Published: 05 January 2023

Creative writing success from Surrey graduates: a round-up

The School of Literature and Languages are delighted to announce no fewer than three exciting new publications from recent Surrey graduates to look out for this year.

Last month, students studying the Creative Writing MA were visited by Surrey graduate Jane Puddicombe (writing as Jane Hennigan), who has two novels to be imminently released with the prestigious science-fiction publisher Angry Robot. The first novel, Moths, began life here at Surrey as work submitted for modules on our Creative Writing MA and workshopped with fellow students and her module tutors. The dystopian fiction set in a future world will be published in March 2023 and is available for pre-order now. The plot centres around a bizarre global event where mutated moths have permanently changed gender relations as we know them, transforming the world in unsettling ways. The sequel, Toxxic, will follow in 2024.

Jane’s visit was a chance for our current students to hear the story of how her writing as a postgraduate went from an initial idea to a pair of soon to be published novels, and also allowed her to share her experiences of the processes of finding and working with an agent and publisher.

Jane is not the only Surrey alumna whose work will be appearing in print soon. Creative Writing PhD graduate Gianni Washington also has two books coming out with the equally prestigious publisher Serpent’s Tail. The first is a collection of short stories coming out in 2024, entitled Flowers from the Void. Her second publication Janus, (to be published in 2026), began life as the creative component of the Creative Writing PhD she undertook here in Surrey. It's a gripping and chilling tale of a pair of twins with a strange psychic connection – and one of them happens to be a serial killer. 

Surrey Creative Writing PhD alumni Alex Reeve has also forged a successful career as an author. His latest novel, The Blood Flower (2022) was released in December in paperback. It’s the latest of four in a highly successful series of detective novels, set in a convincing late nineteenth-century London, featuring the unforgettable transgender sleuth, Leo Stanhope. Like all of Alex’s novels, The Blood Flower is not only a gripping and intricate thriller, but a fascinating slice of recreated history, punctuated with thoughtful and passionate reflections on gender and identity. The first novel in the series, The House on Half Moon Street was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, the third (The Butcher of Berner Street) formed the creative component of the Creative Writing PhD that Alex undertook here at the University of Surrey.

Learn more about studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Surrey.

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