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City Graduate Scores Publishing Deal

MA in Creative Writing graduate signs publishing deal with Faber and Faber.

by Hollie Jenkins

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A graduate from City University London's unique MA in Creative Writing (Non-Fiction) has secured a book deal with the publisher Faber and Faber. 

Anne H. Putnam only completed her Degree at City in September. It is expected her autobiographical memoir, Navel Gazing, will be published in Spring 2013. 

Putnam is the fourth graduate of the degree, in which students write a non-fiction book as their dissertation, to secure a publishing deal. Many other graduates of the programme, directed by award winning writer Julie Wheelwright, have also secured partnerships with literary agents. 

Putnam's memoir focuses on her experiences after having weight-loss surgery at the age of 17. At the time Putnam believed it would change her life, but nine years later, although she is 10 sizes smaller, her feelings about her body have not changed. Her book reflects on her journey from being morbidly obese to "unpleasantly plump", reflecting on both her mental state as well as physical appearance.

Putnam says City's MA in Creative Writing (Non-Fiction) helped her develop her memoir to a publishable standard.

"The course really helped me hone my skills as a writer. Julie was lovely from the start, very thoughtful and welcoming, and later tutors like Sarah Bakewell and Neil McKenna guided me with firm but kind hands toward a better finished product, without attempting to take away from my natural voice and style. My fellow classmates were also absolutely essential in pointing out elements that I could improve in my work - everything from oft-used words to over-the-top metaphors. I owe a large part of the success of this book to them.

"Having gone through the attempt to get published once before (with a now-rightly-shelved novel), I was extremely cynical about the Anthology - I was sure no agents or publishers would have time to read it, given their already teetering slush piles. But within two months of the books going out into the world I was juggling competing offers from two major agencies. And a month after I made my decision I got an email from a third!"

You can find more information on City University London's MA in Creative Writing (Non-Fiction) here.

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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.