Winner of 2020 Novel Studio Scholarship Announced
By Emily Pedder
The second Novel Studio scholarship, set up to support a talented writer from a low-income household, has been awarded to Janice Okoh.
Janice will now join The Novel Studio 2020/21, alongside 14 other selected writers. Speaking of Janice’s application, Novel Studio tutor Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone commented: “I was totally gripped by the story that Janice Okoh sent in with her application. Her work is filled with character, pace and a beautiful sense of place. There is an urgency to get across a British Nigerian experience that sings from the page.”
On winning the scholarship, Janice said she was “thrilled to be able to further develop my novel writing skills on such a prestigious course. I have so many ideas, I can’t wait to focus on one of them and interrogate it for an entire year. Like a lot of people, the effects of the pandemic meant that I lost a substantial part of my planned income so without the scholarship I would not have been able to attend the course. Thank you, Harriet Tyce.”
Novel Studio alumna and crime writer Harriet Tyce set up the scholarship in 2019 as a way to help talented writers who might not otherwise be able to take up a place on the course. Lola Okolosie, the inaugural recipient of the scholarship, has said the opportunity was “life changing”.
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. It was subsequently sold in 19 territories worldwide and became a Sunday Time bestseller. Her second novel, The Lies You Told, described by Sophie Hannah as ‘totally addictive’, was published in August 2020 to rave reviews.
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 strong publication record, with many alumni publishing novels with major publishing houses, including, most recently, Deepa Anappara, Hannah Begbie and Harriet.
Congratulations, Janice! We are so looking forward to seeing your novel develop over the year.
For more on all our writing short courses, including The Novel Studio, visit.