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Rab Ferguson - The Open College of the Arts
To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

Rab Ferguson

When it comes to supporting other writers, my aim is to help them find and develop their own voice. I don’t want to tell people “what” they should write – instead I hope to support students to be able to communicate what they are passionate about, and what they want to put out into the world.

My current focus is writing for young people. My first novel, Landfill Mountains, came out in 2021, and was written for teenagers, tackling themes around enviromental damage. My second book, The Late Crew, came out in 2022, is for 8-12 year olds. That one is about young carers, a group of whom are the heroes of the story, and investigate alien activity.

Writing for young people is a fascinating task, and is something I think all writers should challenge themselves to do at least once – even if only to hide the story away in a drawer when it’s done! It forces you to consider your audience as you write, bringing a new perspective to each language choice.

Of course, writing for young people means I need to read young people and children’s fiction as well. I’m part of the Big Kids Book Club podcast, which is all about reading Middle-Grade and Young Adult fiction, and sharing great examples of children’s literature.

I also write for adults, and have short stories and poetry published in various magazines and journals. I’m sneakily working away on a poetry colelction at present! I’ve written articles for various outlets as well, such as Readers Digest, The Booktrust, Inside Times, and the Climate Fiction Writers League. While my focus in fiction more recently has been been young people’s fiction, I’m comfortable supporting student writers creating work for adults as well. I’ll bring that same perspective to my support – of encouraging thought and reflection on our audience, and how we connect with them through writing.

Access to literature is important to me. When not writing, or tutoring for the OCA, I work for a charity called The Reader, promoting access to reading groups in various venues across the North of England, and setting up more of these Shared Reading groups.

I also have spent time performing as a storyteller, working with young people and adults, everywhere from theatres, to pubs, to railway musuems!

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