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About City

Department of English

The National Student Survey 2019

BA English at City is ranked joint 1st in the UK, and ahead of any other English programme in London, for student satisfaction.

  • 100% of our graduates are satisfied with their degree
  • 100% of our graduates think we make the subject interesting
  • 100% agree that we value their views about the course
  • 100% agree that academic staff are good at explaining things
  • 100% agree it is easy to contact academic staff.

Source: National Student Survey 2019

The Department of English at City boasts a research-driven environment for the study and practice of the English Language, alongside the UK’s largest Creative Writing Masters programme.

The Department of English is home to our new undergraduate English programme, now in its second year, as well as popular and long established MA programmes in Publishing and Creative Writing.

Our courses

BA (Hons) English

Our English BA combines world-class literary scholarship with other, more practical areas of study, from digital publishing to storytelling. Building on our international reputation in creative writing, journalism and publishing, we offer a wide choice of modules so you can focus your studies on the areas that interest you the most.

English MA

City’s stimulating MA English enables you to acquire academic research training and vital employability skills while studying in the heart of London.

Creative Writing and Publishing MA

Our Creative Writing and Publishing MA enables aspiring writers to combine business acumen with creative endeavour, equipping them to work within the publishing industry while fostering their writing skills. Students acquire intimate knowledge of publishing and are offered support from professional writers to complete a substantial creative writing project. The programme offers the option of industry placements and has a strong record of alumni publications and creative writing prize winners.

International Publishing MA

This programme is perfect for graduates who now want to forge a career in the global publishing industry. Students arrive with degrees in a wide range of humanities, social science, business, and science subjects, and come from all over the world. We enjoy fantastic links to commercial publishers in London from across the full range publishing sectors. The MA seeks to provide students with a practical understanding of how 21st century publishing works in an increasingly globalised, fast-changing and often digital markets.

Publishing MA

Our Publishing MA is perfect for graduates with an interest in a career in the publishing industry. Students arrive with degrees in a wide range of humanities, social science, business, and science subjects, and from all over the world. The programme enjoys fantastic links to many different commercial publishers in London from across the full range publishing sectors. The programme seeks to provide students with a practical understanding of how 21st century publishing works, and pays particular attention to issues of innovation and digitisation in publishing.

You will be taught by

You will be taught by

BA English

Clare Allan

Clare Allan

Clare Allan lectures on the MA Creative Writing (Novels) and the MA Creative Writing and Publishing.

Her first novel, Poppy Shakespeare was published by Bloomsbury in 2006, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Orange Prize for New Writers and the Mind Book of the Year. It was also adapted into a BAFTA winning film. She is an award-winning short story writer and was the inaugural winner of the Orange short story prize in 2002.

She is a regular reviewer of fiction and has been writing a monthly column for The Guardian since 2006. She has written for most British newspapers as well as for the New York Times and has written and presented a number of programmes for BBC Radio 4.

Dr Patrick Brindle

Dr Patrick Brindle is Programme Director for MAs in Publishing, International Publishing, and Creative Writing & Publishing. Prior to joining City Patrick worked in academic publishing, including stints as a commissioning editor for Oxford University Press and Publisher for Research Methods at SAGE.

At City, Patrick teaches Digital Publishing, Research Methods, and Designing Interactive Media.
Patrick's research interests lie in the overlapping worlds of scholarly communication, learning and political economy.

Dr. Dominic Davies

Dr. Dominic Davies

Dr Dominic Davies joined City as a Lecturer in English in April 2018. Prior to that, he was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford, where he also completed his DPhil. His research focuses on the broad themes of colonial and postcolonial literature; urban cultural studies; and the relationship between urban infrastructure, the built environment and literary and visual cultures.

He is the author of a number of book chapters, articles, reviews and online pieces relating to these interests. His first book is Imperial Infrastructure and Spatial Resistance in Colonial Literature, 1880-1930 (Peter Lang, 2017) and his second is Urban Comics: Infrastructure and the Global City in Contemporary Graphic Narratives (Routledge, 2019). He is also the co-editor of Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructure, Literature and Culture (Palgrave, 2018).

