Novel success for PhD student
A PLYMOUTH University writing graduate is due to have his first novel published early next year.
Tom Vowler (right), aged 40, is one of several writers to find success after studying for a creative writing MA at the university.
His first novel, What Lies Within, is a psychological suspense tale set on Dartmoor.
Mr Vowler, an associate lecturer at the university, where he is studying for a PhD, is due to see the book published by Headline next March, the first of a two-book deal.
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His short story collection, The Method, won the inaugural Scott Prize in 2010 and, in 2011, the Edge Hill Readers' Prize.
Mr Vowler is not the only prize-winning writer to come from the university's programme.
Poet Steve Spence was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection for A Curious Shipwreck, published by Shearsman, in 2010.
He also authored a second book of poems, Limits of Control, published in 2011.
And Hana Sklenkova was awarded first prize in The New Writer Prose and Poetry Prizes 2010 for her novella Cape of Good Hope.
She was also a finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition, in 2008, and her play Some Sort Of Sound featured at the Hidden City Festival, in Plymouth, that year too.
An excerpt from her novel-in-progress, Ghosts of Point Tortoise, appeared in the Edinburgh Review in 2010, and she also received a Playwright Development Bursary from the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Professor Anthony Caleshu, programme manager for Plymouth University's MA Creative Writing degree, said it enters its eighth year as "one of the country's most respected postgraduate writing programmes".
He said: "Plymouth's programme is unique for its asking students to study a variety of forms – poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and dramatic writing – before they choose one in which to write a dissertation.
"We believe there's an inter-relationship between forms.
"Knowledge of how dialogue works in dramatic writing, for example, can only help a novelist.
"By the time students are writing their final dissertation, they've come to respect the various elements of craft, and are aspiring to turn that craft into an art.
"We've had a number of recent graduates go on to publish their work and win major prizes, confirming the benefits of the programme's intensive 'workshop-based' structure."