Spotlight 2017

Rose Servitova - Award-Winning Writer

22 May 2017

Rose Servitova is an award-winning writer (as well as working as a job coach for people with disabilities). She is curating Jane Austen 200 - Limerick - a celebration of all things Georgian through theatre, screen, regency fashion, literature, architecture and music which is running from July to December 2017 Her book, The Longbourn Letters – The Correspondence between Mr Collins and Mr Bennet was published in April and can be purchased in paperback or Kindle at and from a number of bookshops.

Course/Subjects studied at University College Cork:

Arts Degree – English and History 1993-97 (I took a gap year in ‘96 to work on a kibbutz in Israel)

Best Memory of UCC:

I could not pick one as I have hundreds. I remember getting butterflies in my stomach on a Sunday evening in anticipation of getting back to Cork, to college, to our house on Magazine Road, to the toasted-sandwich maker and to our friends.

How has your time at UCC helped you to get where you are now?

I went from an incredibly shy teenager in school to a very confident, out-going woman in UCC. I had neck and went after things. University life gave me a safe, nurturing, varied environment to discover what kind of person I wanted to become. Somehow in my thirties, I lost that confidence, possibly due to responsibilities and doubting myself. In the past twelve months, however, I’ve gone back to the ‘me’ I had become in UCC. If I want something to happen – I make it happen. I rediscovered my mojo & my passions, which includes all things Georgian and writings of Jane Austen. I have just published an Austenesque novel The Longbourn Letters and I am single-handedly curating Jane Austen 200 – Limerick. It’s drawing a huge interest and people are travelling from all over to attend. The UCC me, the orchestrator, is back with a bang!

What is your advice to current UCC students?

Nothing you do is wasted. While you are in college, it’s not just your brain that’s growing but your social & networking skills, your confidence and self-awareness. In the long run, these are just as important as academia when forging a life and career.Also, enjoy every minute in college – work hard, laugh harder. The friends I made in college are still my closest friends twenty years on, though we are spread all over, have moved on in our lives and relationships and I would not be the best to stay in touch. The years we spent in UCC super-glued us together and I find that, to this day, through highs and lows, we are there for each other – we also have occasional reunions in Cork and last year had a massive joint-40th birthday bash (in fancy-dress).

What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?

Friends. Also, I was fortunate to attend college at a time when there were plenty of inspirational, occasionally eccentric and colourful characters in the History and English departments. In my writing, I have a very strong character focus - I’m a big fan of celebrating individuality and quirks. I have worked around other university campuses and have rarely found as much character condensed into an environment as is to be found at UCC.

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?

No but I would tag along and support many, regardless of how ill a fit I was for it. I recall a few of us orienteering in the woods at night, joining the Maths Society for about a week, attending RTE studios in Dublin for ‘Challenging Times’ (similar to University Challenge) to support the UCC team, attending most of the Philosophical Society debates and frequently gate-crashing cheese and wine events organised by the French Department.

Favourite UCC legend or superstition?

Would you believe, I only ever knew about ‘not walking through the quad’ and, being the bould one that I was, of course I did it and have survived to tell the tale.

Alumni and Development

Alumni agus Forbartha

University College Cork, 2.12 Western Gateway Building, Western Road, Cork, T12 XF62, Ireland