Monday, February 12, 2018

Celebrating MA Creative Writing student success

Gutter No. 17
Two current students on the MA Creative Writing programme at Edinburgh Napier University are celebrating fresh success in 2018.

First-year part-timer Noƫlle Harrison has a story in issue 17 of Gutter, one of Scotland's most acclaimed publishers of new writing. Vardo's Daughters is a chilling tale of treachery and lies set in the witch-fearing past of Norway. Gutter is now run by an independent cooperative after surviving a tumultuous 2017 in Scottish publishing.

Second-year part-timer Jenny Bloomfield is one of the creators contributing to WE SHALL FIGHT UNTIL WE WIN, a graphic novel marking a century since the first wave of women gained the right to vote in the UK.

The 64-page anthology by 404 Ink and BHP Comics is being created by celebrated writers and artists including Denise Mina, Hannah Berry, Durre Shahwar and Grace Wilson. A Kickstarter campaign seeking £8000 to help fund the project hit its target in just 15 days.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Award-winning author joins the MA Creative Writing programme team at Edinburgh Napier

Daniel Shand joins MA teaching team
We're delighted to announce that Daniel Shand has joined the teaching team for Edinburgh Napier University's acclaimed Creative Writing MA programme.

Daniel won the prestigious Betty Trask Prize in 2017 for his debut Fallow, published by Sandstone Press. He has a PhD in Creative Writing from University of Edinburgh, where he won the Sloan Prize for fiction in 2012.

Daniel joins programme leader David Bishop and lecturer Laura Lam on the teaching team, helping shape the MA's unique mix of genre and YA fiction, alongside popular narrative strands like writing graphic novels. The trio also delivers an undergraduate module in genre writing.

'I'm very pleased to be working with David and Laura,' Daniel says. 'Having looked at some of the ideas and materials we'll be working with, it's definitely an exciting and challenging course - I'm eager to get started.'

He won the Saltire Society International Travel Bursary for Literature in 2016, and his debut Fallow was shortlisted for the Saltire Literature Award for Best First Book last year. [Ironically, that prize went to Goblin, the debut novel by Ever Dundas, a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier!] 

Daniel's arrival makes our teaching team three-strong again, following the departure of Sam Boyce. She was programme leader for eight years, creating the MA's unique approach to creative writing pedagogy from scratch with David Bishop. Sam is now running a highly successful writers' consultancy in Edinburgh, helping novelists and non-fiction writers finish their manuscripts - read all about it here.

Friday, December 8, 2017

MA graduate Ever Dundas wins Saltire Society First Book Award - Goblin gets republished!

Ever Dundas • photo by Graham Clark
It's been an amazing week for Edinburgh Napier MA Creative Writing graduate Ever Dundas: she won the prestigious Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award for her debut and, six days later, the prize-winning novel Goblin was republished by Saraband Books.

'For every world-be writer it is fantastic simply to get your book published,' Ever says. 'But for it to also win a major literary award... it's an absolute dream.'

'Writing may seem like a solo effort, but it takes a lot of people for a book to come together,' Ever says. 'Thanks to everyone who's helped - family and friends, my agent and publishers, fellow writers and inspirational artists. Goblin wouldn't be here without you.'

Ever started work on Goblin while a part-time student on the Creative Writing programme at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland. Indeed, it was her Major Project on the MA, the creative capstone of all her endeavours with us.

She paid a special tribute to the Edinburgh Napier MA on Twitter not long after winning her award: 'I couldn't have done it without the support, guidance, expertise, and raised eyebrows of doom of @davidbishop and @SamBoyceEditor.'

The novel was originally published by Freight in May but escaped that company's demise to be reborn by Saraband Books - just in time for Christmas. Publisher Sara Hunt is full of praise for the book and its author.

'Ever ... so richly deserves this award. The book itself has echoes of Jeanette Winterson and Angela Carter: it is a superb piece of writing. In Goblin, Ever has created a character to die for.'

