Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Master of English and New Media Studies
Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Astronomy
The Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing has opened up a whole new world for him, says Isaac Waetford.
“I’ve gained so much from studying creative writing. It introduced me to new writers I should be reading, new ways of thinking and new approaches to creative writing. It made me realise that I’m really just starting the journey of becoming a writer.
“One of the highlights of my studies was being able to complete a creative writing project in my final year. I wrote a detective story based in a fictitious New Zealand town dealing with water rights issues.”
The right choice
He appreciates the contemporary and interactive learning environment, Isaac says.
“I like the smaller, more interactive classes, which makes it easy to develop close working relationships with your lecturers. AUT is a very friendly place, and I love the modern facilities like the Sir Paul Reeves Building.”
The calibre of the academic staff was another highlight for him.
“Each lecturer has their own perspective on the craft of writing. They help you realise how important creative writing is, and the role writers play in society. The lecturers are so passionate about their field, and like to share that passion by getting involved in things like teaching creative writing to children.”
Advice for other students
Pick a second major that can inform your writing, Isaac advises other students.
“I started with creative writing, and then realised that I should include a second major as part of my degree. I picked astronomy because I wanted a balance of humanities and science subjects. Eventually, I’d like to write a science fiction novel, so astronomy was the perfect choice for me.”
He is now getting ready to write that science fiction novel, says Isaac who completed a Master of English and New Media Studies in 2019 and is now enrolled in a PhD, supported by a Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship.
“My PhD research involves the creation of a novel and possibly some digital artefacts as I explore how the genre of science fiction can be used to tell stories which highlight issues affecting Māori and Pacific Island communities, including climate change, technology change and shifting geopolitical tensions. It’s great to be studying something I enjoy so much on a deeper level.”