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Apprenticeships in Fiction



Tanya Chansam
Tanya is a mixed race South African writer living in Sheffield. She has worked in a brake and clutch factory, completed an English degree on the night shifts operating radio control for ambulances and taught English in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Sheffield. Set in North Africa, her novel A Greatcoat and a Bicycle offers a devastating vision of the Second World War, as seen through the eyes of a 'coloured' soldier caught up in a segregated conflict.

Lucy Hewitt
Lucy spent her childhood in Winchester and now lives in Bath, where she works as a Resources Manager for an English teaching website. The first chapter of her novel-in-progress has already been published. (Mslexia magazine. Issue 31. 2006). In The Bandaging Room, which is set in a leprosarium on the south coast of Ghana, a tragic accident forces a young English volunteer to face up to the consequences of her actions.

Elizabeth Melville
Born in Barbados, graduate of Yale, villager of West Sussex. In her novel Via Barbados, a young woman travels from the Caribbean, to England and West Africa and back again, in search of a place to bury her umbilical cord.

Steven Short
Originally from London, Steven has spent most of his life in the North West of England. He shares his life with his wife and cat, but shares his mind with a girl who can open a door to the Imaginary World, a small boy whose brother has lost his soul, and a strange creature who lives in his garden. He writes for children and young people. The Phoenix Contingency is about an orphaned girl who falls into the hands of thieves and learns that nothing is quite as it seems.

David Thorley
David was born in Stoke-on-Trent, and grew up in North Staffordshire. He studied English at Cambridge, Liverpool, and Oxford Universities, and now works as a freelance journalist. He has had some success as a poet including winning second prize in the Bridport Poetry Competition in 1999. In 2007 he was awarded funding by Arts Council England to support his first novel. Gambler Anonymous, is about a bungling obituary writer caught up in a comedy of errors.



The Pursuit of the Magpie. Irene Barrell
Funny, exciting and original, this children’s fantasy is set in a world in which children hold down important jobs alongside talking animals. It’s the story of art-theft with a difference: picture-dipping. Objects are going missing from inside paintings in the National Gallery. Only another picture-dipper can discover the identity of the thief. Sounds like a job for ten-year-old Plum and her best friend, a wallaby called Spud.

Cicada Rhythms. Rozalinda Buyong
For thirteen-year-old Jasmine, her Grandmother’s village in Malaysia is an enchanting new world full of wonder and surprise - until she discovers the real and devastating reason that her mother has brought her London-born family ‘home’.

The Sun Hasn't Fallen from the Sky. Alison Gangel
Set in the tenements of Glasgow and a monolithic children’s home in the highlands of Scotland, this is a powerful and uplifting autobiographical novel full of light touches and wry humour. Against all odds, Ailsa survives a traumatic childhood, by finding solace and redemption in music.

The Size of It. Mandy Sutter
Self-sacrificing Margaret gets a wake up call when she turns forty, and places a Lonely Hearts ad. But how can she recognise love when she doesn't yet know how to love herself? The Size of It is a funny and bitter-sweet tale of passions stifled and appetites unleashed.

Inside Out. Andrew Theophilou
When Hambis, a Greek-Cypriot from North London, falls in love with a Turkish man, he realises just how little he actually knows about his own history. Travelling back to Cyprus in search of his roots, he discovers a family secret preserved by decades of partition. Inside Out is a comic rite-of-passage novel about a young man coming to terms with his sexuality, his identity and his boisterous rabble of relatives.


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A one-year professional development programme
Apprenticeships 2006  


   7 Days

   Seven Days
   Andrew Theophilou