Two Aberystwyth students sign major publishing deals

TWO ABERYSTWYTH students have signed book deals with major publishers.

Both students, postgraduates in the Department of English and Creative Writing, are expected to publish within the next two years.

5423565794_cfb95c5949_oEliza Granville, a PhD Creative Writing student has written a book inspired by Grimm’s fairytales entitled Gretel and the Dark. It has been published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin, and was available to buy from yesterday (6th). Eliza’s news was followed very soon by a similar deal for another student, Kate Hamer, who has just completed an MA in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth.  She has been signed to Faber in a two-book deal; the first of which, her novel The Girl in the Red Coat, will be published in spring 2015.

The novel grew from a piece of coursework for her Master’s, and tells the story of Carmel, a young girl, and her mother. When Carmel goes missing one day at a festival, both mother and daughter embark on their own individual terrifying journeys, in a mystery with undertones of a fairy tale.

Kate, who grew up in Pembrokeshire, said: “When I received the news that Faber wanted to publish The Girl in the Red Coat I was beyond thrilled. For a first time novelist, there’s nothing better than hearing such a legendary publisher wants your book.”

Faber’s Sarah Savitt has called Kate ‘a distinctive new voice in British fiction’. The German rights to the novel have also been sold in a six-figure deal.  She has previously won the Rhys Davies short story award, as well as being awarded a Literature Wales bursary.

Eliza’s novel, Gretel and the Dark is a “dazzling novel of darkness, evil and hope”. Set in Vienna in 1899, Josef Breuer is a celebrated psychoanalyst and is about to encounter his strangest case yet. Found by the lunatic asylum, thin, head shaved, she claims to have no name, no feelings and not even human. Intrigued, Breuer determines to fathom the roots of her disturbance.

Eliza explained, “I will always be grateful for the support I’ve received – and still receive – from the English and Creative Writing department. I feel applying for a place at Aberystwyth was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There is an expectation of publication that does not seem to exist in other institutions.”

Kelly, assistant editor at Hamish Hamilton, said: “I couldn’t be more delighted that we are going to publish this highly original and thought-provoking book. Eliza Granville is a natural storyteller.”

Penguin have released an animation for the release of the book, which can be found here.

Dr Katherine Stansfield, a lecturer in Creative Writing who has also recently published her first novel, congratulated both students on their success and added: “Everyone in the department is absolutely thrilled for Kate and Eliza. Being signed by such important publishers as Faber and Penguin is a fantastic achievement, and testament to the quality of writers working in the department and the support they receive from staff.”