Advertising creative and writer
Tara West left Victoria College in 1989 with ‘A’ Levels in English Literature, Art and History and Appreciation of Art. She studied foundation at Belfast School of Art, completed a degree in Communication, Advertising and Marketing at the University of Ulster, and secured her first job in advertising in 1995. She specialised in copywriting and creativity, and over the years worked her way up to Creative Director level. She is now Joint Head of Creative in Genesis, one of Northern Ireland’s leading advertising agencies, and has been responsible for high-profile and award-winning campaigns for Tourism Northern Ireland, Health and Safety Executive (Farm Safety), the PSNI, the Public Health Agency, SPAR, firmus energy and Genesis Crafty.
Tara is also a published writer: her first novel, Fodder, was published by Blackstaff Press in 2002, and her second novel, Poets Are Eaten as a Delicacy in Japan, was published by Liberties Press in 2013 and was described by Ian Sansom as ‘the funniest book written by a Northern Irish author this century’. Liberties Press will publish her memoir about depression and recovery, Happy Dark, in 2017. Her writing has also been published in The Glass Shore, a much-lauded collection of short stories by Northern Irish women writers, Blackbird, the inaugural anthology of writing from QUB Seamus Heaney Centre alumni, and next year will see her work included in The Female Line, the follow up to the seminal 1985 collection of fiction and nonfiction from Northern Irish women writers.
Tara appears at numerous book and arts festivals including the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, the Belfast Book Festival, Aspects Festival Bangor, the West Belfast Festival, the Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts and Film Festival and the John Hewitt International Summer School. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast, is a member of the Society of Authors, the Irish Writers Union, and a professional member of the Irish Writers Centre. She has received a number of Arts Council Northern Ireland Awards for her creative writing, including the sought-after Artists Career Enhancement Scheme. She lives in Co Antrim with her husband and daughter (who she hopes will go to VCB too!)