Thursday, July 17, 2014

London agent representing MA graduate

Hearty congratulations to Catherine Simpson, a recent graduate of Edinburgh Napier University's MA in Creative Writing, who has just been signed up by London agent Joanna Swainson from Hardman & Swainson.

This is the culmination of several years of effort and endeavour by Catherine, a former part-time student. Her recent achievements include performing at the Winter Words Festival in Pitlochry and the Edinburgh International Book Festival [twice!], receiving a New Writers Award for Fiction from the Scottish Book Trust and being a finalist for the Mslexia Women's Novel Competition.

The creative work that helped Catherine secure representation was Truestory, a novel developed through mentoring on the MA programme with the first chapters written as her major project.We've got our fingers crossed her novel finds a publisher so we can read the rest of it!

Last month we celebrated recent graduate Mark Harding having a story published in the prestigious annual anthology New Writing Scotland. Turns out he's not the only former student from our programme to have work in NWS 32, which is published this month.

Ever Dundas has a story called Wire in the anthology, first developed via mentoring on the MA. It's her second appearance in NWS, having had a story called Pure [also originated on the course] in the 2012 anthology.

We look forward to seeing what all of our graduates write next...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 brochure for Creative Writive MA programme at Edinburgh Napier University


Another day of applicant interviews and we've almost filled the course for 2014/15. To celebrate, here's a glimpse at our updated 2014 brochure, packed with useful information about studying MA Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University. [Click any of the images to enlarge them.] Enjoy!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

More success for MA students, graduates


We’re happy to report lots of successes by recent graduates and members of our current cohort on the Creative Writing MA programme at Edinburgh Napier University. 

Recent graduate Georgina Bruce has been published twice by Britain's most celebrated science fiction anthology, Interzone. Her story Wake Up, Phil appeared in the magazine's 250th issue, while Cat World was published in Interzone 246 alongside stories by award-winning writers Aliette de Bodard and Lavie Tidhar. 

Recent graduate Mark Harding has had a story chosen for the prestigious annual anthology, New Writing ScotlandHe originally wrote his short story Remote for an assessment on our Genre Fiction module. This is the third year in succession New Writing Scotland has included a graduate's story - all of them originally written for assessments on the MA.

Two members of our current cohort are already experiencing success outside the course. German student Nina Vedder won the Scottish Book Trust’s 50 Word Fiction Competition for March [you can read her winning entry in the crime-themed contest here]. And US student Alana Tempest-Mitchell had a creative non-fiction piece selected for reading on Glasgow’s Subcity Radio, part of a series linked to the Commonwealth Games.

It's not just graduates and students on the course having success. Our writer in residence, science fiction scribe Ken MacLeod had his latest novel published recently. Descent was written while he has been in residence with our programme [ you can read a sample here].

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Polygon publishing graduate's novel - Wasp

Graduate Ian Garbutt

Major project is a key element in students attaining their MA in Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier Univeristy, but work on it doesn’t stop once they leave our course. Take the example of Ian Garbutt from our first cohort, the class of 2009/10.

Ian has just signed a contract with Polygon - original publishers of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency - for the novel that was his major project on the course. Wasp will be published in 2015. Ian is one of several graduates from the course represented by the prestigious literary agency Jenny Brown Associates.

We make no guarantees that our students will leave the course with a degree under one arm and a publishing contract under the other. Our MA programme is about progressing students on their journey as writers. But it’s pleasing to see graduates like Ian achieving their ambitions as writers - makes all the hard work feel that extra bit worthwhile. Congratulations, Ian!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mentoring on our unique MA programme

A new innovation we've introduced on the Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier Unveristy is a module called Creative and Editorial Development. In the past we offered students six hours of one-to-one mentoring, but this happened outside teaching modules. 

Now we have transformed mentoring into a long, thin module that runs over two trimesters - and it earns every student credits towards their MA. The new module has only been running for one trimester so far, but the results have been very encouraging.

We think mentoring is a crucial part of each student’s learning journey, preparing them for life as a self-sufficient writer when they will be working one-to-one with an editor, agent, artist, development executive, script editor or another creative collaborator.

We've also introduced a teaching internship scheme. Graduates from the last cohort are leading study groups and using their experiences on the course to help current students. We asked the interns to talk about the value of mentoring on our unique MA course.

Errol Rivera: “Mentoring is what makes this course unique. It helps not to think of your mentoring sessions as a personal workshop. When I stopped expecting answers or approval from my tutors, we started working like partners and some amazing things happened. What could have been a lesson become a conversation. Like everything else on this course, the focus is development - not solipsism.

Laura Clements:If you're serious about taking your writing further as a career, it's important to throw yourself into the editorial relationship.  The first thing you have to do is identify a purpose for yourself as a writer and a purpose for your writing. This isn’t something that you will necessarily be able to set in stone at the offset, but it will evolve with the progression of your work over the year. Mentoring is the environment in which this can happen.

Nicole Brandon: “It sounds strange to think of having a conversation as a professional skill, but you're here to learn how to be a professional writer and part of that craft involves words off the page, too. Being able to put together a conversation about your craft, your work and your future is just as important as being able to put together any piece of writing. Without being able to contribute to – and, sometimes, direct – these conversations, you'll have a tough time being taken at your due as a professional writer. How else can people know what you're about, if you can't tell them?”

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy graduation day for class of 2012/13

From left: Nicole Brandon, Laura Clements, Griff Williams, S-J McGeachy, Sean Bell.
Yesterday was graduation for the class of 2012/13. Not all of the class made it to the official ceremony - some are already busy working, or have returned to their home countries. But it was great to celebrate the collective success of the class. Today: back to teaching the class of 2013/14!

Monday, September 30, 2013

MA programme invades Wigtown Book Festival


Edinburgh Napier's MA Creative Writing programme is making its presence felt at the fabled Wigtown Book Festival and its offshoots this week. Current student Anni Telford [above] is reading and discussing her work from 1.30pm on Wednesday, October 2nd at Reading Lasses:

It's Crime Time (Anni Telford): What makes good people do bad things? After 30 years as a psychotherapist working with paedophiles, rapists and violent criminals, Anni Telford puts that experience to good use in her crime fiction. She will discuss her psychotherapy career and how it has inspired a collection of crime short stories.

Tutor David Bishop was in Wigtown on Sunday to run a packed workshop on creating comics, part of Wigtown The Festival. The MA Creative Writing programme's reader in residence Stuart Kelly is chairing events at Wigtown almost every day, while writer in residence Ken MacLeod is at Wigtown this Saturday [Oct 5th] to discuss his work.