Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams

The English Department had a good reputation and the south west of England appealed to me.

The tutorial system was excellent; the opportunity to discuss books at weekends in Dartington Hall was very enjoyable, I liked being active in the House of Debates and I enjoyed the company of lots of friends.

Following a year at the College of William & Mary in Virginia USA, I did a PGCE at the University of Nottingham. I taught in Nottingham until, in 1976, I was appointed Head of English at Lampeter Comprehensive School in Ceredigion, Wales. I became a Wales Officer of the NUT in 1990. Between 2000 and 2002 I was seconded as a Speechwriter to the Cabinet of the Welsh Assembly. Between 2002 and 2008 I was Campaigns & Political Officer for NUT Cymru. Since retiring in 2008, I have worked for individual politicians. At present I work two and a half days a week for 3 politicians - 2 Welsh Assembly members and one Member of Parliament. My wife and I live in Cardiff where our grown-up daughters also live and work.

Writing for different politicians involves research and most importantly the ability to adapt style and tone appropriate to the person who will deliver the speech. The ability to write in Welsh and English has proved very useful. The best compliment is when you are told - this is exactly what I think and you sound like me, too.

Writing of all kinds was and is a pleasure. I love books too and find my liking is infectious - this has been true in my relationships with classes of pupils and with friends and colleagues.

Do what you enjoy but be prepared to focus too. Achieving something that is initially difficult can be very satisfying.

I read English at university because I liked writing stories at school. I get great pleasure from writing stories now.

I am amazed at what I can do when I put my mind to it. I treat lots of challenges like A Level modules. Recently I read learned papers on diseases in cockle-beds. I wrote what I hoped were comprehensible briefings for politicians. I was an expert for all of two days.