Octavia Grey is my name. I live in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire and three years ago I decided to follow a dream. Cliché? Maybe, but it was also one of the scariest decisions I’ve had to make as it involved reducing my working hours. Back then I was a full time working single parent with sole responsibility for my five year old daughter. Taking less hours meant less money and a tightening of the purse strings in order to succeed, but I felt such a pull to my love of writing that I knew I’d make it work.
I was successful in my application to the University of Nottingham to study their undergraduate programme in creative and professional writing. I’ve just graduated with a first in my degree. It feels like I’ve unlocked a door I always knew was there but never dared open
From the end of the first semester at university a whole new future had opened up for me. A change in career was inevitable and that’s the point at which I am now – the long, hard slog of writing my debut novel, currently out on submission.
The degree also fuelled my belief that every child should have exposure to writers and writing during education. An ability to express yourself well brings confidence and motivation to children that stands them in excellent stead for adult life. Thinking creatively is a way of increasing those skills in young people.
This led me to seek writing residencies within the local area. Mansfield has a limited writing community and through a number of planned events and projects, I hope to help change that.