My degree in Creative Writing spurred my interest in writing and led me to publish my own novels

Zarin Virji
Zarin Virji
Principal, The Universal School
Zarin Virji graduated from the University in 2016 after completing an MA in English Literature (Creative Writing).

What are your main responsibilities in your current role?

Teaching, administrative responsibilities, teacher training

Please outline your career history: how did you get to where you are today?

My degree in Creative Writing spurred my interest in writing and led me to publish my work.

Why did you want to come to the University of Sheffield to study your chosen degree?

The outstanding faculty, infrastructure, the standard of living in Sheffield versus living in London, the pleasures of living in a small city compared to Mumbai.

What were your favourite things about or best memories of the University of Sheffield? 

Besides class interaction, I enjoyed spending time at the Western Bank library. Volunteering with the poetry lovers group that read poetry at the senior citizens' homes, was another highlight. I also enjoyed being part of the 'In Complete Collaboration Drama Society'. Our performance at a University event fetched us a prize so we got to perform shows for the Refugee Week. Hanging out with classmates at the pubs, cooking Indian food for friends was great fun. Visiting the museums and exploring the Peak District, was another favourite pastime.

Please explain how has your qualification and/or time at Sheffield helped you in your career?

The opportunity to publish my stories and poetry. Two of my poems were published in the university journal 'Route 57' [2015]. Another short story made it to 'The Best Asian Short Stories-2018'. I now have the courage to take part in several international writing competitions!!

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

My novel, 'Gopal's Gully', has been published by Penguin Random House India in February 2021.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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