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SHEILA RAWLINGS

Biography

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Graduating from college, I was first employed as a graphic designer for Freemans Mail Order, designing their catalogue. I then transferred to Grattan four years later. Wanting more of a challenge I eventually joined Lockwood Press, a magazine publishing company, where I was given responsibility for designing and producing their weekly fresh produce trade journal – along with various other publications they were involved with.


Working with journalists fortuitously completed the circle, and once again I was reunited with my first love – the written word. It was during this exposure that the desire to write stories again began to re-emerge, resulting in my self-published novel, 'Truth & Revenge'.


However, despite receiving some good reviews for this novel – and becoming a finalist in the 2014 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards – I knew I needed to learn more about the publishing industry. I therefore enrolled for a course in Creative Writing at the City University, London. Just for good measure, I also attended their course on Writing for Digital Media. Both courses were incredibly helpful.


Having now caught the bug for obtaining writing knowledge, I also attended several Guardian Masterclasses. These included: How to Write Psychological Thrillers; Writing Short Stories; Blogging and Writing Opinion Pieces – the latter given by the wonderful Polly Toynbee. I then followed these masterclasses by attending writing workshops, various literary events and book launches.


Finally, I was lucky enough to participate in two blog tours for Orenda Books, which allowed me to use my newly acquired knowledge of blogging. As well as providing a guest review on another literary website, I also publish my own regular monthly book reviews.


Writing and design, however, are not my only interests. I am also a big motorsports fan – especially Formula One – and enjoy going to the cinema and the theatre. I now live in South London with my husband, Martin.

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After finishing my secondary education at Bexley Technical High School, it was difficult to decide which direction to take regarding my future. Although I had successfully written stories at school and enjoyed writing them, I realised I needed a career which would enable me to earn a practical living. With this in mind, I therefore chose to follow my other passion – design. Finally gaining a place at the Medway College of Art and Design in Chatham, Kent – now the University of Creative Arts – I then went on to complete a 4-year course in Graphic Design.