We are delighted to announce the winners of 2022/3’s Novel Studio Literary Agent Competition are Sonia Hope, Marc-Anthony Hurr and Charles Williams.
The competition is a key feature of City’s flagship short course the Novel Studio, which offers a select group of 15 aspiring novelists the dedicated time and support to hone their craft. The competition is a rare opportunity to bypass the slush pile of manuscript submissions to literary agents, and is run this year in conjunction with Lucy Luck, literary agent at C&W Agency.
Sonia Hope’s stories have appeared in magazines, including Ambit and Ellipsis Zine, and in anthologies: Best British Short Stories 2020, and The Untangling: Jerwood/Arvon Anthology Volume Nine. She was a Jerwood/Arvon mentee (fiction) for 2019/20 and shortlisted for The Guardian 4th Estate Prize 2019. In 2022 she was the recipient of the Novel Studio scholarship. Sonia is an Art Librarian working on her first novel, The Archivist.
Born in New Zealand to a British father and French mother, Marc-Anthony Hurr has dedicated his professional career to assembling from scratch a large international financial services startup in white knuckle fashion. He was shortlisted in December 2022 by Liar’s League, and in May 2023 won their Heroes & Villains competition. Marc is developing his debut novel, The Millennials.
Charles Williams has been a professional writer for twenty years, covering every topic under the sun, from policing and international aid to body image and mental health. He’s published obituaries in The Times, written and directed a play about world mythology at the Edinburgh Fringe, and contributed a story to a Doctor Who audiobook. He lives in south London.
Emily Pedder, Course Director of the Novel Studio said: “The three winners are all writers with strong, distinctive voices and we’re incredibly excited to see how their writing careers progress from here.”
Alumna Hannah Begbie, an early winner of the agent competition, published award-winning novels Mother and Blurred Lines following her graduation, and fellow winner Louise Beere was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize.
The Novel Studio was established over a decade ago and has a very strong track record of published alumni. Recent bestselling and award-winning novels include Deepa Anappara’s Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, Anna Mazzola’s The Unseeing, The Story Keeper, The Clockwork Girl, and The House of Whispers, and Harriet Tyce’s Blood Orange, The Lies You Told and It Ends At Midnight.