future, I hope to write more about independent retro shops; there are many examples in Portsmouth to choose from!

Alongside her studies and work, Charlotte runs a  literature-themed blog, The Oracle. The posts focus on the classical and literary references in Harry Potter and other books:

Charlotte’s Blog: Blog here

Charlotte’s Twitter: Twitter here

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