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St Mary’s Creative Writing Graduates Become Successful Authors

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Graduates from the BA Creative and Professional Writing and Creative Writing: First Novel MA programmes at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have published two new books.


Creative and Professional Writing graduate Mel Taylor-Bessent has released her debut novel The Christmas Carrolls, published by Farshore. A heart-warming tale about nine-year-old Holly Carroll and her family who celebrate Christmas 365 days of the year. Every day is a merry day for Holly until she moves to a new school in the middle of September and soon realises that not everyone’s life is as cheerful as her own.

Mel has also founded two companies, Little Star and Authorfy dedicated to teaching creative writing to children.


Alumna Louise Fein, who studied Creative Writing: First Novel, has written her second novel The Hidden Child, published by Head of Zeus. It follows the life of Eleanor and Edward Hamilton, and their daughter Mabel. Edward is a celebrated war hero and leading the Eugenics movement but when his daughter develops debilitating epilepsy, his work and family’s reputation hangs in the balance. This is a story of fear and prejudice against the backdrop of 1920s London.

Louise’s debut novel was People Like Us/Daughter of the Reich which she began writing as part of the MA. The story follows Hetty Heinrich, daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer but when she meets Walter, she soon becomes conflicted about her loyalty to her country. Since its release last year, the book now has over a dozen international editions.

Course Lead of the Creative Writing programmes at St Mary’s, Russell Schechter said, “We are enormously proud of these two exceptional writers. Louise and Mel were highly dedicated students, and their very hard work has paid off for them and for readers everywhere. It is an absolute delight to see great talent so handsomely rewarded.”

You can purchase The Christmas Carrolls on the Waterstones website and The Hidden Child on Amazon. To find out more about our creative writing courses, visit the University website.

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