Tag: City short courses (page 1 of 4)

City Writes Summer 2024: A Monumental Event

By Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone

While half the country were on the edges of their seats watching football, us lucky few were treated to a night of storytelling, imagination and the excitement of hearing the inner world of consciousness burst out from the page.


City Writes is a termly event set up to showcase the best talent from City’s creative writing Short Courses. It’s a game of two halves (I couldn’t resist): readings from competition winners, students and alumni of City’s creative writing short courses who enter their best 1,000 words of fiction or creative non-fiction into the termly competition; and a visit from a published alumni or tutor and this term we managed to score the wonderful Lara Haworth, whose debut Monumenta came out with Canongate on the 4th July.


We began the night with the competition winners and Dee Miller, recent Novel Studio alumna, kicked things off with an extract from her Middle Grade novel, Between Wind and Water. We were enthralled as Geal, guardian of Spring, discovers all the people and animals of their local village are gone, leaving only footprints, paw marks and hoof prints behind. It was easy to imagine a young audience being gripped by this fantastical and energetic tale.


We heard from An Approach to Creative Writing alumna, Emily Edwards next as she read her multi-perspective story, ‘Laurie’. Who was this rather wild woman and what happened that night? A story that leaves the central character absent but all over the text, it was a thrilling and eerie listen. The audience were left wanting more in all the right ways.


Moving from one dark scenario to another, Flora Tonking read her story, ‘The Playing Field’ next. Another recent Novel Studio graduate, Flora’s story was inspired by events in her mystery novel, Chosen Family, and certainly proved her expert turn of phrase and her ability to leave bodies bleeding in the dark. A very haunting and moving story. Bring on the novel!


From fiction to creative non-fiction, we were treated to a wonderful portrait of Constance Markiewicz next as Fact-Based Storytelling alumna, Pamela Welsh, read her piece, ‘A Countess in Combat’. Constance’s life from riches to revolution was inspiring and a wonderful advertisement for Pamela’s book project on women in conflict. That’s a book I think we’ll all be eager to pick up.


Another Novel Studio alumna and City Writes veteran, Jill Craig read next. Her story, ‘Estrangement’, took us onto a boat ride with her main character, on her way to see her estranged mother with a new boyfriend, desperate to reach out to her sister, the one who remained her touchstone of safety. So full of emotional turmoil and laced with lyrical writing, the audience were putty in Jill’s hands.


Next, we heard from Margaret Rogerson, our final competition winner and another recent Novel Studio graduate. Margaret read an extract from her novel, I Was, Once. She transported us into those delicate teenage years, fourteen and eager to find excitement in life. Her character found herself on holiday in a campsite surrounded by an aunt preoccupied with ‘that stupid baby’ and a whole host of men hungry to watch her cartwheel. Let’s hope Margaret publishes soon so that we can read the rest of this story with such a compelling and funny voice at its heart.


After such a stellar set of competition winning readers, it was a good thing we had multi-talented artist, filmmaker and now writer, Lara Haworth as our guest speaker. A Novel Studio alumna who read an early extract from Monumenta at City Writes back in 2021, Lara is a phenomenal writer dear to our hearts. Her debut, Monumenta is a book that examines how we remember collectively and in private. The Guardian says it  ‘fizzes with ideas’ and Bookmunch say it ‘Deserves a place on awards shortlists’ and the City Writes audience couldn’t agree more. Over the next half an hour or so Lara introduced us to the book through her answers to my questions and some wonderful short readings from a small novel that really packs a punch.

Author and City alumna Lara Haworth

Set in Belgrade, the novel opens with Olga Pavić receiving a letter from the government. It tells her that her house is being requisitioned in order to turn it into a monument for a massacre. But which one? No one seems to know. It’s a novel that explores memory in all its present, personal and civic interpretations. It was such a delight to speak with Lara and you can hear her readings, our conversation and all of the competition winners by clicking on this link to the video of the night. It really was a monumental night. Buy your copy of Monumenta here.


