Publishing Success For Creative Writing MA Students

Posted on 07/08/2012

Tahmima Anam, author of The Good Muslim, winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel.

The Creative Writing MA at Royal Holloway, University of London, was founded in 2004 and has established itself as one of the most successful Creative Writing programmes in the country. As well as offering courses in Poetry and Fiction, it has recently added two new strands - Life Writing, and Place, Environment, Writing (which is run jointly with the Geography Department). The courses are taught by Susanna Jones, Andrew Motion, Jo Shapcott and Kate Williams.

A selection of every student's work is published each year in the 'Bedford Square' anthology series; the next volume, Bedford Square 6, will be published by Ward Wood in spring 2013. In addition, many of our graduates go on to be published and win awards. 2011-2012 has been an exceptional year:

In Fiction:

Liza Klaussmann's debut novel, 'Tigers in Red Weather', will be published in August by Picador who won an intense eight-way bidding war. The novel has attracted huge pre-publication acclaim and attention.

'The Panopticon' (Random House) by Jenni Fagan was published in May and selected for the prestigious Waterstones 11 promotion for debut authors.

'The Pleasures of Men' (Penguin) by historian Kate Williams gained much attention when it won a bidding war and a million-pound advance in 2011. It was published in January 2012 to great reviews.

'The Good Muslim' (Canongate) by Tahmima Anam was longlisted in 2012 for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Tahmima's first novel, 'A Golden Age' (2007) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel.

'Osiris', the first of E J Swift's trilogy of fantasy novels, was published in June by US publisher Night Shade Books.

'Everything is Free' (Ward Wood) the debut novel by poet and publisher Adele Wood was published in October.

Short story writer Diriye Osman was featured in a Telegraph article on up-and-coming African writers, 'All Hail the African Renaissance'.

And two novelists secured major deals for publication early in 2013. 'How to be a Good Wife' (Picador) by Emma Chapman will come out in January. 'The Twins' by Saskia Sarginson will be published by Piatkus in spring as their superlead title.

In poetry:

Sam Riviere's first collection '81 Austerties' (Faber) has been shortlisted for the 2012 Forward Prize for best First Collection. Sam has also been a Faber New Poet and won an Eric Gregory Award (2009).

Allison McVety won the 2012 National Poetry Competition with her poem 'To the Lighthouse'. Allison has previously been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

Kayo Chingonyi's first pamphlet 'Some Bright Elegance' was published in April by Salt Publishing. In July he represented Zambia at Poetry Parnassus.

Liz Berry was runner up in the 2012 National Poetry Competition for her poem 'Birmingham Roller' and has just won first prize in the Poetry London Competition 2012 for her poem 'Bird'.

The MA in Creative Writing is taught in Bedford Square, Central London. For more information contact: or visit the English Department website


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