MSt tutor Helen Mort elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

(picture from the RSL website)

MSt tutor Helen Mort has been elected one of the Royal Society of Literature’s “40 under 40”

From the RSL announcement:

“The RSL celebrates not only the United Kingdom’s diverse literary heritage but also the best in contemporary English language writing in Britain. The 40 Under 40 initiative honours the achievements of Britain’s younger writers, and introduces a new generation of writers to the Society’s existing Fellowship of over 500.”

More about the election and all the new Fellows and about Helen.

MSt alumna Stephanie Scott’s novel “The Sentence” to be published in 2019

MSt alumna Stephanie Scott’s novel “The Sentence” is to be published in 2019 by Weidenfeld & Nicholson in June 2019 (U.K. & Commonwealth) and by Doubleday in Spring 2020 (USA &Canada).

Read about it at The Literary Consultancy, The Bookseller (” ‘touching’ Japanese) debut”). The novel was the runner up for the Bridport  First Novel Prize in 2017.

From the Weidenfeld & Nicholson press release:

W&N is delighted to announce the acquisition of a stunning debut by Stephanie Scott a stunning debut by Stephanie Scott, THE SENTENCE.

Within the Tokyo underworld there is an industry which exists to break up marriages. It is known today as wakaresaseya. This business is composed of agents who, for a fee, can be hired by one spouse to seduce the other and provide grounds for divorce on favourable terms. The Sentence tells the story of Takashi Nakamura, a wakaresaseya agent, who is hired by a man to seduce his wife, Rina. But then Rina and Takashi fall in love. So why, at the beginning of the story, is Takashi in prison, accused of Rina’s murder? Now, twenty years later, Rina’s daughter Sumiko decides to find out what really happened.

Stephanie Scott is a graduate of the Faber Academy and was awarded a Distinction for her M.St in Creative Writing at Oxford, as well as a BAJS Toshiba Studentship for her anthropological work on Japan. She has won the AM Heath Prize, the Arvon Jerwood Prize for Literature, the National Centre for Writing Inspires Award and was runner-up for 2017’s Bridport First Novel Award for an early draft of The Sentence. 

W&N Publisher, Kirsty Dunseath, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Antony Harwood, with publication set for early summer 2019.  A six-figure deal for US rights has been signed with Doubleday, French rights have been acquired by J.C. Lattes and other translation rights deals are currently being negotiated.

Kirsty Dunseath said: ‘This is a beautiful, touching love story as well as an exploration of human frailty and the tensions between family duty and personal freedom. Stephanie’s writing is exquisite and this story unfurls in unexpected ways as Sumiko tries to make sense of her mother’s past. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Stephanie to W&N”




MSt tutor Anna Beer on BBC Four, in “Unsung Heroines”, 22nd June 2018

MSt tutor Anna Beer is appearing in BBC Four’s Unsung Heroines: the Lost World of Female Composers, 22nd June 2018 at 8 pm (UK)

From the BCC Four announcement:

Danielle de Niese explores the lives and works of five female composers – from the Middle Ages to the late 20th century – who were famous in their lifetimes, but whose work was then forgotten.

Western classical music has traditionally been seen as a procession of male geniuses, but the truth is that women have always composed. Hildegard of Bingen, Francesca Caccini, Clara Schumann, Florence Price and Elizabeth Maconchy – all these women battled to fulfil their ambitions and overcome the obstacles that society placed in their way. They then disappeared into obscurity, and only some have found recognition again.

MSt alumna JC Niala’s work in London Theatre showcase, 19th & 28th June 2018

MSt alumna JC Niala has been chosen as one of the emerging storytellers whose work is to be showcased in London, on the 19th and 28th of June

From the announcement:

Using the theme of ‘Otherness and Hospitality’, the TellYours 2018 storytellers will showcase their tales after completing an intense six month professional development programme run by Filotico Arts in collaboration with world-leading storyteller Daniel Morden, award-winning theatre director Jennifer Tang and arts producers Renaissance One and Counterpoint Arts.”

The showcase will take place at Canada Water Theatre on June 19 and Battersea Arts Centre – BAC on June 28, 2018.