Thank you, Lara, thank you competition winners, thank you audience members and Emily Pedder for supporting this event. It truly is a showcase for the talent coming from the short creative writing courses at City and what talent there is. Next term, City Writes returns with alumna Jo Cunningham as our guest. Jo’s debut, Death by Numbers comes out with Hachette this August. It’s a seaside comedy crime that will have us burning on our beach towels. Listen to the event HERE and watch this space for details of City Writes Autumn 2024.

Novel Studio Showcase 2024



Alumna Anna Mazzola introducing the evening of readings

By Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone

There’s nothing like a Showcase reading event filled to the brim with new creative writing talent and this year’s Novel Studio 2024 Showcase was a scintillating night to remember. Who needs the excitement of the election when you can listen to fourteen authors, just graduated from the year-long Novel Studio course, reading from their novels-in-progress? What a treat.

We began by celebrating the fabulous talent of the Novel Studio’s alumni. From long-term course supporter and founder of the Novel Studio Scholarship, Harriet Tyce, through Novel Studio tutor, Karia Ladner, Deepa Anappara, Elizabeth Chakrabarty, Hannah Begbie, Attiya Khan, Katharine Light, Greg Keen, all the way to Lara Haworth whose debut, Monumenta, came out the same night as the Showcase and Jo Cunningham whose debut, Death By Numbers, comes out next month. This wonderful list keeps growing and we were lucky enough to hear from another alumna, Anna Mazzola next. Having published her fifth historical thriller, The Book of Secrets, earlier this year, Anna has her first legal thriller, Notes on a Drowning, out next year with Orion. She gave a wonderful endorsement for the course, not only for the craft skills it nurtures but for the importance of creating links with other writers who can share your journey and for the connections to the industry that events like the Showcase and the Anthology can bring. Anna always lights up a room, virtual or in-person, with her vibrant energy. It was a great message of realistic but enthusiastic well-wishing to the students in the early days of their writing careers.

Before we heard from the students, we wanted to thank City academic George Politis for taking on the Novel Studio Scholarship scheme for the next five years. Now known as The Captain Tasos Politis Scholarship after George’s late father who was a passionate supporter of education, the scholarship provides a fully funded place for one successful applicant to the course from a low-income household. Thank you, George!

With all this good will behind them, we began the readings with Darinka Aleksic who read from the opening of her novel, Afterglow, as her protagonist Kay, a forty-something mother of three, takes her first exploratory trip with psychedelic drugs in an effort to cure her depression. The wry voice of Kay with its compelling dark humour left us all eager to find out what would happen next.


We went from Islington to Notting Hill next, dabbling our toes into the romance of MJ Hershaw’s novel, Terms of Agreement. Sitting with Charlotte in her flat, we were stunned to hear her grouchy neighbour Aiden ring her bell and ask a very unexpected favour. Would she be his girlfriend? It was hard to pick up our jaws and move on but we went from one surprise request to a futuristic hook up next with Darren Wimhurst, reading to us from his novel, Business as Usual.

Darren took us into the not-so-distant future of a sexercise class with haptic suits and sex bots. The awkwardness of the encounter for his character, Kurt, wasn’t virtual at all. What a sharply affecting and darkly funny extract from a spell-binding and politically sharp speculative novel.

From the near future to an alternative present, we delved into Ani Bazil’s Young Adult novel, Unravelling Reality, next where humans are not quite what they seem. Ani tantalised us with a prologue in which a body is left for dead – though we see their finger twitch – and an opening chapter in which some kind of trick is about to take place, putting a group of letchy, rowdy men in their place.

Left wondering what was about to happen, we went from a London pub to a charity piano recital next as Amanda Bolt read from her novel, A Life in the Past Tense. We listened as Caroline’s dreams of restarting her pianist career were interrupted by the news of the death of her parents in a car crash.

From the hush of loss, to the excitement of a teenage girl released into the world after lockdown, we were taken to Harrogate next as Margaret Rogerson read from her novel, I Came of Age, Twice. Margaret took us into the heat and confusion of those early days when lockdown was lifted. Her protagonist Charlotte made it halfway down the road with her dad, waylaid by a neighbour cleaning his car, his family visible behind him lounging in a large paddling pool and passing round a spliff. Eventually, Charlotte manages to march on to the park, her dad stumbling back to the house, defeated by it all.

