Brand new Novel Studio scholarship announced at City, University of London

 Delighted to be able to share the news that Novel Studio alumna and crime writer, Harriet Tyce, has initiated a fully-funded scholarship for one successful applicant to the course from a low-income household.

Photo by  Simson Petrol  on  Unsplash

 The Novel Studio has been running as part of City’s short courses programme since 2004 and has been instrumental in providing a foundation for emerging writers to go on to successful publishing careers. Taught by professional writers and editors, 15 selected students develop their novels over a year. The course has a very strong publication record, including, most recently, Deepa AnapparaHannah BegbieKiare LadnerAnna MazzolaR.K. Salters and Harriet

 Professor Andrew Jones, Vice-President (Research and Enterprise) said “City is tremendously proud of the great opportunity The Novel Studio gives to aspiring writers, and the impressive track-record of novelists who have been helped to launch successful careers in fiction. It is one of the jewels of our short-course portfolio and the university is delighted that Harriet has initiated this scholarship.”

 The aim of the scholarship is to support a student of talent and potential who might not otherwise be able to accept an offer of a place on the Novel Studio. Applicants to the scholarship will go through the same process as all other applicants but with the addition of a form demonstrating their financial circumstances. The top three applications will be shortlisted and a final winner chosen by a panel, including the course director, course tutors and Harriet.

 Harriet was a student on the Novel Studio in 2009/10 and went on to gain a place on the MA Crime Fiction at UEA, where she received a distinction. In 2017 Wildfire pre-empted her debut psychological thriller, Blood Orange, which is being published later this month. Rights to the book have been sold in ten territories around the world, including North America (Grand Central), Germany (Random House), Italy (Mondadori) and Spain (Penguin Random House). Set to be a ‘major debut launch’, and widely tipped as one of thedebuts to read in 2019, Wildfire have described the novel as ‘a stunning piece of psychological suspense...’ with a ‘spectacularly dark and satisfying ending.’

Speaking of her time at City, Harriet said “The Novel Studio course was where I had the privilege of starting my writing career.  I’m very excited to work with Emily Pedder in setting up a scholarship to give other writers that same opportunity, and I’m looking forward to seeing the talent that’s going to emerge through it.”

 The Novel Studio 2019/20 opens for applications on the 1st February 2019. Full details of how to apply to the scholarship are available here.  Great opportunity for budding writers, and a wonderfully generous act.



Winners of City Writes Autumn 2018 Competition announced

Photo by Phyllis on Unsplash

Delighted to hear the winners of City Writes latest competition announced this week. Joining City tutor Cherry Potts and her Solstice Shorts team on Thursday 13th December will be Meera Betab, Angelita Bradney, Kate Henderson and Debz Hobbs-Wyatt. City Writes founder and judge, Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone, said the competition was ‘really strong’ this term. Having worked with both Meera and Kate, I can vouch for the strength of these winning writers!

City Writes was set up by Rebekah as a way to showcase the fantastic work being produced by both City writing short course alumni and tutors and provide an opportunity to read their work to an invited audience. Each term the winners get to share the stage with one of the published tutors for an evening of readings. This one promises to be suitably festive with musicians accompanying some of the writers’ work. Tickets are £10, which includes wine. Book here now for an alternative Christmas event.

Author of most anticipated UK novel of 2018 is star billing at next City Writes

Very excited to announce that Imogen Hermes Gowar, a former City short course student, will be star billing at the next City Writes event in March. Imogen's debut novel, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock has been picked as the 'most anticipated book of 2018' by. amongst others, Vogue, Sunday Times, Observer, The Times, Sunday Mirror, Daily Express, BBC Arts, Red Magazine, Stylist, The Pool, Emerald Street, Independent, The Herald, Irish Times, Irish Tatler, The Journal and Irish Independent. The novel sparked a bidding war with ten publishers, a war finally won by Harville Secker for a six figure sum. 

Imogen was inspired with the idea for the novel while working at the British Museum as a Gallery Assistant. In the evenings she attended creative writing classes at City, taking Novel Writing and Longer Works and then Writers’ Workshop, both taught by Katy Darby. She went on to study for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, for which she received a distinction and won the Curtis Brown award for her year.

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is due out later this month and has been chosen as Harville Secker’s lead debut fiction title for 2018. Congratulations, Imogen!


City Writes Fiction Competition

This autumn City Writes opens its doors once again with a writing competition open to all past and present City Writing Short Course Students. Submit by 17 November to win a chance to read alongside City short course alumnus Greg Keen, whose debut crime novel, Soho Dead, came out in July. Set up and run by The Book Edit's very own Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone, the next City Writes event will be held on 13 December and is well worth attending, even if you don't win the competition! Tickets available here.

Wildfire pre-empts Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

Harriet Tyce has sold her debut thriller, Blood Orange, to Wildfire. Rights have also been sold in ten other territories. Set to be a ‘major debut launch’, Wildfire have described the novel as ‘a stunning piece of psychological suspense...’ with a ‘spectacularly dark and satisfying ending.’ 

Harriet was a criminal barrister for ten years before starting her writing career. A graduate of the Novel Studio in 2010, she is now part way through the MA in Creative Writing Crime Fiction at UEA, where she received a distinction in her first year. Blood Orange will be published in the UK in January 2019.

Peng Shepherd sells debut novel, M. to HarperCollins

Delighted to hear that HarperCollins have bought Peng Shepherd's debut novel, M. Peng's agent at Curtis Brown describes the book as "a virtuoso debut by an unparalleled talent. Peng Shepherd has created a world filled with big ideas about mortality and self but it is the small intimate moments that pierce and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading".

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