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A ‘novella’ approach to writing – Robert Graham workshop

Robert Graham will be visiting Palatine Library on Tuesday 11 March, 1pm to 2.30pm, to deliver a novella writing workshop in advance of the MMU Novella Award.  The workshop will begin with a discussion about what the distinguishing characteristics of a novella are.  Participants attending could give that some thought before the workshop.

Participants will spend most of the time in the workshop looking at specific elements of fiction-writing, which will involve writing exercises.   The workshop is for those of you who are already writing fiction, whether you see yourself as a novice or more experienced. Please take along a pen and a notebook.

Robert Graham is the author of How To Write Fiction (And Think About It) (Palgrave, 2006) and co-author of Everything You Need To Know About Creative Writing (Bloomsbury, 2007) and The Road To Somewhere: A Creative Writing Companion (Palgrave, 2014). Other publications include a novel, Holy Joe, (Troubador, 2006); a short story collection, The Only Living Boy (Salt, 2009); a novella, A Man Walks Into A Kitchen (Salt, 2011); and a box of short stories, When You Were A Mod, I Was A Rocker (Like This Press, 2013). He teaches Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire campus.How to write fiction image

Manchester Metropolitan University’s new international prize for novellas  is aimed squarely at e-reader users in search of good short reads.  The MMU Novella Award, established by the Department of Contemporary Arts in Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire Faculty, and partnered by Sandstone Press and Time to Read, will reward the winning entrant with a £1,000 cash prize.

Sandstone Press, who have twice had titles long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, will publish the winning novella, which must be between 20,000 and 40,000 words long. Diana Beaumont of Rupert Heath Literary Agency will give serious consideration to offering the winning author representation.

“The short novel is experiencing a renaissance at the moment.  It’s ideal for book lovers who are on the move and using tablets and e-readers,” said Robert Graham, Creative Writing Programme Leader at MMU Cheshire.

Robert Davidson, Managing Director of Sandstone Press said, “The novella is a form that has given us such classic works as Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain and Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.  Sandstone Press is proud to be MMU’s partner in this fine project.”

Novelist Jenn Ashworth, author of A Kind of Intimacy and Cold Light, will lead the judging panel. The Sunday Times described Jenn’s latest book as, “Utterly, compulsively readable. The Friday Gospels could be this award-winning young author’s best novel yet.”

The winner of the award will be announced at a one-day Novella Festival, held at MMU’s Cheshire campus in July 2014, where there will also be readings, talks and panel discussions.

The closing date for the competition is 23 May 2014 and there is a £15 entry fee. For further details about the competition please contact Kat Dibbits at MMU on 0161 247 5278 or Eilidh Smith at Sandstone Press on 07901 914 596.

Places for the workshop are free but limited and expected to fill quickly. To book, please ask at Palatine Library or phone 01253 478050.

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