Our students are highly proactive and fully creatively engaged in the publishing and cultural world after they receive their degree. Here we have some examples of their wonderful success stories.

Fran Baillie, had some of her poems published - Mixter-maxter: Poems in Scots and English (Grey Hen Press, 2017)

Tracy Gow (under the pseudonym Ella Hayes) had her debut novel Her Brooding Scottish Heir published by Mills and Boon in December 2018, just one month after graduating from our MLitt Writing Practice and Study course! She was a winner of the Prima Love to Write Competition.

Susan Haigh's short story Looking for Nathali was shortlisted for the Willesden Herald International Short Story Competition in 2016. She was also named as a finalist in Scotland's most valuable short story award, the Scottish Arts Club competition.

Lesley Holmes, won the Dragons Pen award for her novel pitch at the Scottish Association of Writers 50th Anniversary Conference 2019. 

Clare Hunter was awarded a Creative Scotland Bursary for her non-fiction and is represented by Scotland's leading literary agency. She graduated from our MLitt Writing Practice and Study course in 2014, and she became a national sensation with her first book - Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle, published by Sceptre in February 2019. She was joint winner of the the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award as part of Scotland's National Book Awards 2019, She has also recently made the Sunday Times 'Must Read' list, was BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week, has been the subject of a Bookseller profile, has Tracy Chevalier supporting her, and has sold into a number of international territories. See more about the release of Threads of Life

Sandra Ireland has published three novels with Polygon (Birlinn) – her first, Beneath the Skin (2016), received rave reviews following publication, and her second novel, Bone Deep (Polygon 2018), was listed as one of the '9 best Scottish fiction books'  by The Independent in 2018. Her third novel The Unmaking of Ellie Rook was published in July 2019. https://sandrairelandauthor.com/

Sarah Isaac won second prize in the Short Story competition at the Wells Festival of Literature in 2016 for her work Souterrain.

Oliver Langmead  released Metronome (Unsung Stories) in 2017, following his first novel Dark Star (Unsung Stories, 2015), which was inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and completed while studying on the MLitt programme. Dark Star made the shortlist for the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize 2015 and was selected by Sarah Waters in the Guardian Best Books of 2015 round up. http://oliverlangmead.com/

Lindsay Macgregor was a recipient of a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust; she hosts Platform Poetry at Ladybank. Her first poetry collection, The Weepers, was called a "stunningly good debut". In 2016 she was awarded the prestigious Hawthornden Castle Fellowship

Beth McDonough is an award winning poet and has previously been the Creative Writer-in-residence at Dundee Contemporary Arts. She published Handfast (co-written with Ruth Aylett) with Mother's Milk Books; the collection was described as "beautifully designed" and "compelling". She won first prize in St Hilda's (University of Oxford) Science and Poetry competition, SciPo 2019.  

Claire McLeary had her debut novel Cross Purpose published by Contraband (Saraband) in 2017 after signing a two book deal. The debut novel has been praised as "a dark delicious read" and its writer "A brilliant new talent for the lover of crime"; it was also longlisted for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2017 . https://clairemacleary.com/

Daniel Shand published his debut novel, Fallow, with Sandstone Press in 2016. The novel won the prestigious Betty Trask Prize in 2017, awarded for a first novel of ‘outstanding literary merit’ by an author under the age of 35. Fallow was lauded by fellow Scottish author Alan Warner as “a brilliant, unpredictable road novel.”

Edward Small has published Mary Lily Walker, ghost-written Fae the Boatyaird to Buckingham Palace: The Autobiography of ex-Lord Provost John Letford MBE, and written and produced Dundee's Four Marys for stage. He lectures extensively on a range of historical subjects including The Life and Times of McGonagall and The History of the Scottish Funeral, and successfully brought Death Pantomime to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016.

Zoe Venditozzi published her first novel, Anywhere’s Better Than Here, with Sandstone Press and was made Reader-in-Residence at Dundee Libraries. She was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize in 2010. https://zoevenditozzi.wordpress.com/

Another sample of the kinds of successes and positions our students achieve...

  • prizes and commendations in the John Clare, Wigtown,  William Soutar, Gladstone Library, and Scottish Art Club Short Story and Poetry Competitions
  • readings at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
  • publication in a range of magazines, including Dundee WritesGutter, New Writing ScotlandPoetry Review and Obsessed with Pipework
  • Writer-in-Residence at Dundee Contemporary Arts
  • Reader-in-Residence at Dundee Libraries
  • Journalist at DC Thomson
  • Stephen Fry Award for Public Engagement with Research

Download and read some of our students' work here:

Poetry 1

Poetry 2

Prose 1

Prose 2


You can also get an insight into what it is like to study creative writing here from our student blog.

"The course has provided me many networking opportunities, allowing me to establish working relationships with artists, philosophers, and even scientists and mathematicians, as well as other writers. Performance nights such as Speakerbox and Hotchpotch, publications such as New Writing Dundee and Dundee Writes offer valuable chances to air my pieces, an internship with Freight Books and my appointment as editor of DURA, the university's arts review magazine, have been crucial in gaining experience for future employment."

Adam Learmonth, MLitt in Writing Practice and Study 2015

"The modules are taught by published writers who understand the industry and there are many opportunities to perform your work in public."

Gavin Cameron, MLitt Writing Practice and Study 2015

"The only reason my writing has got better is because of the course and the wonderful insight and guidance of Kirsty, Eddie, Cynthia and Jennie who all, in so many different ways, nurtured a new appreciation of the written word and of how to really think about what you are trying to transmit through writing.

As you know, I found the course thrilling and inspiring and I will really miss it, my weekdays in Dundee, and all of you."

Clare Hunter, MLitt Writing Practice and Study, 2014