Natasha Sones - College of Arts, Humanities and Education - University of Derby

Natasha Sones, BA (Hons) Experience of Writing with Film & Television Studies, 2001

What are you doing now?

I graduated in 2001 with a 2:1. My experience in writing helped me to get a job immediately, working as an Editor for a children’s book publishing company, Top That! I worked there for two years and gained lots of experience in writing and editing.

I then went to work for a magazine publisher and ended up becoming Deputy Editor of Crafts Beautiful magazine, a market-leading craft magazine. This gave me experience of commissioning writers, working with designers, exhibiting at trade shows, flatplanning and editing a magazine.

After that I became a freelance writer and editor so that I could work on different projects, doing marketing, writing and editing for websites, books, magazines and more. I proofread books, co-authored a book about wedding speeches and did a huge variety of projects. During this time I got to go on lots of exciting press trips as well, including port tasting in Portugal, visiting spas in Italy and staying in castles in Scotland. I also did public relations and marketing work for several companies, using my writing skills to promote their products. This was my first real marketing work.

During this time I went on to have three children and worked part-time for a solicitors as a Marketing Administrator. This is where I learnt more about writing website copy and using social media to promote the firm.

After four years there I went on to work for an independent school, Ipswich School where I currently work – first as Marketing Assistant and then in my current role which is Digital Communications Officer. I now look after several websites, including our main website and a website just for parents, as well as managing the school’s electronic communication system to parents and social media. I also do other communications work such as writing copy, designing adverts and programmes, and so on.

What were the main reasons you took that course? 

I have always loved writing and proofreading and so decided to study it further at university. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it until I left though.

Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby? 

I looked at several universities which offered creative writing courses. Derby’s course looked the best and wasn’t too far away from Suffolk, about three hours.

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

Having a degree in writing definitely helped me to get my first job, so it started me off on my career.

How did the lecturers inspire you?

Learning about different types of writing was very useful. In one module, about writing children’s books, is where I discovered my love for Harry Potter and Philip Pullman books.

How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?

My degree helped me to get my first job and has helped in my career with writing different types of copy and paying attention to detail. I would encourage anyone who wants a career in writing to study and practice as many different forms as possible.

What are your future plans?

To continue to learn and keep up with digital marketing trends and enjoy using my writing skills every day at work.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

It’s a great course which will give you invaluable experience in writing. Just going to University gives you life skills and the chance to meet different people as well.

Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?

I have made a couple of lifelong friends at Derby.

"It’s a great course which will give you invaluable experience in writing." Natasha Sones