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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Josephine Corcoran graduated from the University of Chichester (English with Media Studies) in 1996 before studying for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. Her work as a playwright and short story writer has been published, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and performed on stage. 

In 2014, the small press tall-lighthouse published her pamphlet 'The Misplaced House', and What Are You After?, published by Nine Arches Press in June 2018, is her first full collection of poetry. Josephine says that she mentions the University of Chichester in all of her publications because the teaching she received there was instrumental in starting her writing career. 

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MA Creative Writing

"The Chichester MA in Creative Writing is setting exceptionally high standards. In general, a great strength of the MA is the liveliness and innovative spirit of the work produced." Professor Jo Shapcott, External Examiner

As one of the most established MAs in Creative Writing in the country, Chichester has a long record of student successes.All our courses are taught by practising novelists, short story writers, poets and dramatists. In addition to this, there are regular visits by other writers. The final taught module includes a session given by agents and editors. Staff are also willing to advise on professional issues of placing work.

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Entry Requirements/Fees

An honours degree at 2:1 or higher in a related discipline

You are required to send in a portfolio of creative writing.

Full fee: £5,690

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Karen McCarthy Woolf

Karen completed her MA in 2012. Her debut poetry collection, An Aviary of Small Birds, was published by Carcanet in 2014. An Aviary of Small Birds was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and selected by Kate Kellaway as a Guardian/Observer book of the month; Kellaway described the books as a ‘beautiful, painful, pitch-perfect debut’. It was also nominated for the Forward and Aldeburgh First Collection prizes. Karen’s most recent collection, Seasonal Disturbances (Carcanet 2017) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was described by Warsan Shire as ‘a stunning and strange collection from a true writer’. Karen is a fellow of The Complete Works — a nationwide professional development programme committed to creating more cultural diversity in mainstream poetry publishing and is the editor of the associated anthology Ten: The New Wave published by Bloodaxe Books. 

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

K J Orr

K J Orr completed her creative and critical doctorate in 2015. She won the BBC National Short Story Award 2016. She is the author of the short story collection Light Box, which was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize in 2017. Her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and have appeared in publications including Best British Short Stories (Salt), the Irish Times, the Dublin Review and the White Review. Her essays and reviews have been published by Poetry Review, the TLS and the Guardian, among others. (www.kjorr.com)

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Hannah Brockbank

​Hannah Brockbank is joint winner of the 2016 Kate Betts Award. Publications featuring her work include Hallelujah for 50ft Women Anthology (Bloodaxe), A Way through the Woods Anthology (Binsted Arts), Full Moon & Foxglove Anthology (Three Drops Press), The London Magazine, Envoi, and When Women Waken Journal. Her poems also featured in the Chalk Poets Anthology as part of the 2016 Winchester Poetry Festival. She has also written feature essays for Thresholds International Short Story Forum. Her first pamphlet, Bloodlines, is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing. She is currently studying for a Ph.D at the University of Chichester.

 

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Amber Lee Dodd

Amber completed the MA in Creative Writing in 2015. Amber’s plays have been performed at Chichester Festival Theatre, the New Theatre Royal and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her stories have been published around the world and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. We Are Giants, her first book for children, was published in 2016 and won the 2017 Calderdale Book of the Year Award. Jaqueline Wilson described We are Giants as ‘a total page-turner, very moving and touching.’ Amber is currently working on her second children's novel.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Bethan Roberts

Bethan Roberts has published four novels and writes drama for BBC Radio 4. Her first novel The Pools (2007) won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers’ Award. Her second novel The Good Plain Cook (2008) was serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out’s books of the year. My Policeman, the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife, and his male lover, followed in 2012, and was chosen as that year’s City Read for Brighton. Her most recent novel, Mother Island, was the recipient of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. She also writes short fiction, for which she has won the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Prize and the RA Pin Drop Award. Chatto & Windus will publish her new novel, which tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother, in 2019. 

