Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Oxford Brookes MA Creative Writing graduates continue to flourish

Friday, 02 November 2018

Mandy Robotham

Mandy Robotham has just signed a two book contract with Avon publishing, an imprint of the long-established Harper Collins Publishers.

Mandy studied the MA Creative Writing course at Oxford Brookes University, graduating in December 2015. She found the time to pursue her passion for Creative Writing alongside work as a midwife and family life by studying the course part-time over two years. In her final year at Oxford Brookes she shaped an idea that after graduating she developed into her first novel ‘A Woman of War’.

‘A Woman of War’ is a gritty tale of courage, betrayal and love in the most unlikely of places: Germany, 1944. Taken from the camps to serve the Führer himself, Anke Hoff has been assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle. If she refuses, her family will die. ‘A Woman of War’ is due to be published digitally by Avon on December 7ththis year, with the paperback following on March 21st 2019. 

The writer’s own story is one of perseverance, community and belief, Mandy said:

“As a former journalist, I always promised myself that I would return to writing, but life and children put paid to that. The structure of the Brookes course pushed me to write; having other writers to bounce off, compare work and essentially spar with words, proved a great motivator.

I've actually kept in touch with some students from the course, and we've met regularly for writing or catch-up sessions. For example, I'm in regular contact with LP Fergusson and she's been an invaluable support in negotiating the publishing world whilst I'm still looking for representation with an agent.

I also recall listening to former students speak at Brookes, those who had real contracts and a solid book in their hand and it seemed so far away at the time, without an agent or a deal, or even a plot! And yet listening to them I also felt it was attainable, a possible dream.”


Reader in Creative Writing Dr James Hawes, whose latest book spent all summer in the Times bestseller lists, is delighted with the success of Mandy and of the course:

“The MA in Creative Writing is all based on trying to bring out the best in the ideas and visions students bring with them - making those very personal things communicate to other people. There is no better proof that this is working than when a publisher believes in the student’s work!”

Mandy is now immersed in research for her second book, set to be published by Avon, which is about Italian partisans in wartime occupied Venice.

Mandy hopes that her story encourages other students that publishing success is achievable. For more information on her writing please visit: www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008324247

For more information on the Oxford Brookes Department of English and Modern Languages and the full range of courses they offer please visit: www.brookes.ac.uk/english-languages/