We took a turn back to Surrey in 1995 next with Lesley-Jane Easles-Reynolds who read from her novel, It Could Happen to You. We listened in on a conversation between Sam and her brother as they discussed the strangeness of their small inheritance from recently deceased cousins who had promised to leave them all their wealth. Burdened by debt, Sam is both desperate for the money and desperately upset at the deaths of her cousins. What has gone on?

From fishy, underhand, financial dealings to a ship on the Nile, we jetted off to Egypt next with S Ross and a moment of shipbound contemplation as she read from her novel, Emmy. Such a lyrical piece, her character Emmy sits listening to the call to prayer and contemplating her late marriage, suddenly ended when Emmy discovered John had been cheating on her for years. Could she still pray after all that had happened?

Taking a moment to soak up the emotional complexity, we went from the Nile to Reading with Joe Gallard as he read from his comic novel, Alan and the AI. Alan is late for work and despite being disarmed by the charm of his new neighbour Nat, who had inspired him to write poetry it was probably best he never shared, he struggles to say anything meaningful and heads out into the rain.

Giggling away, we were transported to fantasy land of magic and mayhem next with Deliliah Miller’s middle grade fantasy novel, Between Wind and Water. We listened as Atha’s magic was somehow released and enhanced to devastating effect by a book that falls from the shelf of a wonderful library in the land of Draoidheil. What evil has Atha unwittingly released?

Caught in the drama, we had to tear ourselves away from the magic of fantasy to a child’s fantastic interpretation of a nighttime car journey next as W H Marie read from his novel, My Shadow, My Brother. The motorway drive turns lamplight into starlight and the car into a rocket hurtling through space. Will’s reading was tender and heartfelt, the mother of the story a figure whose eyes flash different colours to reflect her mood.

We went up to Scotland next for some timely comedic relief with Emma Warrick’s novel, The Husband Freezer. Emma showed us a typical morning at the charity as her protagonist, Margaret went about cleaning the loos and contemplating the sorry state of her sex life. She couldn’t even find the time or place for a fiddle with her rampant rabbit.

Next up, Jill Craig took us to Northern Ireland with a reading from her novel, The Weight of the World. We were gripped by a painfully raw and intimate scene in which Jill’s characters, Rory and Camille argue over implications of bringing children into a flooding, burning world. Desire and anger, exhaustion and bitterness left both the characters and the audience in a state of longing.

Our emotions heightened we were off to France next with our last reader, Flora Tonking, reading from her mystery novel, Chosen Family. Set in a beautiful countryside chateau, Alex is woken on Christmas morning by a shriek coming from the bathroom. What has happened? Who is on the bathroom floor? As with all the wonderful novels of the evening, you’ll have to wait for the novel to be published to find out!

Ending on a hook was the perfect conclusion to an evening of fantastic readings. With some further words of thanks to the Novel Studio team, Emily Pedder and Kiare Ladner; to the wider City University staff, particularly Robert Lastman and Laura Bushell; to George Politis again for his support of the Captain Tasos Politis Scholarship; to brilliant Novel Studio students; and to the audience, we ended on a note of congratulation. Go Novel Studio 2024, we can’t wait to hear of your future success.

These students are writers to watch, but don’t just take my word for it, you can watch a recording of the night, here, and read the wonderful extracts in the Novel Studio Anthology 2024. Congratulations Novel Studio 2024 cohort on a wonderful evening!

Winners of 2024 City Writes Summer Event Announced

By Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone

We’re delighted to announce the six winning authors of our City Writes Summer 2024 competition who are now due to join Novel Studio alumna and published author, Lara Haworth on the 10th July at 7pm over Zoom. Read on to find out more about these wonderful winners.

Jill Craig for her story ‘Estrangement’.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Jill now lives and works as a secondary school teacher in the North-West. Before that, she lived and worked in London, Paris and a tiny town in Greece. She has had stories published on LiterallyStoriesEgg + FrogFreckle Ltd. and this is her second reading at CityWrites. Fresh from the Novel Studio, she is currently working on a novel about how climate change affects a couple’s plans to have a family.

