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Campus Life Series: Graduate Success

Creative Writing alumna scoops Guardian award

Rebecca Ley’s, (MA, Creative Writing, 2015), debut novel Sweet Fruit, Sour Land has won The Guardian Not the Booker Prize.

by Matthew Little (Communications Officer)

The Guardian Not the Booker Prize is a competition decided by the public and three selected Guardian reader judges.

Rebecca Ley’s tale of female friendship in a dystopian London wowed the judges who overruled the public vote when crowning Sweet Fruit, Sour Land a worthy winner.

Rebecca said: “I'm really pleased to have been chosen as the Guardian's Not the Booker winner.

“It was a tough competition closely fought, and I feel very lucky to have been picked among such a strong shortlist. The prize is a great boost to debut authors and independent publishers like mine, so I'm thrilled!

“My Masters at City was invaluable when I approached writing Sweet Fruit, Sour Land after the course. Having a community of writers to read and critique each other's work helped build my confidence, and being edited was really important - learning what to leave out made all the difference to my writing.”

Clare Allan, Programme Director for the Novels MA, said:

“We are thrilled that Rebecca’s fabulous debut novel has been recognised in this way. Rebecca is a wonderful writer and I would urge everyone to go out and buy Sweet Fruit, Sour Land, and read it immediately.

“City’s two year MA in novel writing, for which students must complete a finished novel, has the highest success rate of any in the UK, with more than one in six of our students going on to be published novelists.”

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