Last week, two young writers came to speak to the Regent’s Creative Writing Club about how they’ve turned their passion for writing into careers. A full room of students from six different majors listened to Alexandra Walker Jones and Zein Oweis tell their stories and answer questions.
Alexandra is in her third year at Regent’s. A committed vegan, she was hired this summer to write copy for a vegan network. That led to a job writing reports on veganism for a business in Portugal, and a commission to write an article on human trafficking for Ethics magazine – out in February.
‘The Liberal Arts programme has really worked for me. I’ve taken creative writing classes and business classes, and it’s even helped with research,’ she said.
Being a freelance writer, keeping on top of invoicing, and keeping up with her course work has not been easy but, as she said: ‘I like being busy, and it helps me to organise my time.’
Zein Oweis graduated in 2016, and was the Regent’s valedictorian that year. Having been accepted into Columbia, Georgetown and American University to study radio journalism, she chose the latter because it had the best disability policy for someone with a degenerative eye condition.
After graduating, Zein wrote for RespectAbility, an advocacy and news organisation, and The PIE News in London. Now she is in Jordan, working as a senior communications officer for Action Against Hunger.
Zein told some heartbreaking stories and humorous stories about working with refugees in the field, and the challenges of representing stories of conflict while maintaining a positive outlook.
Recently, she spoke to 800 high school students about disability rights, and what she says is her ‘ability, not my obstacle.’
During the question and answer session, a student asked her about how she views her Regent’s degree now that she’s graduated.
‘Regent’s may be a small university, but I received so much support from my teachers when I was there. I still do. If I have any advice to offer, it is to keep in touch with your teachers.’