Dr Louisa Egbunike

Dr Louisa Egbunike

Dr. Louisa Uchum Egbunike is a lecturer in English at City, University of London. She has previously worked at Manchester Metropolitan University, SOAS and Goldsmiths, University of London. Louisa completed her PhD in African literature at SOAS, University of London, where she has also lectured in contemporary African literature. In 2016 she was selected as one of the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research council’s ‘New Generation Thinkers’ which has seen her create and present content for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Arts Online.

Dr. Hetta Howes

Dr. Hetta Howes

Dr. Hetta Howes started as a lecturer at City in 2017, and is teaching on the new BA in English. After studying for her BA and MPhil at the University of Cambridge, she joined Queen Mary in 2012 to begin her doctoral thesis. The project, supervised by Professor Julia Boffey and Dr Alfred Hiatt, examines the role of water as a literary metaphor in late-medieval devotional prose, with a special emphasis on writings for and by women. She is currently turning this thesis into a monograph: 'Transforming Waters in Medieval Devotional Literature.'

She has published on tropes of crying and cleansing in Aelred of Rievaulx’s spiritual treatise A Rule of Life for a Recluse and on the role of sight in fourteenth-century alliterative verse. She contributes regularly to the Year’s Work in English Studies, surveying current criticism on medieval lyrics, and has a book chapter forthcoming on blood and shame in a Middle English Passion lyric. She is one of the BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers for 2017/18 and is committed to communicating her research to a wider audience, contributing regularly to BBC3's Free Thinking, the Times Literary Supplement, Times Higher Education and BBC History.

Dr. Patricia Moran

Dr. Patricia Moran

Dr. Patricia Moran's research in recent years brings together her interests in psychology, narrative and female embodiment to show affect is central to an understanding of female development and female subjectivity. This interest has shaped the chapters she has contributed to her co-edited books The Female Face of Shame (Indiana University Press, 2013) and Jean Rhys: Twenty-First Century Approaches (Edinburgh University Press, 2015).

In addition, Patricia has published extensively on Modernist women writers, including two monographs — Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys and the Aesthetics of Trauma (Palgrave, 2007) and Word of Mouth: Body/Language in Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf (University of Virginia Press, 1996). Patricia is currently completing a book that focuses on the way in which manic-depressive illness shaped British writer Antonia White’s narratives of self.

Dr Edward Paleit

Dr Edward Paleit

Dr Edward Paleit runs the BA English programme at City, University of London, which he joined from the University of Exeter in September 2017. He currently teaches the second-year core module 'Shakespeare' and is involved in undergraduate recruitment and routes to graduate employability.

Dr. Minna Vuolelainen

Dr. Minna Vuolelainen

Dr. Minna Vuolelainen joined City in August 2016 and teaches on the BA English programme. Before joining City, she worked at Edge Hill University, Birkbeck and the University of Derby. Her teaching is underpinned by a strong commitment of interdisciplinarity, derived from her past studies and ongoing research.

Minna’s primary research interests lie in fin-de-siècle popular and print culture and publishing history (c. 1880-1920), genre studies (particularly gothic and crime), London literatures, spatial theory, and the medical humanities; twentieth-century conflict literature is a significant secondary interest. Recent publications include a monograph on popular author Richard Marsh (University of Wales Press, 2015), a co-edited collection of essays on the Italian Holocaust survivor Primo Levi (Palgrave, 2015), and a critical edition of Marsh’s Judith Lee detective stories (Valancourt, 2016). She is currently working on a co-edited essay collection on Marsh and a monograph on Thomas Hardy and the gothic.

Dr Julie Wheelwright

Dr Julie Wheelwright

Dr. Julie Wheelwright has been the programme director of the MA creative writing (non-fiction) since 2007.

An award-winning writer, her books include The Fatal Lover: Mata Hari and the Myth of Women in Espionage, which was translated into five languages, and Amazons and Military Maids: Women Who Dressed as Men in Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness. Her biography of her ancestor, Esther: The Remarkable True Story of Esther Wheelwright, Puritan Child, Native Daughter, Mother Superior, was published in 2011 by HarperCollins Canada.