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Gabrielle Kimm

Gabrielle Kimm gained her MA from Chichester in 2007. Since then she has published three novels with Sphere: The Last Duchess, The Courtesan’s Lover and The Girl With The Painted Face. The Last Duchess was described as ‘a stunning debut, rich in historical detail’ by the Irish Times. Her work has been published in nine countries. Gabrielle met her agent, Judith Murray, at one of the English and Creative Writing Department annual Agents and Editors’ panels.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Graham Minett

Completing the course in 2008, Graham gained a distinction for the dissertation under the guidance of novelist, Alison MacLeod and almost immediately won the Segora Short Story Competition with ‘On the Way Out’. Other awards soon followed, most notably his success in the 2010 Chapter One novel competition with what would eventually become the opening pages of his debut novel. He was signed up by Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, who managed to secure a two-book deal with twenty7, the digital-first adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Publishing. The Hidden Legacy was published as an eBook in November 2015 and the paperback version was published in August 2016. The second book in the deal, entitled Lie in Wait, was published as an eBook in August 2016 and the paperback version was published in March 2017. His new novel, Anything For Her, appeared as an eBook in November 2017 and then in paperback in March 2018.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Isabel Ashdown

Isabel completed her MA in Creative Writing with us in 2010. While on the MA, she worked on her first novel, Glasshopper, which was published by Myriad Editions in 2009. Glasshopper went on to be named among the best books of 2009 by both the Observer and The Evening Standard. Since then she has published four more novels. The latest, Little Sister, is a psychological thriller published by Trapeze, an imprint of Orion publishing. Isabel is represented by Kate Shaw of The Viney Agency.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Tracy Fells

Tracy Fells completed her MA in Creative Writing in 2015. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short stories have appeared in Firewords and Popshot magazines, online at Litro New York, Short Story Sunday and in anthologies such as Fugue, Rattle Tales and A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed (National Flash Fiction Day anthology). She was the 2017 Regional Winner (Canada and Europe) for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize with her short story The Naming of Moths - published on Granta. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth, Fish, Bridport, Brighton and Willesden Herald Prizes. 

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Juliet West

Juliet West worked as a journalist before taking an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University. She graduated with distinction and was joint winner of the university’s Kate Betts’ Memorial Prize in 2010. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies including The French Literary Review, Ink, Sweat and Tears and the Sunday Times online magazine. Juliet’s debut novel Before the Fall was published in 2014 by Pan Macmillan, and her second novel, The Faithful, was published in 2017, also by Pan Macmillan.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Janet Denny grew up in London.  She trained as a nurse at Westminster Hospital and went on to become a midwife and health visitor.  She began writing stories in her head when her family embarked on restoring a derelict fifteenth-century farmhouse in Sussex.  While scraping rot from woodworm-eaten timbers and re-pointing old brickwork she was able to let her imagination fly.

After twenty-five years of running a busy retail business, Janet returned to ‘fiddling around with words’.  In 2014 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. Her particular interest is in memoir and biography. The Man on the Mantelpiece is her first book.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Zoe Gilbert's first novel, Folk, was published to wide acclaim by Bloomsbury in February 2018. She is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, focusing on folk tales in contemporary short stories. Her own stories have been published in anthologies from Comma Press and Cinnamon press, and in journals worldwide including Mechanics’ Institute Review and The Stinging Fly. Her work has won prizes, including the Costa Short Story Award.

She teaches and mentors creative writers at London Lit Lab, and for organisations including the British Library and Arvon Foundation. She says that the Ph.D in Creative Writing has allowed her to delve into research on a range of fascinating topics. “Despite all the writing ‘rules’, you basically begin afresh with each story,” said Zoe. “There is no blueprint for your first draft.  Stories written to a tight plan rarely sing. A principle I apply to a lot of things: be bold, be bold, but not too bold!”

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Waleed Al-Bazoon joined the University of Chichester in July 2009 as part of the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) scholarship scheme and gained a PhD in English Literature, specialising in literary responses to 9/11. 

