Benjamin Caleb Rose
I have not long completed the end of a Creative Writing BA (Hons) degree at Arts University Bournemouth. When I entered the course, I thought of myself as a writer of fantasy-fiction and country songs. However, I soon started exploring, growing confident, and falling in love with a variety of other writing forms – two of which (nonfiction and copywriting) are now crucial to who I am as a writer. Furthermore, when turning to these forms, I cannot help but draw upon my passion and interest for psychology – mainly that which tackles the subjects of family, parenting, and adolescence. These, among others, are key subjects I discuss in my current work-in-progress – a memoir-and-advice book: 9 Months, My Arse (and the ‘Arse’ that is Adult-Adolescence – a Product of Chaos). For me, no matter the writing medium, people are your audience – so, why not try to understand them the best I/we can?
Creative Writing BA (Hons) Degree (2017 – 2020)
As mentioned, I entered the degree a writer of fantasy-fiction and country songs. In year one, however, we experimented with most forms of creative writing. By the end of the year, I was writing screenplays and nonfiction too. Come year two, we were introduced to copywriting and advertising – and I have never been more thankful. A Bournemouth-based freelance copywriter delivered a few lectures on the form. I loved it, demanding (via student feedback) for the degree to place more emphasis and grant more attention on the form. Thus, in year three, another freelance copywriter came in and taught us more about the trade, introducing us to the likes of David Ogilvy and Garfinkel. It is he who advised to start submitting entries to Twitter’s ‘One Minute Briefs’ – a great way to flex one’s B2C copywriting muscles.
By the end of these latter lectures, I realised I wanted to make a career of copywriting and advertising, allured by the need to work from an array of prompts and boundaries, to work with an attention to detail with every word, and to work with the target audience at the very core of it. With copy, your words have an instant impact – that is, if the client chooses to use them of course. I love to question why a reader might be attracted to a particular headline or slogan, why one campaign succeeds over another, and how one idea out-lives others – perhaps even becoming a ‘big idea’, as Ogilvy labels those of such nature.
In year 3, we worked as writers in the community. For my project, I collaborated with a charity, SSNAP, who had helped my partner and I prior to the year commencing. I had them write features for my memoir-and-advice book – of which I had just started writing myself. Meanwhile, for my ‘Final Major Project’, I submitted a creative piece containing extracts of nonfiction and fantasy – plus a reflective essay, where my reading and research of copywriting and editing techniques took prominence.
I am proud to say that I graduated with an Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1).
Current writing projects:
9 Months, My Arse (and the ‘Arse’ that is Adult-Adolescence – a Product of Chaos):
I am currently deep in the writing of a memoir-and-advice book that offers the reader an insight into my own sense of wider adolescence (adult-adolescence, as I refer to it in the book) following the loss of my extreme-premature son, 8 days after birth. Recounting the events and experiences I shared with my partner, I reflect on the lessons I learned and how I changed because of them. Example chapters include: Circles (the way in which I got back to myself, and then us, Gem and I – the bullseye), where I explain how I imagined a one-step-at-time process with the people around me (in my ‘bubble of origin’), and Channelling Chaos and Change (lifting the weight: emotions, thoughts, and memories), an opportunity for the reader to see how my partner and I both found ways to channel the hurt, the emotions, and the memories as a method of healing and recovery. **Written with the support of the Oxford-based charity, SSNAP.
The Shekinah Children:
A fantasy novel of 80,000 words and first of a series: ‘Beneath the Surface’ – wherein a historical real word is merged with a pirate/medieval-fantasy world via the premise of a hollow Earth. News of a dragon hatching ignites a race between a circus ship, an empire, and an ape-like race – all while we watch a gambling archer get lost in the jungle with the newly hatched dragon. **Currently submitting to agencies.
Current and Previous Jobs:
Campus Living Villages – Customer Service Advisor (2017 – Present)
My job role at Campus Living Villages has evolved over the years, alternating between full-time in the holidays and part-time during the academic terms, and earning more and more responsibilities with each transformation. As of this moment, I create most (if not all) of our team’s digital and physical content and respond to a large portion of our email queries.
When COVID-19 struck, I quickly became responsible for writing the copy and designing the posters for our safety procedures, one-way systems, and reminders of the health and hygiene measures we, as a village, and us, as a nation, were having to follow. Along with this came the need for our team to take on the annual clean, usually outsourced to an external cleaning company. With us being a team of untrained cleaned, I provided a how-to guide/booklet for our team to take with them, explaining the steps to cleaning the rooms, flats, and studios in our buildings – ensuring nothing was missed, and the correct products were used.
Furthermore, I have recently created a document designed to act as an FAQ and email-guide hybrid – to help forge a consistency in our team’s correspondence with our residents. When working on these different forms of digital and physical content, I follow our company-wide marketing guidelines, ensuring that I keep with our company’s tone-of-voice, language, and formatting. Right now, I am working on blog posts for our marketing department to publish on the company’s website too.