MA Creative Writing and Publishing

Principal Lecturers

Lisa O’Donnell has been teaching on the programme since 2016. She won The Orange Prize for New Screenwriters with her screenplay The Wedding Gift in 2000. She was also nominated for the Dennis Potter New Writers Award in the same year. She worked in television for several years and was a writer on teen soap Hollyoaks. In 2013 she won The Commonwealth Book Award for her best-selling novel The Death of Bees, and an ALEX Award in 2014 presented by the American Library Association for Best YA Fiction. Her second novel Closed Doors was published in the US, Germany and the UK in 2014, which she has also adapted for the screen. Lisa is working on her third noveel funded by Creative Scotland and is currently writing up her PhD with a focus on truth in fiction and identity of the author.

Tutors and Guest Mentors

Keren Davvid

Keren David is a journalist and YA star who has been shortlisted for The Bookseller's YA Book Prize, the UKLA award and the Branford Boase Award, and nominated four times for the Carnegie Prize. Keren started out in journalism as a teenage messenger, she trained as a reporter, and then later worked for many national papers before moving to Amsterdam with her family where she studied art history, learned to cycle and failed to learn Dutch. In 2007 she returned to London, and took a creative writing evening class at City University. Her first book, the award-winning When I Was Joe started out as a plot-planning exercise on the course. Her most recent YA novel, The Liar’s Handbook, inspired by recent real-life cases of women deceived into relationships with undercover policemen was published in 2016.




Jeremy Page

Jeremy Page’s first novel, Salt (Penguin, 2007), was set among the saltmarshes of North Norfolk, where I grew up, and the fens near the Wash. His second, The Wake (Penguin, 2009), is set in the estuaries of East Anglia and the North Sea itself, where its protagonist, Guy, takes his barge out to sea in an attempt to reinvent his life.  Salt was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Jelf Award and The Wake won the prize for fiction at the East Anglian book awards and was shortlisted for the New Angle Prize. His third novel, The Collector of Lost Things, was published by Little, Brown in 2013.  It’s the story of a collector travelling to the Arctic in 1845, trying to find evidence of a bird that became extinct a year before. Jeremy has also worked in the UK film and TV industry for nearly twenty years, as a script editor for the BBC, Channel 4 and Film Four.




Natasha Pulley

Natasha Pulley studied English Literature at Oxford University. After working as a bookseller, then at Cambridge University Press as a publishing assistant in the astronomy and maths departments, she did the Creative Writing MA at UEA. She has recently returned from Tokyo, where she lived for nineteen months on a scholarship from the Daiwa Anglo–Japanese Foundation. Her debut, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, is a historical fantasy thriller set in atmospheric, smoggy Victorian London and Japan. Her forthcoming novel, The Bedlam Stacks is published by Bloomsbury in 2017.

MA Publishing and International Publishing

Lecturers

Laura di Giuseppe

Mary Ann Kernan

Visiting Lecturers

Taught modules on the MA in Publishing and the MA in International Publishing are supported each year by a range of exciting and experienced visiting speakers and guest lecturers from across the publishing industry. In 2016 and 2017 these have included:

Nicola Barr, Literary agent at Greene & Heaton

Sarah Bell, Operations Director, The Economist

Jason Bartholomew, Rights Director, Hodder & Stoughton

Richard Charkin, President of the International Publishers Association and Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing

Jonathan Crowe, Editor in Chief for Natural and Social Sciences, Oxford University Press

Anna Faherty, Curator, The Reading Room

Andrew Franklin, Founder and Managing Director of Profile Books

Eric Huang, Development Director, Made in Me

Azar Hussain, Head of Data, Faber & Faber

Caroline Kimbell, Associate Director of Licensing and Digitisation, Senate House

Stephanie Milner, Commissioning Editor, Pavilion Books

Sibeal Pounder, author of The Witch Wars children’s book series

Emma Smith, Commissioning Editor at Orion

Martin Sugden, Head of Open Access Marketing at Taylor & Francis

Stella Tillyard, author of Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, 1740–1832 and Tides of War. A novel of the Peninsula War

Andrew Welham, CEO, Octopus Publishing Group, Hachette

Grace Whooley, Senior Marketing Manager at Bloomsbury Children's Books

Student success

Find below some of our more recent student successes

Literary Novels: students now published

1 in 6 of our students becomes a published novelist. Here are some of out most recent...

