I’m Sophie-Louise Hyde.
I’m a writer and publisher.
I’m based in Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK.
I am an emerging poet and I am currently founder and business owner of The Student Wordsmith and In2Collision.
The Student Wordsmith is an online writing and publishing platform aimed, specifically, at student and graduate writers. Through national competitions and submission windows, we aim to help young people publish their work in books, pamphlets and quarterly journal issues.
In2Collision is the place where creative and corporate worlds collide. Home to a number of innovative projects here to inspire both creativity and community, In2Collision offers you the ideal space online to perfect your next venture. Offering three professional services in Editing, Copywriting and Publication Preparation, its new packages are tailored to meet your project’s specific needs.
I took the academic route in the life and began a BA in English at Loughborough University where I found that I had a talent in and passion for Creative Writing. This led me to the study of a degree in Creative Writing at Masters level, where I was able to learn about the writing industry and what it takes to become a writer in it (i.e. the importance of diversifying).
I joined Loughborough University’s commercialisation hub, The Studio, and was lucky enough to receive both business support and funding for my writing and publishing platform. I’m now studying for my part-creative PhD in English and Creative Writing and, at the same time, still run the business from Loughborough. I’ve even been lucky enough to secure funding to hire my first team members!!
Have you found it difficult to enter your profession as a woman?
I don’t think that I have found it difficult to enter this profession as a woman as I’ve chosen to enter the industry in a completely different way. I will say that this might change should I choose the path of an academic or lecturer in Creative Writing as a career upon the completion of my PhD. However, right now I see no restrictions or difficulties that I would put down to being a woman.
Did you have any help during your career?
Yes, from Loughborough’s commercialisation hub, The Studio. I was offered business mentoring, training, support, funding and an office space to really begin getting The Student Wordsmith off the ground. I was a member of The Studio from 2012-14 and I am still involved with a number of their projects.
What do you wish you had known when you started out?
I wish I had known more about business behind the scenes before I started out, particularly in relation to finances, taxes and VAT.
If you could talk to your younger self now, what would you tell them?
To never give up, you really can do anything if you put your mind to it. Nothing is impossible if you have passion, drive and dedication.
Who has most inspired you and why?
My business mentor, Megan Powell-Vreeswijk, because she always saw the possibilities for my business and believed in me as someone who could achieve what I had set out to do. My supervisor for always pushing me and telling me that it is ok to take a break and not to feel guilty about having ‘me’ time and my Mum. She is 100% the most inspiring woman to me. She never gave up and has worked so hard to reach a job that she loves and the things she wanted and if I can work half as hard as her I’ll be a very happy person!
What tips would you give someone just starting out?
Be patient with it, nothing happens overnight. Persevere through the good and the bad times and you will find, when you look back after a week, month or even a year, each baby step has grown into a bigger footprint and that you have achieved more than you ever imagined.
What was the best piece of advice anyone gave you?
The best piece of advice I was ever given was to know when to let something go. I’m a huge perfectionist, which often meant I would be sat working on something to make it ‘perfect’. I didn’t realise that what was imperfect it my eyes would be somebody else’s perfect already. Judging when to let a project go and be seen by others is a big thing. Let yours go…
What inspiring quote do you love and where does it come from?
My favourite inspirational quote is: ‘I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.’ Taken from writer Charlotte Bronte, it resonates with me because I know she would have dealt with the difficulties within writing, of showcasing your work, of being a woman in her day, and so I feel I can really identify with her.
Do you use any useful apps, systems or websites that you would like to share?
Yes, we stumbled across one only a few weeks ago! If you haven’t already heard of it, Canva is a wonderful graphic design website and piece of software that allows you to create your own images, infographics, graphics for use on your website, social media pages etc. It’s currently completely free although we envisage they will soon charge for it. We love using it and we suggest you look it up too!
Links to my work: