Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Book and film deals for lecturer Francesca Haig

The first novel by Dr Francesca Haig, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, will be published around the world after a series of hotly-contested auctions between publishers. The Fire Sermon, a post-apocalyptic novel with elements of fantasy and science fiction, is being published in the UK by HarperVoyager in spring 2015, with two sequels to follow. The film rights to the novel have been purchased by DreamWorks Studio, and Simon & Schuster will be publishing the series in the US and Canada. Translation rights to the series have also been sold in many countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Israel, Turkey, Taiwan, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Russia, Bulgaria, and Slovakia.

Writing a novel was a departure for Francesca, who has previously published mainly poetry (her first collection of poetry, Bodies of Water, was published in Australia in 2006). Francesca said: ‘It’s particularly exciting now to look forward to the novel reaching readers, after having worked on it for years with no idea whether it would ever amount to anything.’

All the lecturers on the Creative Writing programme are published authors, and are able to advise students not only on the craft of writing, but also on the practical aspects of getting their work published. Francesca’s agent, Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group, will be coming to the department this year to speak to Creative Writing students about how to secure an agent and publish their work. Francesca said: ‘Juliet is brilliant, and played an essential role in securing the publication of The Fire Sermon. I can’t wait to introduce her to our students, and I know how much they value these industry contacts and practical insights into the process of getting their creative work out there.’

You can read more about Francesca’s UK book deal here:

And about the film deal here:


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

National Flash Fiction Youth Competition

The University of Chester’s English Department and Flash: The International Short-Short Story magazine have launched the National Flash Fiction Youth Competition.

Entries are welcome for stories of no more than 360 words (including the title) by UK A-level students aged 16-19.

For further information, go the competition’s website: