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  1. The Novel Studio

Tutor Information

Kirstan Hawkins:

Kirstan Hawkins' first novel, Dona Nicanora's Hat Shop, was published by Random House in 2010. Kirstan graduated from the Certificate in Novel Writing at City, University of London in 2007, and has subsequently taught several guest slots as a visiting lecturer, bringing a unique approach as writer, tutor and alumna. She studied Anthropology at Edinburgh University and has a PhD in Anthropology and International Development from the University of Wales, Swansea.

As well as her creative writing, she also currently works in international development, and has travelled extensively in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Kirstan was previously a lecturer in Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Swansea, Goldsmith's College and a tutor for the Open University.

Emily Midorikawa:

Emily's work has been published in, among others, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent on Sunday, The Times, Aesthetica and Mslexia. She was the winner of the 2015 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize.

Emily is the co-author of  A Secret Sisterhood, due to be published by Aurum Press in the UK and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the USA, both in 2017. A Secret Sisterhood focuses on the literary friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf. Emily is writing this non-fiction book with her friend and Novel Studio colleague, Emma Claire Sweeney.

The two also run, a website that profiles the literary friendships of famous female authors.

In addition to her work with the Novel Studio, Emily teaches writing at New York University’s London campus. In the past, she has taught at the University of Cambridge and with the Open University.

You can find out more about Emily's work by visiting her website:

Emma Claire Sweeney:

Emma Claire Sweeney has won Arts Council, Royal Literary Fund and Escalator Awards, and has been shortlisted for several others, including the Asham, Wasafiri and Fish.
As well as teaching on the Novel Studio, she also lectures at New York University; co-runs – a website on female literary friendship; and publishes literary journalism in the likes of The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday and The Times.

Owl Song at Dawn, a novel inspired by her autistic sister, was published by Legend Press in 2016.

A Secret Sisterhood – a non-fiction book on the hidden literary friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf, which she is co-writing with her own friend and Novel Studio colleague, Emily Midorikawa, will come out in 2017 with Aurum Press in the UK and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the USA.

Course Director:

Emily Pedder

Emily Pedder has worked as a writer, editor and creative writing lecturer for over a decade. Her short fiction has been published widely and has won several prizes, including a Commonwealth short story award and a Ruth Rendell short story award.

Emily has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam, where she founded Matter, a literary anthology she edited for four years. She is a firm believer in the importance of mentoring emerging writers and has worked extensively with students both at City and in the workshops she runs in London. Emily is now Course Director for the Novel Studio, which she co-founded, as well as heading up the writing short courses at City.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.