MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave overall winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017

MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Girl of Ink & Stars is the overall winner of the Waterstones Children’s  Book Prize 2017.  It is also the winner in the category Younger Fiction.

From the Waterstone’s website:

“…we’re proud to announce Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s extraordinary debut The Girl of Ink & Stars as the overall winner of our thirteenth Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Compared by our Children’s buyer Florentyna Martin to the mythical atmosphere of Pullman’s His Dark Materials, Kiran’s storytelling prowess takes a tale already rich with invention and delivers a fantasy of real emotional heft.”

Read more about the prize and the book


Plays by MSt alumna Jingan Young & MSt tutor Amal Chatterjee in “Foreign Goods Last Forever 2: Visions of England”, 24th, 25th April 2017

Plays by MSt alumna Jingan Young and MSt tutor Amal Chatterjee feature in Jingan Young’s Pokfulam Rd Production’s “”Foreign Goods Last Forever 2: Visions of England””

From the announcement:

After a sell out show at Theatre503 in November of 2016, Foreign Goods returns with ‘Visions of England’ in April 2017 featuring fully-formed short plays by Chinese, South East Asian playwrights Amal Chatterjee, Kathryn Golding, Stephen Hoo, Amber Hsu, Julie Cheung-Inhin, Cathy Lam, and Jingan Young. The night will include the UK premiere of ‘Trying to Find Chinatown’ by Tony award-winning David Henry Hwang (Chinglish, M. Butterfly).

More information at Pokfulam Rd Productions, and at Theatre503 (including tickets)

MSt alumnus James Benmore launches paperback of third Dodger novel at Albion Beatnik, Oxford, 21 April

MSt alumnus James Benmore, who won the A.M.Heath Prize, 2010,  will be launching the third novel in his Dodger trilogy – Dodger of the Revolution – at the Albion Beatnik Bookstore on Friday 21 April, 2017, from 7.30-9.30pm. James will be joined by fellow novelists Douglas Adamson and Jude Cowan Montague and take part in a discussion about routes into publishing and the ups and downs of getting and staying published. Dodger of the Revolution is now available in book shops and from Amazon.

MSt tutor Jenny Lewis collaboration “Writing Mesopotamia” events at the Ashmolean, 1st April

MSt tutor Jenny Lewis and Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh celebrate the final stages of their four-year, Arts Council-funded ‘Writing Mesopotamia’ collaboration with two events at the Ashmolean Museum on Saturday 1st April, 2017

‘Who Can Climb the Sky?’ and the launch of the ‘Poetry for Peace, 2016’ anthology – words against war by young people of Oxfordshire.

More information on the collaboration webpages.

MSt alumnus Rory Gleeson reading at Anthony Burgess Foundation 28 March

MSt alumnus Rory Gleeson is one of three debut writers reading at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation

From the Foundation’s announcement:

“… novelists Rory Gleeson and Alys Conran, and poet Joey Connolly. Roddy Doyle wrote of Gleeson’s debut, ‘Rockadoon Shore is terrific’, while Conran’s novel Pigeon is longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Gregory Award winner Joey Connolly’s first book is just out from Carcanet.”

More about the event from the Anthony Burgess Foundation

MSt alumnus James Ellis on his novel, The Wrong Story, being published

MSt alumnus James Ellis’s novel The Wrong Story has been published by Unbound.

After falling from a car park roof, cartoonist Tom Hannah is left with partial amnesia and the feeling that something important is missing from his life. His journey to recovery is hampered by a growing inability to distinguish between real and imaginary events. The characters from his cartoon strip assume a grimy reality, while the lives of his family and friends appear ever more unreal.

The Wrong Story is about the borderlands between memory, imagination and the real world. It is about the desire for self-determination and the obligations on a responsible creator. But mostly it’s about a man who falls off a roof and wants to know why – was it an accident, did he jump, or was he pushed?

James on how it feels to see his first novel published, and how it feels now that it is “out there”:

It feels great to see my first novel published. I’m happy, excited, proud and relieved. It has an ISBN, a shipping weight, it occupies shelf space. It’s a book. What began with a few doodled notes in Rewley House developed into an MSt year two project and ended up as an 80,000 word paperback.  Along the way it was pitched, rejected, picked up, crowdfunded, drafted, edited, proofread, printed and distributed. So yes, it feels great.

But being ‘out there’? That can be scary. People might read it. What would their reviews be like? The rankings? It has talking animals in it! I readjusted my thinking. The published book is not my story any more, the one I nurtured for two and a half years. It has independence. It is complete. It is rubbing shoulders (or covers) with all the other novels that are out there. My feeling now is that it should stay out there for as long as possible.

For more information on The Wrong Story and to buy it, go to Unbound.

MSt alumnus Rory Gleeson’s “Rockadoon Shore” published by John Murray

MSt alumnus Rory Gleeson’s novel Rockadoon Shore has been published by John Murray.

From the publisher’s website:

Cath is worried about her friends. DanDan is struggling with the death of his ex, Lucy is drinking way too much and Steph has become closed off. A weekend away is just what they need so they travel out to Rockadoon Lodge, to the wilds in the west of Ireland.

But the weekend doesn’t go to plan. JJ is more concerned with getting high than spending time with them, while Merc is humiliated and seeks revenge. And with long-ignored tensions now out in the open, their elderly neighbour Malachy arrives on their doorstep with a gun in his hands . . .

Honest, moving and human, Rockadoon Shore is a novel about friendship and youth, about missed opportunities and lost love, and about the realities of growing up and growing old in modern-day Ireland. Highly energetic and tensely humorous, it heralds a new and exciting voice in contemporary Irish fiction.”

More on the book at the author’s website.

MSt alumnus Sam Guglani’s “Histories” to be published by Quercus, November 2017

MSt alumnus Sam Guglani’s Histories to be published by Quercus in November 2017.

From Janklow & Nesbit:

Histories is a hypnotic portrait of life in one hospital, over one week, where we witness charged encounters within the emotional and physical world of medicine, as characters go through the motions of their everyday existence: Dev, a consultant physician, prepares for his morning clinic; Jane, a hairdresser and patient, lulls in and out of consciousness; old insecurities surface as Seb and Ben, junior doctors together from day one, try to save a man from dying. These are only some of the stories that so seamlessly connect and collide. It’s an unforgettable panorama of being. Sam Guglani’s prose has the raw intensity of poetry; every page of this novel sucks you in and demands intense emotional investment. ”

More at the publisher’s website.

MSt alumna Sarvat Hasin interview, Oxford Writers’ House

From the Oxford Writer’s House website:
This week, we present an exclusive interview with Sarvat Hasin – recent graduate of the MSt in Creative Writing at Oxford University – whose debut novel, This Wide Night, has just been published by Penguin India. You can read more about the novel here, or hear what Kiran Millwood Hargrave (former President of the Oxford University Poetry Society, and bestselling author of The Girl of Ink and Starshas to say about it on her blog. – Theophilus Kwek, Publications Director “

Read the interview here.