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City Alumna hailed as literary star of the future

Sophie Coulombeau's debut novel Rites receives rave reviews
by Ben Sawtell

nullCity University London alumna Sophie Coulombeau has received critical acclaim following the publication of her debut novel Rites in June this year. Sophie, who completed a short story writing course at City taught by Katy Darby, was also named Route Publishing's 'Next Great Novelist' in 2011.

Rites, which is published by Route, tells the story of a group of four teenagers who make a pact to lose their virginity away from the watchful eyes of parents and priest. Ten years later, they look back on the events and unravel how it all went horribly wrong.

Commenting on her time at City, Sophie said: 'For me, learning from feedback was an essential part of finding my voice as a writer. Doing an evening course at City gave me great exposure to constructive feedback on my work, both from my course tutor and from the friends I made there. I stopped feeling as if I was writing into a void.'

City offers a wide variety of short courses and training and development programmes which are delivered by expert practitioners and informed by the insight and research of our academics.

Best-selling children's author Keren David completed the 'Writing for Children' course in 2008 and attributed her new career to the lessons she learnt at City. 'I don't think that my new career as a children's writer would have happened without the kick-start I got from the course at City. I had the beginning of a novel but it was the plot-planning exercise in class that really got me started.'

Sophie and Keren join other success stories from City's writing short courses including M.D. Villiers, who has secured a two-book deal with Harvill Secker and Jennifer Gray who has just agreed a second deal with Faber, this time for a series of children's books about 'The Fabulous Chicken Sisters.'

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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.