Eli Goldstone graduated in 2015. She is the current Prose Editor at Cadaverine Magazine. Her debut novel, Strange Heart Beating, is published by Granta in 2017. A darkly funny and seductive novel that confronts the black undercurrent of possession inherent in love, and the impossibility of ever truly knowing even those dearest to us, Strange Heart Beating is a breath-taking debut from an author whose vision is both acerbic and tender.

Helen Donohoe graduated in 2014. She studied politics and government at Manchester University and the LSE. She has twenty years’ experience as a campaigner, lobbyist, volunteer and writer. Her written work has ranged from peer-reviewed papers through to blogs for The Huffington Post and New Statesman. Birdy Flynn is published by OneWorld in 2017.

Hannah Kohler graduated in 2012. The Outside Lands was published by Picador in the UK and St. Martin’s in the US in February 2016. Joshua Ferris said: "Kohler is particularly good on the ethical ambiguities among men during wartime, puncturing some of our most sacred bromides regarding virtue, brotherhood, and mission. She reimagines the Vietnam War and its misbegotten aims as a travesty of the family, beautifully articulating the wider sacrifices too often ignored."

Jem Lester graduated in 2011 and won the PFD Prize. Shtum was published by Orion in Spring 2016. Shtum is a tragi-comic story about a father struggling to cope with his severely autistic 10-year-old son while he and his wife are separating. His editor says: "When I finished reading Shtum for the first time, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s illuminating about the joys, frustrations and day-to-day slog of having an autistic child. It’s heart-breaking in places, but tempered with real lightness and laugh-out-loud humour."

Hannah Michell graduated in 2010. The Defections was published by Quercus in 2014. David Peace said: “A book of betrayals and borders, real and imagined, and of deceptions and desires, which beautifully and dramatically evokes the spectres of Korea’s past and the divisions of its present in ways reminiscent of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American or Ian McEwan’s The Innocent.” She now teaches at Berkeley.

Iman Verjee graduated in 2012 and won the PFD Prize. Her first novel, In Between Dreams, was published in 2014 by OneWorld. Margaux Fragoso, author of Tiger, Tiger said "Lyrically written, emotionally explosive, the story of Frances is one that will continue to haunt the reader’s thoughts long after the last page is finished... an astonishing and artful debut by an unusually gifted young writer." Her second novel, Who Will Catch Us As We Fall was published in 2016.

Crime Novels: students now published

We are delighted to already have several published students on the crime writing MA, despite only having three lots of graduates to date! These include:

Rod Reynolds graduated in 2014. He was born in London and, after a successful career in advertising, working as a media buyer, he decided to get serious about writing. His first novel, The Dark Inside, was published by Faber in 2015. The sequel, Black Night Falling, followed in August 2016. Contact him on Twitter: @Rod_WR

David Young (winner of the CWA Historical Dagger) graduated in 2014. Temporary jobs cleaning ferry toilets and driving a butcher's van were followed by a career in journalism, finally leading teams for the World Service radio and World TV. Stasi Child is the first of three books in the Oberleutnant Karin Müller series – set in 1970s communist East Germany – bought by the UK arm of Swedish publisher Bonnier by former Quercus CEO Mark Smith. It reached the top 5 bestsellers on Amazon Kindle, was number one bestseller in Amazon’s Historical Fiction chart, and has been optioned for TV by Euston Films.

Steph Broadribb/ Stephanie Marland graduated in 2014. She was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego - Crime Thriller Girl - she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at www.crimethrillergirl.com. She trained as a bounty hunter in California.

Fran Dorricott - coming soon

Laura Shepherd-Robinson - coming soon

Chris McGeorge - coming soon

Other students are working with agents and we look forward to seeing their work in print soon.