His debut poetry collection, The War on Idigna, is written in English, something that Waleed thinks is vital.  “My aim behind this collection is to acquaint Western readers with the disaster of the war in a poetic language, written in English by an Iraqi. Most of the fiction and poetry and drama written on that topic are either in Arabic or translated into English and other languages.  I wanted to communicate directly about the pains, destruction and the disaster of the war.  The poems explore what Iraq became in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion war; a place where security is minimal and bombings occur on nearly every street.”

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

AUTHOR, READER, BLOGGER and MOTHER

Laura Pearson lives in Leicestershire. She graduated from the University of Chichester with an MA in Creative Writing in 2004.  

Her blog (breastcancerandbaby.com) is about her experiences of being diagnosed with breast cancer during her second pregnancy. Missing Pieces, published by Agora Books on 21 June 2018, is her first novel.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Maggie Sawkins lives in Portsmouth where she delivers creative writing projects in community and healthcare settings.

Her poetry collections include Charcot's Pet (Flarestack), The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press) and Zones of Avoidance (Cinnamon Press).  She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. www.zonesofavoidance.wordpress.com

 

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Melanie Whipman is an Associate Lecturer and holds a  PhD, MA in Creative Writing and B.A. from the University of Chichester.  She is also Commissioning Editor for The Story Player. Her work has been broadcast on Radio 4 and published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. Llama Sutra, her debut short story collection, was published last year by Ink Tears Press.

“I love the challenge and the discipline of crafting a short story. It’s all about compression and lack of waste. But it’s a constant balance. While you’re fighting to put down the best words and the best images, you’re also aware of the need to create space for the reader - to leave things ‘unsaid’. It’s as much about what is happening off the page as on the page.”  www.melaniewhipman.com    

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Duncan Abel’s co-adaptation of Paula Hawkins’s best-selling novel, The Girl on the Train, premiered at West Yorkshire Playhouse in May 2018.  Duncan has also written for BBC Radio Drama. His co-written monologue, based on the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel was performed by Hugh Bonneville for Sing London.

Duncan’s short stories are published in various literary anthologies. In 2011, he was shortlisted for the Luke Bitmead Award. Duncan Abel is currently under commission to the Original Theatre Company and is working towards his Ph.D in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Alice in Time, Penelope Bush’s first novel, began life as part of her dissertation for the Creative Writing MA at the University of Chichester. It was picked up by Piccadilly Press in 2009 and Penelope was offered a three book deal. Alice in Time went to auction in America, sold in eleven countries, has been translated into eight languages and was selected for the Manchester Book Award.                                                                               

Her second book, Diary of a Lottery Winner’s Daughter, has sold in eight countries, was nominated for the Redbridge Children’s Book Award and shortlisted for the Worcestershire Teen Book Award.  Penelope’s third book, Me, Myself, Milly, sold in eight countries and topped the Amazon bestselling children’s book list at number 4.

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STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Josephine Corcoran graduated from the University of Chichester (English with Media Studies) in 1996 before studying for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. Her work as a playwright and short story writer has been published, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and performed on stage. 

In 2014, the small press tall-lighthouse published her pamphlet 'The Misplaced House', and What Are You After?, published by Nine Arches Press in June 2018, is her first full collection of poetry. Josephine says that she mentions the University of Chichester in all of her publications because the teaching she received there was instrumental in starting her writing career. 

 

Student view

"I can't quite express how thankful I am for the in-depth and detailed response you gave me. Everything you've said makes complete sense and it's opened my eyes. I've pinned your comments to my wall in case I need a reminder to keep going."

“inspiring teaching with energy and enthusiasm”

“The seminars are always excellent – everyone is given a chance to voice their opinion.”

“I'm going to take all that amazing inspiration that I got off the Creative Writing posse at Chi… You all need to see how far all of that encouragement and inspiring confidence-building you all gave me will go, and how it will impact the wider community. Whoop!”

“The seminars were always a joy.”

“Our tutors are really dynamic and charismatic. I really enjoyed how relevant the reading was to the module, and how enthusiastic our lecturers are.”