More information and tickets here.

MSt tutor Sam Thompson’s novel “Jott” published by John Murray

MSt tutor Sam Thompson’s new novel Jott has been published by John Murray.

From the publisher’s announcement:

“In February of 1935, two young Irishmen walk in the grounds of a London mental hospital. Arthur Bourne, a junior psychiatrist, is about to jeopardise his future for his closest friend, an aspiring writer called Louis Molyneux.

Arthur has been overshadowed since childhood by his brilliant, troubled friend. But after years of playing the unassuming companion, he is learning that loyalty has its costs: that old friendship may thwart new love, and perhaps even blur distinctions between the sane and the mad . . .

Jott is a story about friendship, madness and modernism from the author of the Man Booker-longlisted Communion Town.”

Read more about it at the John Murray website, and see Sam talk about it



MSt tutor Peter More wins 2018 Mary Soames Award for History

MSt tutor Peter Moore has been awarded the Mary Soames Award for History.

From the press release

“Peter Moore, author of The Sunday Times bestsellerThe Weather Experiment”, has been presented with the Mary Soames Award for History at a prestigious ceremony in London this week (Wednesday 13 June). The award was created as a gift to Lady Soames, Sir Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter, to mark her 90th birthday, in 2012, and is given in recognition of achievement in history.

Peter was one of 130 people being honoured at the ceremony to mark the successful completion of their overseas research as Churchill Fellows. Churchill Fellows are funded to travel for 4-8 weeks overseas, researching new ideas that can make a difference to their communities or professions in the UK.

For his Fellowship, Peter travelled to Australia and New Zealand in 2016 to research the story of HM Bark Endeavour. Endeavour famously carried James Cook on his first great voyage, visiting Pacific islands unknown to European geography, charting New Zealand for the first time and the eastern coast of Australia and almost foundering on the Great Barrier Reef.

Peter’s research in Australia and New Zealand informed his forthcoming book, ‘Endeavour: The Ship and the Attitude that Changed the World’, which will be published in the UK on 23 August 2018 (Chatto & Windus) and in the USA (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) shortly afterwards.

Speaking about his Fellowship, Peter said, “It is easy to think that Endeavour’s story belongs firmly in the past. It’s now 250 years since James Cook, Joseph Banks and ninety or so others set out from Plymouth in a tiny coal collier bound for the far side of the world. But the effects of what happened then are still very much being felt today. Being a Churchill Fellow allowed me to follow the story as best I could: meeting academics in Wellington and Canberra and talking to knowledge custodians of indigenous communities on the New South Wales coast and the Bay of Islands.”

“It was an incredibly enriching experience and I’d urge others wanting to travel to broaden their understanding of a subject to apply for a Churchill Fellowship too.”


For more information about the fellowships visit

Poetry reading by MSt alumni Romola Parish, Humphrey Astley, Catherine Higgins-Moore, Mary-Jane Holmes, Laura Theis online

(photo from Kellogg College)

MSt alumni Romola Parish, Humphrey ‘Huck’ Astley, Catherine Higgins-Moore (2009), Mary-Jane Holmes, and Laura Theis read at Kellogg College on 21st May 2018. You can watch them read in the video kindly made available by the College, and read more about them and the event here.


MSt tutor Jane Draycott at the Oxford Translation Day, 9 June 2018

From the announcement: “Join Modern Poetry in Translation for a reading and conversation with Jane Draycott, focusing on her translation of Storms Under the Skin by Henri Michaux, a PBS Recommended Translation. Henri Michaux (1899-1984) was one of the most original and influential figures of twentieth century French poetry, hailed by Allen Ginsberg as ‘master’ and ‘genius’ and by Borges as ‘without equal in the literature of our time’. Jane Draycott has translated poems and prose-poems from Michaux’s volumes 1927-54, including extracts from his best-loved creations Plume and the haunting realm of Les Emanglons, alongside poems written on the eve of war in Europe and during the Occupation. After her reading, Jane will be discussing her translations with MPT editor Clare Pollard.”

Tickets (free) here, and more information about the Oxford Translation Day here