City Writes is City, University of London’s termly writing event, showcasing the best of City Short Courses writing talent.

Hosted by longstanding short courses tutor, Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone, and into its fifth year, City Writes provides an opportunity for the best new writers from the City Short Courses community to read an extract of their work, sharing the stage with one of our published alumni or tutors reading from their new or award-winning publication

Enter our City Writes Competition

For an exciting opportunity to read alongside our published guest speaker at the City Writes event, short course writing students and alumni are invited to take part in the City Writes termly writing competition.

To be considered, applicants must submit 1,000 word of fiction writing (we also accept creative non-fiction, such as memoir or travel writing, and though we do accept young adult, we don’t currently accept children’s fiction) on any subject. Competition and submission guidelines can be found here.

The next City Writes event will take place via Zoom on Thursday 7th July 2022.

This term’s event will feature two published alumni from the same Novel Studio cohort: Attiya Khan and Simon Culleton. Both writers had their debuts published in 2021 with exciting independent publishers and have fascinating publishing journeys and heart-felt writing to share. The City Writes termly competition is now open for you to join these published authors at the Zoom event on the 7th July.
Attiya Khan’s debut, Ten Steps to Us, is a Young Adult Romance that readers have described as ‘captivating’, ‘the perfect teen romance that covers religion, romance and diversity’. The book outlines the ten steps devout, hijab wearing, Aisha, tries to take towards a romance with non-Muslim, Darren. Will she be able to keep her faith, her identity and get the boy of her dreams? Publishing by Hashtag Blak, you’ll have to read it to see.
Attiya and her three sisters grew up in a loving Indian Muslim family. Channelling her inner Jo March, she started writing diaries and short stories as a teenager and continued as a medical student at Barts, junior doctor, and now as a busy East London GP. An alumnus of the prestigious City University Novel Studio, Attiya started writing her first novel in reaction to what she saw around her: ‘I’m fascinated by how cultures and lives intermix and intertwine, and I get inspiration from the people I meet and the stories they tell’. Attiya lives with her husband and their three children.
Simon Culleton’s debut, Shadows of Fathers, published by Stairwell Books, follows one father’s fight to stay close to his children in a journey that crosses geographical, cultural and emotional borders. The author, Heidi James, described it as ‘a delight – told with warmth and humour, and just a hint of steel’.
Simon was born and bred in Essex England, where he lives with his two children. His love for writing began when he wrote a short story at age 17, while sat in a derelict car, which went on to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He loves to travel and has worked his way around the world, undertaking jobs from snow clearing in Sweden, to construction work in California, to working as a farm-hand on an Australian sheep station. Simon has a passion for chronicling everyday people, including interviewing war veterans in his earlier travels, which extends even to himself: he has maintained a personal daily diary for over 40 years.
For your chance to join Attiya and Simon on the virtual stage, you need only submit your best 1,000 words of fiction or creative non-fiction to Rebekah.Lattin-Rawstrone.2@city.ac.uk along with details of your City Short Course. Though we’re happy to read Middle Grade and YA, we don’t accept children’s picture books, poetry or drama, but… anything else goes! Click here for full submission guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is midnight 10th June 2022.

We can’t wait to check out your entries and see you at the event when these two fantastic writers will be joined by the brilliant competition winners whose work is already making its journey through the web as you read this post.
Get writing, get submitting, and good luck!

If you have any questions about City Writes, please email Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone.

Past guest speakers have included:

Deepa Anappara, City Writes guest and author of acclaimed novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

  • Emma Claire Sweeney, author of Owl Song at Dawn and Visiting Lecturer at City Short Courses
  • Luiza Sauma, author of Everything You Ever Wanted and City Short Courses alumna 
  • Greg Keen, author of Soho Dead, and City’s Novel Studio alumnus
  • Imogen Hermes Gowar , author of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock and City Short Courses alumna
  • C. G. Menon, author of Skin Deep and short courses alumna
  • Cherry Potts, author of The Dowry Blade, publisher and Visiting Lecturer at City Short Courses
  • Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange and City’s Novel Studio alumna
  • Anna Mazzola, author of The Unseeing and The Story Keeper and City’s Novel Studio alumna
  • Rosamund Davies, editor of Story Cities and City’s Novel Studio alumna, with other alumni published in the flash collection: Evleen Mann, Maire Malone, Jayne Buxton and the publisher and Visiting Lecturer, Cherry Potts.
  • Shahrukh Husain, author, screenwriter, editor of e.g. Virago’s The Book of Witches, and Novel Studio alumna
  • Deepa Anappara, author of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line and City Novel Studio alumna
  • Kiare Ladner, author of Nightshift and City Novel Studio alumna
  • Alex Morall, author of Helen and the Grandbees and City short courses alumna
  • Ciaran Thapar, author of Cut Short and City Short Courses alumnus
  • Michael Mann, author of Ghostcloud and City Short Courses alumnus

City Writes Competition Submission Guidelines 

City Writes is City Short Courses most prestigious writing event. For the opportunity to read your work alongside our published guest speakers at our spring event, past and present students email their 1000 word fiction or creative non-fiction story or extract to Rebekah.lattin-rawstrone.2@city.ac.uk.

  • Your story doesn’t need to follow a theme, it just needs to be the best 1000 words you can send us.
  • Your email should state your name, the title of your story/extract and the name of the City Creative Writing Short Course you took or are taking.
  • Your story should be attached as a word (doc. Or docx.) rich text or pdf document and should not include your name to allow us to judge the stories anonymously.

Please do not submit more than one story per term. Multiple submissions will not be read.

You will be informed of the outcome of your submission by the end of week nine of teaching. No comments or feedback will be given on unsuccessful submissions.

Thank you and good luck!