“I felt constantly inspired and more confident with my writing since attending these lectures, seminars and workshops. They have been encouraging and useful, very engaging, and focused on the individual as a writer.”

“I have just really enjoyed writing my stories and reading those of talented authors.”

“Brilliant working with a published writer”

“Amazing tutors - inspiring, enthusiastic, passionate.   The lectures and lessons were informative, fascinating and fun.”

“I always felt we mattered in lectures and seminars.”

“I have really learned about the power of workshopping and the importance of redrafting.”

“Now I’m not so afraid to be experimental.”

“The tutorials let me get to the heart of my story.”

“I feel like I have been on a massive learning curve. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time. I have loved it.'”

“A huge thank you again. I really wouldn’t have got this far without you.”

“[I could] write what I am interested in without judgement.”

“Seminars are useful and make the classes worth it!”

“Mapping my writing through the years, there is such a marked improvement.”

“We have explored a range of styles and the tutor is a fantastic poet with helpful and insightful feedback.”

“an environment perfectly suited to the free exchange of ideas”

“The Creative Writing courses opened my eyes to creative imagination, literary analysis, use of language for effect and literary history. It was such a rich course and rewarding experience, one that I have tried to inspire in my own students ever since. The teaching on these modules is second to none.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the communication in class. It was supportive, constructive and uplifting.”

“I'm pleased it's the first draft and a complete first draft as well…Thank you so much. It really does mean masses to me that you have given me so much time and patience.” 

Course content

The MA in Creative Writing is designed to give students a structure within which they can develop both their writing and imaginative critical skills, experimenting with the wide range of possibilities available to the contemporary writer. It is possible to write prose fiction (the novel or short story), poetry and drama. We are interested in literary fiction in all its forms.

Our MA Creative writing students 'read as writers', explore their reading in group discussions and engage in writing exercises designed to enlarge and stimulate their practice.

In the intensive MA workshops, students share work, learn to write to deadlines, learn how to redraft, polish, edit imaginatively and find the creative thread which, when followed, reveals how their own writing will achieve its optimum level.

All written assignments are accompanied by the writing of a commentary on the process; the commentary speeds and makes explicit a writer's discoveries, and so aids future practice.

Recent guest readers include: Jim Crace, Helen Dunmore, Michele Roberts, Vicki Feaver, Jo Shapcott, Bernard O'Donoghue, Jo Shapcott, Adam Marek, Matthew Sweeney and Robert Shearman.

 

Find out more in the application pack here.

 

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media loans counter
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Where this can take you

Many of our writers go on to publish and win prizes. For instance, Bethan Roberts’ novel Mother Island won the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.

MA graduate Wendy French won the £5000 2010 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Amber Dodd’s novel for children, We Are Giants, won the 2017 Calderdale book of the Year Award.

These are just three recent examples of the success of our graduates.

The annual Publishing Panel of six specialists has regularly welcomed literary agents from agencies such as David Godwin Associates, Rogers, Coleridge and White, United Artists, Greene & Heaton, Janklow and Nesbitt, RAFT and Lucy Luck Associates.

Agents join literary editors for a discussion of the publishing world today and how to approach an agent or editor.

We have welcomed literary editors from Penguin/Hamish Hamilton, Chatto & Windus, Myriad Editions, Simon & Schuster, Pighog Press, the Frogmore Papers and producers from BBC Radio.

Indicative modules

The MA comprises four taught modules and a creative dissertation:

  • The Writing Studio enables writers to experiment in any genre prose, poetry or drama, while exploring key features of those genres. This first module also serves as induction to the MA and to the distinctive methods of the 'Chichester workshop'.

  • Metaphor and the Imagination encourages innovation and experimentation, pushing writers beyond their usual boundaries.

  • Sources and Transformations engages writers with the essential writerly skills of transforming both outer research and inner biographical concerns into fiction.

  • Launching the Manuscript encourages autonomy, sustaining the longer project, learning about the publishing industry and includes guest readers and the publishing panel.