Emily Edwards, An Approach to Creative Writing alumna, for her story, ‘Laurie’.

Emily Edwards is from North Wales but now resides in London after spending seven years living in Paris. She currently works in finance but also has a background in voluntary work in Asia. She has been an avid reader from an early age, when she started many stories that all remained unfinished. She had to drop out of her course in 2015 due to emergency surgery but picked up her pen again this year. This is the first short story that she has ever completed.

Dee Miller for an extract from her novel, Between Wind and Water.

Dee Miller is a recent graduate of the Novel Studio. Originally from the enchanting Highlands of Scotland, she now calls Hertfordshire her home, where she works as a consultant. A keen storyteller and a reader of maps, Dee’s heart beats for children’s literature. Her imaginative world will win the hearts of young readers, and she is now engrossed in the creation of her second novel.

Margaret Rogerson, Novel Studio alumna, for her extract from her novel, I Was, Once.

Margaret is originally from Leeds and now lives with three time thieves in South East London. A feature film she co wrote and directed is currently playing on Amazon Prime (Soundproof – shameless plug) and she intends to turn her first book ‘I Was, Once’ into a screenplay. She is interested in fiction that is unafraid to tackle thorny subjects.

Flora Tonking, Novel Studio alumna, for her story, ‘The Playing Field’.

Originally from the U.K., Flora now lives in Paris, where she manages the English-language bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. A bookseller by trade, she is passionate about introducing readers to powerful stories that have the possibility to transport, delight and remind us of our shared human experience. Mystery and crime novels are her lifelong love, and she is currently working on her own first book (a mystery, of course) having just completed the Novel Studio.

Pamela Welsh, Fact-Based Storytelling alumna, for her non-fiction piece, ‘A Countess in Combat’.

Pamela Welsh is a recovering journalist who used to work for the Manchester Evening News. She now works in marketing and communications for a national education charity. Originally from Northern Ireland, Pamela’s now made Manchester her home, and was heavily involved in the response to the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack. Pamela has long been fascinated by women’s history, and is working on a book project on women in conflict.

With a diverse range of stories from activists to accounts of accidental murder all the way through to the complexities of intimate family reconnections, the prize-winners alone promise a wonderful night on Wednesday 10th July. To top off their fantastic pieces, we will hear from debut novelist, Lara Haworth, barely a week after the publication of her novel, Monumenta, already bringing in fantastic reviews. The Observer called it ‘a deeply political work’ that ‘fizzes with ideas’. Sign up to hear from Lara and our competition winners here. We’ll see you there on Wednesday 10th July at 7pm on Zoom. We can’t wait!

Deadline for Novel Studio Applications Fast Approaching!

Calling all budding novelists…

  • Have you always wanted to write a novel?
  • Are you looking for support and guidance to help you develop your novel?
  • Would you like to understand more about the publishing industry and connect with literary agents?

City’s Novel Studio offers an intensive novel writing programme that supports 15 selected students to work on their novels for a year.

From researching your ideas and planning to writing, editing and understanding the publishing industry, the programme provides comprehensive guidance through the complexities of novel writing.

The course has been the starting point for many successful novelists. From bestselling crime writer Harriet Tyce, whose fourth novel, A Lesson in Cruelty, was published with Wildfire earlier this month—and who generously initiated and funded our Novel Studio scholarship for four years—to debut novelist Lara Haworth, whose first novel, Monumenta, will be published with Canongate this summer, the Novel Studio has become recognised as a place to develop and grow as a writer.

The course is taught by established writers and editors, and it includes opportunities to meet with literary agents and publishing professionals.

In addition, we offer a Literary Agent Competition for all successful applicants to the course, run in association with leading agent Lucy Luck at C&W Agency.

And for one talented writer from a low-income household, we have The Captain Tasos Politis Scholarship, providing full funding for the course.

Full details on all these opportunities and information on the course are available here.

