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Cambridge author Sophie Hannah to lead crime writing course at Cambridge University


By Alex Spencer


Bestselling author Sophie Hannah will be leading a new crime and thriller creative writing course for Cambridge University.

The Master of Studies course aims to help students complete a novel ready for publication by the end of two years.

Sophie Hannah (6155978)
Sophie Hannah (6155978)

Applications are open now until the end of April and the course will begin in January.

Sophie Hannah, crime fiction writer and author of official Hercule Poirot continuation novels, will be the course director of the MSt at Madingley Hall Institute of Continuing Education, which is part of Cambridge University.

She said: “They approached me to ask whether I would like to run the course and I thought it sounded very exciting. The aim is to have a book as good as it can be and of a publishable standard by the end of the course.”

The programme will include history of the genre and an understanding of critical, analytical and narrative theory, as well as how to plot and write a novel, self editing and getting published.

There will be visiting lecturers from the fields of publishing and marketing as well as other successful authors and academics from Cambridge University. The course is low residency, making it suitable for students will full time jobs or people from overseas.

Sophie Hannah explained how taking an MA in creative writing at Manchester University helped her career: “i was always going to be a writer, even if someone had said I had to be a dustbin lady instead. But having that year when I could focus and we had brilliant teaching from the tutors,

Novelist Sophie Hannah. Picture by Phillipa Gedge
Novelist Sophie Hannah. Picture by Phillipa Gedge

Sophie Hannah explained how taking an MA in creative writing at Manchester University helped her career: “i was always going to be a writer, even if someone had said I had to be a dustbin lady instead. But having that year when I could focus and we had brilliant teaching from the tutors, it accelerated and deepened my knowledge of how to write novel-length fiction. Some people, say that creative writing courses teach people to all write in the same way, but I see no evidence of that. I see it as professional training. Developing my inner editor after being extensively workshopped, that’s what my course gave me.”

In the first year students will be guided through the various stages of writing a crime or thriller novel, from beginnings to the conclusion. Students will be encouraged to build on their existing strengths but also to explore unfamiliar territories.

Students will work independently in the second year to explore further and develop their own literary and critical skills. They will aim to complete a novel-length work of crime or thriller fiction, under the supervision of an expert in their chosen field. It is not necessary to have a degree in order to apply for the course.

Find out more at ice.cam.ac.uk/course/mst-crime-and-thriller-writing. The deadline is April 30.xx



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