Friday, 21 August 2015

There's always more to learn - Farhana Shaikh

An August Blog Event - Leicester Writers

Farhana Shaikh is a well known face on the Leicester writers' scene. She works hard to create opportunities for Leicester writers, providing us with a shared forum for discussion and support. In fact, this month's blog was inspired by her tireless work and so please give a massively warm welcome to Farhana Shaikh:


This academic year, I’ve promised to devote time to studying journalism. I’ve signed up to do an NCTJ diploma in Newspaper Journalism. I’ve bought all the required reading materials, notebooks and pens, ink and paper. I’ve even written a couple of features and taken a free online course to ease myself in.

I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m done with learning. I’m filled by a constant sense of wonder, and a fear of knowing nothing at all. Last year, I took courses in Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Writing for the Web without leaving my home or straining my income. 

Most of the courses I take aren’t related to writing and I just see where they go, rather than have a plan, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t helped to inspire or inform my writing. The year before last I took a course in Philosophy, which helped me to explore possibilities in my writing that I hadn’t ever thought about – suffice to say, it sent my imagination into overdrive.

There are lots of free courses for writers online, which you can access in your pyjamas. Some of them might even help you become a better writer. My favourite place to study online is EDX who specialise in online courses from the world's best universities. 


Farhana Shaikh is a writer and publisher born in Leicester and is the founding editor of The Asian Writer. In 2010 she established Dahlia Publishing to publish regional and diverse writing talent. She programmed the first Leicester Writes festival and hosts the monthly Writers Meet Up at Cafe Bru. She has facilitated creative writing workshops and judged competitions in the UK and India. In 2010, Farhana received an Arts bursary from the Royal Shakespeare Company and now regularly reviews productions for The Public Reviews. Farhana writes feature articles, poetry, short stories and scripts. Farhana lives in Leicester with her husband and their two children and can be found on Twitter talking about books and publishing @farhanashaikh


Maria Smith will be my next Leicester Writer Visitor

14 comments:

  1. good for her. Sounds like a very interesting woman. Indeed - classes in a variety of subjects can only help in writing. Thanks for bringing her to us in your blog, Ros

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    1. Thanks Joanne! I hope the courses help with writing and sometimes they do, but more often than not, they help me distract me while I mull over things in my writing.

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  2. What a fascinating woman - and I so agree, learning is such fun!

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    1. Thanks Jo! It is fun, I'm so glad I'm not alone in thinking that.

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  3. Hi Ros - congratulations to Farhana in absorbing and learning what the world can offer ... she is obviously very inspirational ... here where her brief words open our minds, and then with all those she meets, or who read her various articles ... lovely lady to have met .. thanks for introducing her to us.

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. I hope my brief words have inspired you and others to take up the pleasure of learning something new.

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    2. Hi Ros and Farhana - having just read about one of our politicians early in the 1900s as a clerk in the city teach himself to read, write and understand maths by learning out loud as he walked to work and on his errands .. I am inspired onwards ... thanks for replying - H

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    3. Thanks too to Farhana's note on Alan Bennett - and his essay ... it will be interesting to read that .. cheers Hilary

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  4. I can't think where she finds the time! The photo of her waiting for a train might explain it - she studies on the move!

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    1. Ah yes Lizy, the old 'where do you find the time' question. To answer that, I would recommend reading the excellent essay 'How to live on 24 hours a day' by Arnold Bennett.

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  5. Hello Ros.
    Farhana is obviously a competent English writer who doesn't decimate the language, as usually happens here, nice to see.
    Blessings to both of you, Geoff.

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  6. I love Farhana's style - studying courses in your pyjamas...and definitely very savvy at saving money.

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    1. Thanks Maria! Looking forward to reading your blog next.

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