Nadia Rasheed

Just Like Hannah

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Nineteen year-old Hannah Morpeth, who describes herself as a ‘breakfast enthusiast’ is passionate about writing. Her work has been featured in Cuckoo Quarterly – a literary magazine by young writers – and she is a member of The Writing Squad – a programme that recruits young writers from different backgrounds and offers support over a 2-year period. Sounds like quite a lot of writing doesn’t it? Some people just work better with a pen in their hand!

What do you love most about writing?
I love how writing can help you find the answers to your questions. I think that most of the time I write to try to understand and make sense of things that happen in my own life. I’m not saying that the things I write are autobiographical, it’s more that I take a tiny thing that happens in my life and make it bigger for the purpose of fiction. I like to be able to make things into the “what could be”s and I like to try to flip things around to see them from the other side.

Is there anyone in particular that has influenced your writing style?
American author Jodi Picoult inspires me most, her ability to engage readers is absolutely amazing but what I admire most about her is the fact that she isn’t scared to tackle big issues and that’s the kind of writer I want to be. I am passionate about raising mental health awareness and reducing stigma in mental health, if I can do this through my writing I would be very happy!

You frequently write for the online magazine Cuckoo Quarterly – what is that like and what do you mostly write about?
Cuckoo Young Writers groups are what first got me into writing and made me stick at it, so I am very thankful for their work. The young writers groups offered me the chance to try out lots of different types of writing and has made me realise that I am mostly a script or prose writer but on the other side it has taught me that it is perfectly okay to whack a poem out every now and again. I would urge young writers to submit their work to the magazine.

Tell us about The Writing Squad. How has it helped and changed you?
Before being a part of The Writing Squad I’d never really had any ideas about where I wanted my writing to go in the future, I wrote little bits of writing here and there but no big plans. The Writing Squad has helped me to shape little ideas into full, bigger pieces and help me to understand more about the kind of writer I want to be. For example I wrote a short fiction piece ‘Just Like Heaven’ which with their help got developed into a radio play and produced as part of Slung Low’s 15 Minutes Live, available to listen online HERE.

What advice would you give to other young, aspiring writers?

Don’t feel like you have to fit into a category with your writing, you don’t have to be a poet or a novelist or a script writer, write whatever you feel like writing at this time and you’ll find something that suits you at some point. I also urge you to give your work to people who will be honest with you, I spent a lot of time being scared to share my work but it’s definitely worth getting feedback from as many people as possible.

Where do you hope to be in the future and how will you get there?
Recently I’ve discovered a love for script writing so I’d like to explore this more and possibly write something for theatre. I have a couple of ideas in mind, one of which I’ve started writing that explores stereotypes in eating disorders. It was also really good to do work with radio play, there are so many possibilities with that so I’d love to do it again.

Be sure to visit Hannah’s website and follow her on twitter!

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