Emma Hooper

This week, each of the three blog posts will be on a lecturer from one of my three years at Bath Spa University. So, today I’ll write about one from first year, Wednesday one from second year and Friday one from third year. Each of them have had a significant influence on me and my work and so I just wanted to dedicate a post to each of them. As you may have guessed, today’s is about somebody named Emma Hooper.
    Emma taught the core (compulsory) module for Creative Writing in first year and it was those classes that convinced me that I had made a very good choice in doing a Creative Writing degree. This class was right in the middle of a nine hour day (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. of classes, plus at least two hours travelling all the way from Corsham to Bath) but I still always looked forward to this class because it was such a fun environment for developing writing.
    Emma herself always seemed to be especially full of energy and I imagine it was a great help for those who may not have been feeling entirely enthusiastic. I can’t really put my finger on what it was, but while other classes would have writing prompts that weren’t all that exciting, I remember that I was always eagerly writing up my piece to workshop in the next of Emma’s classes whereas with the others it was occasionally a bit of a chore. Perhaps it was because she gave such excellent and positive feedback, or perhaps it was the prompts that were excellent, I don’t know, either way it got me to write more. In fact (and I know this because I list all of the writing I do) my year with that class is the most productive I’ve ever been writing-wise and I’ve been listing my writing since 2004! I’m sure that’s no coincidence.
    I remember once, I was wearing my Tetris badge (a kind gift from Chris Hunter) and she spotted it almost as soon as I walked through the door! That made me very happy. The same thing happened when I was wearing my Christmas badge too (she also held an excellent Christmas class too). I think the best thing was that she made every class member feel important and really encouraged everyone with their projects, while at the same time being a really fun person to be around. In one of the last lessons we were listening to music (working on song writing, I think) and she played the song “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen and it’s quite a sad song, so I felt especially sad that the classes were coming to an end and whenever I hear it now it reminds me of those classes. As I’m sure you can tell, I’ll always have extremely fond memories of my first year of Creative Writing with Emma Hooper.
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