Creative Writing at Surrey

 It’s been an exciting week for Creative Writing at the University of Surrey, with the first writer to graduate from our Creative Writing PhD programme, Liam Bell, being awarded both his doctorate and Arts Council funding to complete his second novel.  Liam’s first novel, So It Is – which also formed the basis of his doctoral thesis – was published by Myriad Editions in June this year and is a taut, elegantly-written literary thriller and coming-of-age novel set in Belfast during the Troubles. Both gripping and thought-provoking, the novel has received considerable press attention, and Liam can add recent praise from The Guardian to his growing pile of enthusiastic review clippings.

This week also saw the launch of our new MA Programme in Creative Writing, which is available both as a full-time one-year course and as a part-time two-year course. The MA offers aspiring writers the chance to hone both their creative and their critical skills – whether they are working to improve and polish a long-cherished and planned writing project or seeking new ideas and approaches to help their writing develop. With a wide range of literary and cultural events planned for the year, we hope our new MA students will find the University of Surrey an inspiring and exciting place to be.

There was also good news for our undergraduate English Literature with Creative Writing programme, which rose to seventh place in the country in the National Student Survey (NSS) measuring final-year students’ overall satisfaction with their course. From some of the lively and energised seminar discussions and writing workshops  I’ve experienced already this year, I’m sure that there are more than a few of our undergraduate writers who will not be long in following Liam Bell to publication and acclaim…