Meet aspiring journalist Holly Stafford

Holly Stafford

Holly Stafford - Credit: Archant

We caught up with Holly Stafford who talks books, blogs, music and politics

Tell us a bit about you

I am 17 years old very soon to be 18! I have just finished my A- Levels at Bennett Memorial Diocesan School which I have attended all the way through my secondary education. During my time at 6th form I studied English Literature, Geography and Religious Studies. I would have to say English was my favourite as I loved studying the greatest works of all time and reading copious novels. I have lived in Tunbridge Wells since I was three years old, before that my family and I lived in the West Midlands. I was born in China, where I was adopted by my parents at the age of one.

I have three older sisters (and three brother in-laws), three handsome nephews and two beautiful nieces! My family have always been there for me and we have always been there for each other, for that I am so grateful.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are reading, running and writing. Music has always been a part of my life as I play the clarinet and the piano (reaching grade 6 in both). I have always loved ballet and have done it since the age of three (reaching intermediate).

What are you doing now?

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I have just started at Staffordshire University, studying Journalism,as I am an aspiring journalist and I am very enthusiastic to learn more about the world of journalism. Up until I was about 15 I did not know what career path I wanted to take (not many people do at such a young age) and I cannot say in particular what made me choose journalism other than I love the speed to which it works at, the qualities which a journalist must have; to be vigilant, creative and dedicated.

What writing have you done?

During my time at Bennett Memorial 6th form I wrote for the school newspaper – which comprised of me and a group of other students. I enjoyed it greatly – writing about everything from the origin of the phrase ‘New Year’s resolutions’ to the timeline of fashion history. I have also done work experience in the Courier of Tunbridge Wells, where I was fortunate to get an insight into the different departments of the newspaper, from marketing to editorial. I wrote an article for the Courier online entitled ‘17 things for a 17- year-old to do in Tunbridge Wells’ which was my first published piece and was extremely exciting!

The latest work experience I have been so fortunate to receive is at The Times of Tunbridge Wells, which gave me an insight into a different newspaper. During my time at The Times it was the heightened excitement of the EU Referendum and I was able to write my very own article entitled ‘First blood to the Remain campaign as students vote to stay in Europe’. I helped organise the school referendum and reported on the unfolding events – reporting in a political environment was new to me and I absolutely loved it.

I also have my blog (‘Holly On A Blog’) which is where I write about things which interest me and hopefully others. It is mainly a writing blog about things I feel strongly about (like the environment) but also things which I adore (like fashion). Having my own blog is great as I can work to my own schedule and write about anything I want to share – I understand that journalism isn’t about writing what you like, but to me my blog is just a creative space where I can share my interests. I have so many new ideas for blog posts- my blog is where I can just write away, I have a pad where I keep all my ideas for future blog posts.

What are your plans post-university?

To venture into the workplace – I am interested in politics, fashion and travel writing, also television presenting. I am excited where journalism may take me because I hope to travel all over the world and experience different cultures. I couldn’t say I have any plans necessarily for after university because I don’t know where I will be in say four years time – and I love the thought that where I think I’ll be then will probably differ to where I will be in four years time. All I do know is that my aspiration to go into journalism, love for my family and hope to travel will never change; all the rest is part of the excitement.

Who is your favourite author and why?

I couldn’t say just one but I definitely have a favourite novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Gerald, because it is a love story set in the ‘roaring twenties’, a time of mischievous and outrageous behaviour. It is the story of one man with the undying, unrequited love for a woman who is unable to sustain love. Classical novels are my favourite to read; like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Jane Eyre over modern texts because the concepts and language of classics are just timeless.

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