Natalie Bray, Hawa Maua and Zeke Mcleod win the 2021 City Novel Studio Agent Competition.

By City Press Office, Published

City, University of London is delighted to announce Natalie Bray, Hawa Maua and Zeke Mcleod as the 2021 winners of the Novel Studio Agent Competition.

The competition is a key feature of City’s flagship short course the Novel Studio, which offers a select group of 15 aspiring novelists the dedicated time and support to hone their craft. The competition is a rare opportunity to bypass the slush pile of manuscript submissions to literary agents, and is run in conjunction with Christine Green Authors’ Agency.

Competition winner Zeke has a background in psychology and has dabbled in writing short stories. His submission Paradox Bookshop, a paranormal mystery about the ways in which we construct reality, is his first novel. Natalie is an actor, screenwriter and drama practitioner and her Novel Studio Agent Competition submission Sexy Witch is also her first novel. Fellow winner Hawa has had short fiction published in Ambit and her Novel Studio Agent Competition submission explores the rich yet invisible lives of three East African women living in the UK.

Emily Pedder, Course Director of the Novel Studio said: “We were so impressed with the submissions this year. The three winners are all writers with huge potential, and we’re very excited to see their novels develop over the coming year.”

Alumna Hannah Begbie, an early winner of the agent competition, published award-winning novels Mother and Blurred Lines following her graduation, and fellow winner Louise Beere was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize.

The Novel Studio was established over a decade ago and has a strong track record of published alumni. Recent bestselling and award-winning novels include Deepa Anappara’s Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line and Harriet Tyce’s Blood Orange.

City also offers full-time and part-time postgraduate degrees in creative writing.

Byline: Eve Lacroix, Marketing Executive at Bayes Business School of City, University of London and Executive Board Member of Bayes' Global Women's Leadership Programme.

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