Or you can apply directly with 2000 words of your fiction and a CV to Emily.Pedder.1@city.ac.uk

The deadline to apply is approaching quickly. If you’re ready to take your novel writing to the next level, consider applying to The Novel Studio.

Deadline 30th June 5pm.

We look forward to reading your applications!

City Writes Creative Writing Spring 2024 Showcase Event Opens for Submissions

City Writes guest and Novel Studio alumna, Lara Haworth.

This term’s City Writes showcase for all the wonderful writing coming from City’s short creative writing courses will feature the fantastically talented artist, debut author and Novel Studio alumna, Lara Haworth, on the 10th July at 7pm over Zoom.

Lara’s novel, Monumenta, will be published by Canongate on the 4th July, less than a week before City Writes. Set in Belgrade, Monumenta follows the fortunes of Olga Pavic and her family as her home is requisitioned for demolition. In place of the house, there will be a monument to a massacre, but with three possible horrors to commemorate, which will be memorialised and what secrets is Olga hiding from her children? You can pre-order your copy here.

To join Lara on the virtual stage, all you need to do is submit your best 1,000 words of creative fiction or non-fiction (we do accept young adult fiction but don’t currently accept children’s fiction) on any subject to rebekah.lattin-rawstrone.2@city.ac.uk with details of the City short course you are taking or have taken by midnight on Friday 14th June. Competition and submission guidelines can be found here.

We can’t wait to read your submissions and if you are keen to secure your place for the night, you can register for the event here. Good luck!

Nestle into Your Niche: Three Ways to Start Copywriting

By Maddy T Thomas

Are you a budding copywriter looking for tips on how to get started? Here are three simple steps to help you build a portfolio using your interests as inspiration. Whether you love golf, graphic design or doing good, these strategies will help you on your way to producing top-notch copy.

1: Find your vibe

Start by listing your hobbies, interests and passions. Then, add the things you know about what you’ve written by cataloguing any required equipment, or linked famous faces or historical or annual events. International Women’s Day, for example. Don’t think yet; just write.

When you sit back and look at your list you may well be surprised by the wealth of information you have cached and can use as a basis for further research and writing.

Perhaps you’ve noted multiple dance brands and could put together an informative article on the construction of the ballet pointe shoe. Or a great listicle of five essential warm-up exercises. Start with what lights you up. Enthusiasm married with sharp copy translates into an engaging read.

2: Find your tribe

Look at your list again. Is it heavy in one particular direction? That’s your niche. Seek out any related blogs, magazines, websites and social media sites and look at the stories they publish.

A search on ‘bodybuilding UK’, for example, brings up magazines, blogs, websites and federation information with articles relating to wellness, nutrition and competitions, all designed to educate and inspire the consumer.

As a new copywriter looking to build a portfolio of varied writing, it can be helpful to see what’s already published in your areas of interest. Note the types of copy you’re finding in your research.

Perhaps your area of interest is heavy with ‘how to’ articles and listicles, or has respected blogs sharing well researched copy that enthusiasts can use to enrich their knowledge. It’s a good idea to write your own examples along these lines.

As a novice writer, research can give direction to practice pieces and help you come up with ideas, as well as help build a wish list of editor contacts to reach out to when the time is right.

3: Find your voice

Writing from hands-on experience and a true passion for a subject is a great place to begin persuasive writing.

Perhaps you’re a member of a society, trade union or professional body that has a publication? Members’ magazines can be a good starting point when building a writing portfolio.

You may have an existing magazine subscription that could be a useful jumping-off point when researching and producing copy for your niche. Many accept print and or digital article submissions from their subscribers.

When you write about what you love, there will be someone who loves what you write.

Maddy T Thomas is literary fiction author and creative copywriter.

Maddy took our Introduction to Copywriting short course with Maggie Richards. As part of the course, students have the opportunity to pitch a blog idea for our site. If successful, the post will be edited and published on the site.

The next Copywriting course, which runs monthly, is in May. Maggie also runs our Writing for Business course.

For all our courses, visit our homepage HERE.

Author Maddy T Thomas

Essential Writing Tips for Accountants

By Maria Sigacheva

Wizards’ of numbers and bookkeeping, accountants also spend time corresponding with clients and tax officials. Here are some tips on how to write well for non-accountants.

