English, Creative Writing and Media students were very lucky to meet successful writer (and former BBC news correspondent) Simon Hall in college. Simon is the author of the Dan Groves (the “TV detective”) and Adam Breen detective novels, in which a TV reporter and a detective work together to solve crimes. Much of Simon’s work is set in the West Country, and titles to look out for include A Popular Murder, The Death Pictures, Evil Valley, The Judgement Book and The Balance of Guilt. Simon has been long-listed for the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library award, for writers most popular with library users.
Simon talked about the 7 Ps – seven items all beginning with P, which successful writers need to include in their work. He gave our students an opportunity to try out excerpts of text and, not least, told them that they shouldn’t be put off by rejection. Many famous writers, notably JK Rowling, were rejected numerous times before their work was published. He also gave some handy hints on finding a suitable literary agent.
Sharon Birkbeck, English and Creative Writer teacher, says: “We are extremely grateful to Simon for coming to talk to our students. What could be better than hearing first hand how to write a successful book? We all greatly enjoyed listening to Simon’s entertaining and invaluable advice. I’m now looking forward to seeing our students’ novels on sale in book shops!”