The Manuscript (a creative dissertation of 20,000) allows writers to develop a longer piece of work through one to one tutorials with a tutor as a consultant reader.

 

Teaching and assessment

To gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing, students need to complete four modules. Each module is assessed by an assignment of approximately 6,000 words or equivalent.

To gain an MA in Creative Writing, students need to complete all four modules and a dissertation of 20,000 words (or poetry/drama equivalents).

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

Amber Lee Dodd

Amber completed the MA in Creative Writing in 2015. Amber’s plays have been performed at Chichester Festival Theatre, the New Theatre Royal and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her stories have been published around the world and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. We Are Giants, her first book for children, was published in 2016 and won the 2017 Calderdale Book of the Year Award. Jaqueline Wilson described We are Giants as ‘a total page-turner, very moving and touching.’ Amber is currently working on her second children's novel.

Amber is represented by Janklow and Nesbitt. Her website can be found at www.amberleedodd.com

Bethan Roberts

Bethan Roberts has published four novels and writes drama for BBC Radio 4. Her first novel The Pools (2007) won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers’ Award. Her second novel The Good Plain Cook (2008) was serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out’s books of the year. My Policeman, the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife, and his male lover, followed in 2012, and was chosen as that year’s City Read for Brighton. Her most recent novel, Mother Island, was the recipient of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. She also writes short fiction, for which she has won the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Prize and the RA Pin Drop Award. Chatto & Windus will publish her new novel, which tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother, in 2019. 

Bethan is represented by The David Higham Agency and her website can be found at bethanrobertswriter.co.uk

Gabrielle Kimm

Gabrielle Kimm gained her MA from Chichester in 2007. Since then she has published three novels with Sphere: The Last Duchess, The Courtesan’s Lover and The Girl With The Painted Face. The Last Duchess was described as ‘a stunning debut, rich in historical detail’ by the Irish Times. Her work has been published in nine countries. Gabrielle met her agent, Judith Murray, at one of the English and Creative Writing Department annual Agents and Editors’ panels.

Gabrielle’s website can be found at gabriellekimm.co.uk

Graham Minett

Completing the course in 2008, Graham gained a distinction for the dissertation under the guidance of novelist, Alison MacLeod and almost immediately won the Segora Short Story Competition with ‘On the Way Out’. Other awards soon followed, most notably his success in the 2010 Chapter One novel competition with what would eventually become the opening pages of his debut novel. He was signed up by Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, who managed to secure a two-book deal with twenty7, the digital-first adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Publishing. The Hidden Legacy was published as an eBook in November 2015 and the paperback version was published in August 2016. The second book in the deal, entitled Lie in Wait, was published as an eBook in August 2016 and the paperback version was published in March 2017. His new novel, Anything For Her, appeared as an eBook in November 2017 and then in paperback in March 2018.

Graham’s website can be found at www.grahamminett.com

Laura Pearson

Laura Pearson lives in Leicestershire. She graduated from the University of Chichester with an MA in Creative Writing in 2004.  Her blog (breastcancerandbaby.com) is about her experiences of being diagnosed with breast cancer during her second pregnancy. Missing Pieces, published by Agora Books on 21 June 2018, is her first novel.

 

Juliet West

Juliet West worked as a journalist before taking an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University. She graduated with distinction and was joint winner of the university’s Kate Betts’ Memorial Prize in 2010. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies including The French Literary Review, Ink, Sweat and Tears and the Sunday Times online magazine. Juliet’s debut novel Before the Fall was published in 2014 by Pan Macmillan, and her second novel, The Faithful, was published in 2017, also by Pan Macmillan.