The Guardian newspaper made the novel its Book of the Day on Wednesday, with reviewer Peter Ross describing it as a terrific debut full of reckless joy:
It is a celebration of freakery, of creating one’s own family; a meditation on trauma and loss and abandonment (in both senses of that word) which, somehow, is never bleak.
The MA programme team couldn't be prouder of Ever's achievement. Like all good writers, she's already hard at work on her next narrative, Hell Sans. We can't wait to read what she writes next!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Recent graduate wins second short story contest

Photo © David Bishop
Anna Haldane only graduated from the MA Creative Writing programme at Edinburgh Napier University this autumn, but she's just won her second short story competition.

Having topped the 1000 Word Challenge two months ago, Anna is now the winner of the Dark Tales Contest for October with her short story The Silver Whisper, which you can read here.

She wrote the story while a student on the MA, working on it in our unique mentoring module Creative and Editorial Development. Now published online, the story will be collected in a future anthology by Dark Tales and Anna wins £100.

'I'm really pleased that this story has finally found a home,' she says. 'I worked really hard on it, tried lots of other places and publications. Just goes to show that perseverance does pay off!'

Monday, October 23, 2017

Debut novel by MA graduate Ever Dundas shortlisted for 2017 Saltire Literary Award

The stunning cover art for GOBLIN
The MA Creative Writing programme is proud to see one of our graduates shortlisted for the prestigious 2017 Satire Literary Award for First Book of the Year.

Goblin by Edinburgh Napier University alumni Ever Dundas is one of the six finalists up for the award.

Widely regarded as Scotland’s most prestigious book awards, the Saltire Literary Awards are organised by the Saltire Society, a non-political independent charity founded in 1936 to celebrate the Scottish imagination.

The shortlists for all seven Saltire Literary Awards were announced in Edinburgh last week, with Ever's novel described as a 'beguiling historical tale'. The winners are named on November 30th - St Andrew’s Day.

Congratulations are also due 404 Ink publishers Heather McDaid and Laura Jones, who are recent guest speakers on our MA programme. Both have been shortlisted for the Saltire Emerging Publisher of the Year Award, while their company 404 Ink is up for Scottish Publisher of the Year.

Alongside its Saltire Award shortlisting, Goblin is also among the finalists for the celebrated Edinburgh International Book Festival's First Book Award, with the winner to be announced soon.

Ever will be one of four writers reading in the Scottish Parliament on November 15th for international Day of the Imprisoned Writer. This free event run by Amnesty International and Scottish PEN is sponsored by Mike Russell MSP. Tickets can be booked here.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

More success for MA Creatve Writing alumni: graduating student wins short story contest

Anna Haldane • photo © David Bishop
We're delighted to reveal another accolade for alumni of the Edinburgh Napier University MA Creative Writing programme!

Following on from Georgina Bruce winning a British Fantasy Award for short fiction, graduating student Anna Haldane has won the 1000 Word Challenge for her entry The Tiller's Challenge.

Anna's tale was chosen ahead of numerous entries from around the world and she describes herself as 'pretty damn happy' about the coming first in a kiss-themed challenge. 'Strictly speaking it's a new story,' Anna says, 'but I used elements from two of my assignments on the MA programme, including world-building and linguistic innovation.'

Anna was part of our 2016-17 cohort and will be formally graduate from the MA at a ceremony in Edinburgh's Usher Hall later this month.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

MA graduate wins a 2017 British Fantasy Award

Georgina Bruce - a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University's acclaimed MA Creative Writing programme - has won the Best Short Fiction trophy at the 2017 British Fantasy Awards.

The winners were announced at FantasyCon 2017 in Peterborough, with Georgina being awarded the accolade for her short story White Rabbit, originally published in issue 50 of Black Static magazine.

Since graduating from the MA four years ago, Georgina has had short stories published in many of Britain's bestselling genre fiction magazines, such as Interzone and Black Static. She is currently working on a novel with the working title The Mirror Book.

"I'm delighted to see Georgina's talents as a storyteller recognised," says David Bishop, programme leader for the Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier. "Winning this British Fantasy Award is thoroughly deserved, and will be a great boost for her career. I can't wait to read her novel!"