Narrative non-fiction: students now published

nullClifford Thompson is a journalist and writer.  He has worked in television news for more than twenty years and will see his first book published in September 2017.  He’s a staff journalist with BBC News covering national and international stories.  He’s worked for Newsnight on BBC Two, BBC News 24, and BBC One’s Breakfast programme.
Falling Through Fire is a memoir published by Mirror Books about his time, first as a firefighter, then as a journalist working on major disasters including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the Paddington train crash.

Aaron Eske works for a US communications firm that specializes in non-profits. He was Communications Director for Angelina Jolie's orphan advocacy organization, Global Action for Children. His book, My Family, A Symphony, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011 and has been translated into seven different languages.

Peter Moore has been a lecturer at City since 2010 and is a graduate of the MA in narrative non-fiction at City where he wrote his first book, Damn His Blood (2012), a reconstruction of a double murder in rural Worcestershire at the height of the Napoleonic Wars was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week . His second book, The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers who Sought to See the Future (2015), was a New York Times notable book of the year and listed among the ‘Best Books of the Summer’ by The Times. His third book will be published in 2018.

Bridget O'Donnell worked at the BBC for ten years before studying at City University London on the second year of the Masters in Non-Fiction. Her book, Inspector Minahan Makes a Stand, is a historical true-crime story set in the 1880s about the extraordinary events leading up to the raising of the age of consent. It was published by Picador in 2012.

Find out what Peter Moore and Bridget O'Donnell advise

Anne H. Putnam is a freelance writer and editor based in the US whose wry and poignant memoir about body image and gastric bypass surgery, Navel Gazing, was published by Faber and Faber in 2013.

N.A. Pickford’s true crime book, Lady Bette and the Murder of Mr Thynn is the true story of Lady Bette, fourteen years old and immensely wealthy, who is tricked by her unscrupulous grand-mother into marrying Thomas Thynn, a man three times her age and notoriously debauched. A professional maritime historian, N. A. Pickford has also made documentaries for Channel 4 and published books with Dorling Kindersley and National Geographic.

Kusumanjali Ravindranath's book Good Night & Good Luck was published by Harper Collins India. This memoir traces the journey to peaceful slumber, for a new mother and her baby. It’s an obstacle course strewn with ‘booby’ traps, warring baby gurus, indulgent and obsessive grandmothers, jet lag and colliding cultures – all part of the new mother’s vertiginous learning curve. A witty, heartwarming book about a baby’s first year, and about navigating the myths and truths of modern parenting between two continents, Anju’s experience could be your guide to (dare we say it?) a good night’s sleep.

Prizes

H M Aziz won a commendation for The Cheekovit (Fiction) in the Wasafiri Magazine’s new writing prize 2015.

Creative Writing and Publishing: students now published

Sonya Lalli graduated in 2015. Her debut novel The Arrangement is published by Orion Fiction in 2017. Sonya is a Canadian writer of Indian heritage who she studied law in her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and at Columbia University in New York City before coming to City for the MA in creative writing and publishing. She currently works as a journalist at a legal magazine in London, has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and loves travel, yoga, piano, reading and cocktail bartending.

Carlie Sorosiak graduated in 2015. Her debut YA novel If Birds Fly Back, published by HarperTeen US/Macmillan UK in 2017 and is a story, she says, about missing people and astrophysics and kissing and one completely transformative summer.

Advance praise has included quotes from:

“It’s the rarest author who can pull off laugh-out-loud hilarious, profound, and breathlessly romantic, all in the most sparkling prose. That shortlist includes Rainbow Rowell, Nicola Yoon, and now, Carlie Sorosiak.”—Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days

If Birds Fly Back “should resonate with fans of Morgan Matson, John Green, and Rainbow Rowell.” —Kirkus

Prizes

Holly Domney graduated in 2017. She won the Dystopian Fiction Prize sponsored by the George Orwell Society and is currently working in the publishing industry.

Maja Olsen, a current student, won the Dystopian Fiction Prize this year with another CWP student Nick Owen winning a commendation.

  • Undergraduate enquiries t: +44 (0)20 7040 8521
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  • Postgraduate and Research enquiries t: +44 (0)20 7040 0249; +44 (0)20 7040 3721
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