Karen MacCarthy

Karen completed her MA in 2012. Her debut poetry collection, An Aviary of Small Birds, was published by Carcanet in 2014. An Aviary of Small Birds was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and selected by Kate Kellaway as a Guardian/Observer book of the month; Kellaway described the books as a ‘beautiful, painful, pitch-perfect debut’. It was also nominated for the Forward and Aldeburgh First Collection prizes. Karen’s most recent collection, Seasonal Disturbances (Carcanet 2017) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was described by Warsan Shire as ‘a stunning and strange collection from a true writer’. Karen is a fellow of The Complete Works — a nationwide professional development programme committed to creating more cultural diversity in mainstream poetry publishing and is the editor of the associated anthology Ten: The New Wave published by Bloodaxe Books. 

Hannah Brockbank

​Hannah Brockbank is joint winner of the 2016 Kate Betts Award. Publications featuring her work include Hallelujah for 50ft Women Anthology (Bloodaxe), A Way through the Woods Anthology (Binsted Arts), Full Moon & Foxglove Anthology (Three Drops Press), The London Magazine, Envoi, and When Women Waken Journal. Her poems also featured in the Chalk Poets Anthology as part of the 2016 Winchester Poetry Festival. She has also written feature essays for Thresholds International Short Story Forum. Her first pamphlet, Bloodlines, is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing. She is currently studying for a Ph.D at the University of Chichester.

Tracy Fells

Tracy Fells completed her MA in Creative Writing in 2015. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short stories have appeared in Firewords and Popshot magazines, online at Litro New York, Short Story Sunday and in anthologies such as Fugue, Rattle Tales and A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed (National Flash Fiction Day anthology). She was the 2017 Regional Winner (Canada and Europe) for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize with her short story The Naming of Moths - published on Granta. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth, Fish, Bridport, Brighton and Willesden Herald Prizes. 

Emma Jane Hughes

Emma-Jane Hughes was brought up between the sublime of a barge on the River Thames and the ridiculous of an all-girls boarding school. She spent her childhood tucked in the cabins of a variety of small boats, reading, impervious to the scenery. Emma currently lives in Chichester with her husband and children. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, where she is working on her PhD in Contemporary Poetry. 

She first pitched the idea for her debut poetry collection, The Mechanics of Love, to Cinnamon Press in a special publishing initiative created for our Creative Writing students by the our staff team.  "The opportunity to pitch to Cinnamon Press was equal parts daunting and electrifying.  Somehow, above the thundering of my heart, Jan and Adam were able to hear a concise explanation of the inspiration and central ideas behind the poetry collection.”

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing Karen Stevens adds that she was delighted to work with Cinnamon Press, which has been the fastest-growing small press for several years. "Cinnamon’s list fills fast," notes Karen, "publishing slots are rare, and eagerly sought after - so we were thrilled to launch this joint venture, which proved a great experience for all our talented writers who entered."

Donna Kirstein

Donna Kirstein’s debut poetry collection, Borderlands (Cinnamon Press), was published in 2017.  She first pitched the idea for the collection to Cinnamon Press in a special publishing initiative created for our Creative Writing students by the our staff team.  In Donna’s words, "pitching was an incredible opportunity," but, like all the other competitors, she was given only ten minutes to convey the heart of her book to the Press’ director Jan Fortune and Communications Director Adam Craig. 

 "Initially, I was nervous," said  Donna, "but I had convinced myself that all the other excellent writers would be more deserving, and so I walked into the room with less trepidation than I might have otherwise done.  Afterwards I coached myself to not get too excited - when I got the call, I was taken aback and got a little emotional, I hadn’t realised quite how pleased I would feel.  The publishers were very supportive, positive and patient throughout, and Adam’s feedback and edits were really useful. The first time I saw the cover and held the actual book in my hands it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment - now it feels like the hard part really begins, where I need to concentrate on carrying on with new work."

 Donna was born in Poole, England but grew up in land-locked Zimbabwe where she fell in love with words and wide-open horizons.  Currently she lives in Worthing where for the first time in her life she can watch the tides turn along the seashore.  Donna has been writing since childhood and earned an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from the University of Chichester.  She is a poet and short story writer.  She spends her days employed as a graphic designer and photographer.  Her stories have appeared in anthologies published by Weaver Press in Zimbabwe.