Over the years, the job has consisted of:
- Communications – liaising with students in person, responding to questions and making announcements via email, and chasing/discussing debt, and solving problems with the students’ Campus Living Villages online portal, over the phone, in person, and via email.
- Admin tasks – using the likes of excel to organise jobs/roles within the team and upload ‘nominations’ (applicants) to our online database on StarRez.
- Event organisation – creating ideas for, and then running, events for residents across our three buildings covered by the team.
- Welfare – responding to emergencies in our building and checking-up on students, who have either been involved in previous incidents or have had Bournemouth University, flat-mates, or family members contact us on their behalf.
- Lone-working – manning one of our three buildings (ranging from 400 beds to 100 beds) alone, responding to any correspondence while being the first point-of-call in an emergency.
- Debt-chasing and flat/room inspections – chasing late or problematic rent payments and inspecting our residents’ rooms/flats throughout the year, ensuring they are not damaging the building or putting their own hygiene, health, and/or safety at risk.
An Evening of Country – Host and Organiser (2013 – 2019)
I hosted and organised a modern-country music night, bringing both local musicians and those from further afield together, building a community/scene for those in the genre throughout the Bournemouth and Poole area. During my time running the night, I networked with local music venues, event/festival organisers, and both local and national musicians/acts, designed any necessary flyers, posters, and online advertising on Adobe Photoshop, and performed on stage – both as a compere and musician.
Looking back now, I did not quite realise how much copywriting and advertising I was creating when running this event. Every month, I would need to create various social media posts, designs (for social media headers and posts, physical flyers and posters, and artwork/banners to help brand the stage when performing), and write press releases and articles for magazines and newspapers. Furthermore, I had to write an array of emails, approaching acts, venues, and various news outlets and radio stations.
Anglian Home Improvements – Marketing (2017)
Before enrolling on the Creative Writing degree and working at Campus Living Villages, I worked in door-to-door marketing, creating ‘leads’ – meetings which would take place between the potential client and sales team. This job role proved a test of endurance, both physically and mentally, working long hours in all weathers, having to remain positive and enthusiastic – all while having to shoulder plenty of rejection (an inevitability given the nature of the work).
HP Music – Studio/Business Assistant (2016 – 2017)
I worked as an apprentice/first-hand assistant for the owner of the artist development business and recording studio: HP Music. Though I was initially brought into assist as an apprentice recording-engineer, my self-taught Adobe Photoshop and design skills, as well as my knowledge and love of words (thus correspondence and, what I didn’t realise was, copy and advertising) had me become more of an in-house designer and copywriter. I designed WordPress websites using X Theme’s Cornerstone and wrote the copy for them, music artists’ album and social media artwork on Adobe Photoshop, and continuously edited and/or wrote the copy for the business’ correspondence, website, and marketing.
The Lord Bute – Waiter (2014 – 2016)
I worked a silver-spoon service on routine afternoon/evening shifts, as well as functions – ranging from tribute nights to weddings.
Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1): Creative Writing BA (Hons) degree.
Level 3 BTec at ACMR: Distinction, Merit.
3 A levels:
- Acting BTec (Distinction)
- English Combined (B)
- Film Studies (C)
11 GCSE’s (A-C), including: Maths, Science, and English.
More About Me:
Growing up, I have always loved and over-analysed anything containing words – whether they be written or spoken. Adverts. Billboards. Shopfronts. I’ve always questioned the decisions behind why the person behind them made the choice to use particular colours, words, or design choices – to capitalise a letter that, in regular circumstances, would be uncapitalized. Since I started secondary school, I’ve always written songs and novels – proving, and never losing, my writing stamina. Word counts don’t bother me – whether they sound ‘big’ or ‘small’ for the task. Likewise, I have always shown, and since built-on, a diversity in my writing too. No matter the form, however, I always keep my target audience in mind, striking a balance between what they want/expect (the mainstream) and adding something new to the form/genre.
When it comes to creativity, I have a passion for change and new ideas. I’m constantly watching videos that prove/offer new ways of thinking – whether that be some barking-mad conspiracy video or a showcase of the tiny-house movement spreading across America, Australia, and New Zealand. Reading-wise, my degree has encouraged me to keep turning to books and writing outside my comfort-zone. In more recent times, I have read a range of more theoretical work, ranging from The Hiram Key and Before the Pyramids to Adult Children: The Secrets Behind Dysfunctional Families, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read and Your Children Will Be Glad You Did, and 12 Rules of Life.
Aside from all things words and reading, I have a passion for history (especially the Medieval and Neolithic eras), travelling (especially where there may be a castle or two on offer), and, somewhat guiltily, football – especially as the spectator, not the participant. Most of all, however, I love nothing more than to sit down, with a coffee and biscuits at the ready, and watch (while preaching the incredibility) of Pixar, a Richard Curtis movie, or a TV series – usually an epic, like The Last Kingdom, or a comedy classic. Fawlty Towers, for example – arguably the greatest British comedy available to man.