“Your reputation rides out with every letter you send,” states co-founder of the Plain English Commission, Martin Cutts. So how can you ensure that your readers understand your communications clearly and easily? Read on for three tips to improve your copy.

1)  Stick to a Simple Structure

An accountant’s letter to the tax office or to your client should be clear and well structured. Clarity can be improved by using a tried and tested three-part structure: an introduction, the main body copy, and a conclusion.


The introduction should summarise the purpose of the letter. Whether it’s about missing documents or querying financial statements, make it clear upfront.

The main body copy (two or three paragraphs) should detail your main points in a logical order. Avoid repeating the same information twice. Make sure you order events chronologically.

In your concluding paragraph, let the recipient know if you require a response and by which date. Add your contact details too, so that they can easily reach you for any queries.

2) Ramp up Readability

  • Use plain English, and remove any jargon, if possible.
  • Use active verbs, for example “we thought” instead of “after a careful thought.”
  • Avoid outdated words, like thereof, herein, hereof.

Being concise is a skill. Let’s look at an example of a recent letter about tax affairs. “Your current amount due according to the records held by the tax office is £10,000.” This could be rewritten for clarity as “The total due to the tax office is £10,000.”

In The Journal of Accountancy, business writing trainer Elizabeth Danziger writes: “Strive for an average sentence length of 10 to 18 words.” How? Remove all “as well as,” “but,” “that,” and “which” – and split overly-lengthy sentences. Get straight to the point and clients will praise you for saving them time!


3) Perfect your Punctuation

Grammarly is a useful proofreading tool. Just copy and paste your text and the software will instantly highlight any errors. It’s also a good idea to read your copy out loud to check punctuation and flow.

By adhering to these simple tips, you can start to improve your business writing – and relationships – today.


Maria Sigacheva is an Indirect Tax Manager at Glencore, and an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ambassador for early careers.

Maria took our Introduction to Copywriting short course with Maggie Richards. As part of the course, students have the opportunity to pitch a blog idea for our site. If successful, the post will be edited and published on the site.


The next Copywriting course, which runs monthly, is in May. Maggie also runs our Writing for Business course which starts next week.

For all our courses, visit our homepage HERE.

How to Write Compelling Motivational Health Articles

By Spela Horjak

Are you currently dipping your toes into health-related motivational writing, but finding your articles just arent getting traction? In this short piece, were going to explore three important reasons why your posts may be failing – and the strategies you can start implementing today to create articles that will leave your readers feeling inspired!


Reason #1 – Youre not thinking about your audience

Whether you’re writing for an established audience or building up your blog readership, it’s crucial to consider who you’re writing for – whose attention you’re trying to secure.

For example, writing for Men’s Health or Age Matters magazine will be two completely different gigs. Not adjusting your writing to your audience may result in them feeling alienated and uninspired.

Reason #2 – Your advice is unclear

Remember, the purpose of health writing is to prompt the reader to make positive changes. Explaining concepts with examples helps people apply the advice to real-life situations and reduces any confusion.

For example, instead of just saying “Try having 20g protein per meal”, you could also provide a list of meal ideas, showing exactly what 20g of protein looks like. This allows your reader to implement the advice without further research.


Reason #3 – Youre telling the reader what to do

Telling the reader what ‘to do’ and what ‘not to do’ may come across as prescriptive and even leave them feeling hopeless. Try adding a positive spin to your messaging by explaining the likely outcome(s) of specific actions.

For example, instead of saying “Avoid too much salt in your diet”, say “Avoiding excessive salt intake will help maintain normal blood pressure”. This way, the reader can make an informed choice rather than follow blanket advice.

Which tip did you find most useful?


Author Spela Horjak

Spela Horjak is a registered Associate Nutritionist and Health & Wellness Copywriter.

As part of City’s Writing for Business and Introduction to Copywriting courses, we offer the chance for students to submit a piece for our blog which, if successful,  is then edited and published on our site. Spela was a student on Maggie Richards’ Introduction to Copywriting course. The next course starts 18 May and you can book HERE.

