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Creative writing alumni

Our Kingston creative writing graduates have had their fair share of notable achievements.

Sarah Woolner won a BAFTA award for short animation Sleeping With The Fishes. The screenwriter was part of a team that carried off the British short animation award for the film Sleeping with the Fishes, which she made with producer James Walker and director Yousif Al-Khalifa.

The romantic comedy, set to music composed by fellow Kingston graduate Matt Kelly, tells the story of a woman who lives a lonely life as a fishmonger, more at ease with her fish than her customers, until the day a delivery man who looks like a rainbow trout turns up.

Creative Writing MFA alumnus Stevan Alcock's novel Blood Relatives is out with Fourth Estate. The Guardian praised the debut novel: "Refreshing, even radical... Blood Relatives could never be accused of being dull... the novel's most eye-catching aspect is its language. Alcock captures not only the voice of his intelligent, happy-go-lucky protagonist, but also the heft and current of his local tongue."

Adam Selves, the television and film producer whose production partner is Benedict Cumberbatch, studied creative writing as part of English Literature...

Sarah Woolner with her BAFTA award
James Mullinger, writer, comedian and television actor

...as did the writer/comedian/television actor James Mullinger.

Former Kingston Creative Writing student Ayisha Malik, whose novel Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged was published in 2016 and is described in the same breath as Bridget Jones. Read more about Ayisha's novel in the book review in The National.

Ayisha is also credited as the ghostwriter of the new novel by Bake Off winner Nadia Hussain, The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters. This piece in the Guardian discusses the sometimes controversial role of the ghostwriter.

Kingston creative writing graduate Sumia Sukkar's novel, The Boy from Aleppo Who Painted the War, has been broadcast as a drama on BBC Radio 4 and made Pick of the Week in The Sunday Times and The Daily Mail, as well as featuring on Radio 4's own Pick of the Week. Sumir was also interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Front Row.

The Bookbag's Liz Green said of the novel: "However deep-rooted your compassion fatigue, this book will jolt you out of your cosy existence, demanding to be read... The words are easy, the prose flows beautifully and the plot moves forward effortlessly, but the story is grim, and could never be otherwise... This is one of those books that, like The Help by Katherine Stockett and Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, should become compulsory reading in schools for its simple truths.

The Boy from Aleppo Who Painted the War tells the story of the conflict in Syria through the eyes of an autistic teenager. Read about how this story was inspired.

Sumia Sukkar's novel was adapted for a Radio 4 series highlighting different aspects of the conflict in Syria.
Stefan Mohamed. Photo credit: Ben Illis

Recent Creative Writing BA student Stefan Mohamed's novel Bitter Sixteen was published by Salt. He started the novel during his Narrative Techniques Special Study in his final year.

Bitter Sixteen also won the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Times Children's Book of the Week.

Professor Peter Stead, chairman of the Dylan Thomas Prize, describes the story: "Into what seems to be a very real and familiar world Stefan Mohamed introduces a 16 year old superhero and his even more remarkable dog. All kinds of crazy amorous and criminal adventures ensure but our author's vivid imagination, story-telling power, humour and mastery of punchy dialogue ensure that we eagerly hang on throughout this refreshingly original novel."

Stefan's novella Stuff is also published as an ebook.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
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