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University student and staff member releases debut children’s novel

Naval navigators

University Of Chichester student and staff member David Hailwood has released his debut children’s novel on Amazon.

The Last Of The Navel Navigators, which was awarded a Distinction as part of the Creative Writing MA, revolves around the adventures of a young hillbilly with a magic bellybutton, who grabs his goat by the horns and sets off on a madcap journey around the cosmos, without having a clue where he’s going, what he’s doing, or how to get back.

“Before undertaking the MA I had never considered writing a children’s novel,” said David.  “But the positive workshop feedback I received for my previous sci-fi/fantasy stories gave me the confidence to try something new. As did the realisation that children’s books are generally much quicker to write." 

David was also offered the opportunity to receive professional feedback for his novel during a University book pitching event, organised by creative writing lecturer Karen Stevens. “Having the chance to read the opening of my book in a one to one session with Janklow and Nesbit’s Hellie Ogden helped me to understand not just what agents are looking for in a novel, but what they’re looking for in the author themselves.”

David Hailwood

While preparing for the Navel Navigator’s release, David was surprised to discover that his previously released free humorous book of Alternative Facts, Not A Lot Of People Know That, which was written by himself and fellow MA student Frank Burton, has now reached over a quarter of a million downloads on iBooks and B&N.  “Not bad,” David said, “for a book which was mostly written on the Bognor bus, and in the pub.”

The Last Of The Navel Navigators is available on Amazon at

Find out more about David’s latest projects on his website