For all our writing short courses visit our home page HERE.

Summer Term 2024 at City Short Courses


Thank you to all who attended our Short Courses Open Evening last week. We had a great time meeting new students and introducing them to what we do here at City Short Courses. Many students took advantage of our free  taster sessions, which ranged across our six subject strands:  Business and Management; Computing; Creative Writing; Creative Industries; Languages; and Law. There were tasters in everything from Learning Python to Italian, Business Writing to Major Event Management.

If you didn’t have a chance to join us, never fear! There’s still time to browse our full range of 120 courses and book on for the summer term. Why not try Presentation Skills, or brush up on your French in time for holidays. Or you could consider applying for our year-long Novel Studio programme and finish that novel you’ve always wanted to write! Whether it’s personal development or adding a new skill to your CV, we have something for everyone here at City Short Courses.

If you’d like further information before making your decision, just email our team at shortcourses@city.ac.uk. If they can’t answer your questions, they’ll contact the relevant tutors and make sure you get the answer you need.

Your short course journey starts HERE. We can’t wait to welcome you.


City Writes Spring 2024 Competition Winners Announced

By Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone

We are delighted to announce the winners of this term’s City Writes competition. City Writes is the showcase event for all the brilliant writing coming from City’s creative writing short courses and we have a fantastic line up for you this term on Wednesday 27th March at 7pm.

Reading at the event alongside published Novel Studio alumni Laurence Kershook and Katharine Light, our competition winners are: Jill Craig, Katie Hunt, Seyi Falodun-Liburd, Tess Pendle and David Strickland. Read on to find out more about our winners.

Current Novel Studio student, Jill Craig is originally from Northern Ireland, but currently lives and works as a secondary teacher in the North-West. She has lived in Greece and France and thinks often of going abroad again. An avid reader, she has published several short stories, with Freckle,  Egg & Frog and Literally Stories, and is working on the first draft of a novel.

Narrative Non-Fiction student Katie Hunt has been a journalist for more than two decades, working for several international news organisations including Reuters and BBC News. She lived in Asia for more than ten years, with stints in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand. For the past four years, she has covered science and health for CNN in London. She hopes to write a non-fiction, popular science book about human origins focused on the latest discoveries in Asia.

Seyi Falodun-Liburd is a Nigerian campaigner and organiser from London. She is currently co-director of Level Up, a feminist campaigning community working towards a world where people of all genders are loved and liberated from bodily and systemic violence. She is also a member of Project Tallawah, a community resource for Black and Global Majority women and gender-expansive people in the UK. Seyi is a fledgling writer and Narrative Non-Fiction student who has written about gender-based violence for iNews, gal-dem and Refinery29.

Tess Pendle is a Narrative Non-Fiction student. After working for many years as a broker at Lloyd’s of London, Tess decided to contribute to a social project. She moved to Burkina Faso, where she worked for three years with a local women’s organisation to develop a microfinance programme supporting female entrepreneurs. On her return to the UK, she set up and managed both a national not-for-profit credit business and a £100 million government fund to invest in social enterprises. Tess is currently self employed and lives in Chelmsford with her partner.

An alumnus of the old Towards Publication course, now called Writers’ Workshop, D.P. Strickland is a neurodivergent writer with an MA in Creative Writing from UEA, whose work has previously appeared in anthologies and journals. He is particularly interested in underrepresented perspectives in fiction and recently completed a novel about a fundamental religion based on his own childhood experience. He lives in London and can be found on Instagram.

Now you know more about our winners, don’t forget to sign up for the event on Wednesday 27th March at 7.30pm on Zoom. You’ll be treated to stories of sticky summer heat, discoveries of ancient jaw bones, the disappointment of a young boy never quite right for the popular crowd and an exploration of the politics of our daily choices. All this alongside readings from our published authors, Laurence Kershook and Katherine Light. It’s going to be brilliant.

Register for tickets here and see you there.

And if anyone wants to come along and find out more about our writing courses, we are running a free taster session and open evening the night before City Writes. See here for more information about how to register.

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