My favourite thing about this room is an easily-missed framed photo just outside the door. It shows one of the estate’s lavish Christmas trees adorned with hundreds of tiny lit candles, baubles and toys. It is titled ‘Christmas 1900’.
This is how my typical day as an MA Creative Writing & Publishing student starts, but everything that follows will always be different.
It is in this room we talk about books we’ve read, ideas we’ve had, our own work’s trials and successes, read out prose we’ve written and essentially learn the craft of writing a book and everything entailed to get it all the way to publication.
This is, in a nutshell, why I chose West Dean College as the place to complete my master’s degree. The course supports us through the actual writing of a novel and beyond, not just the theory of writing one.
I’m writing a crime novel. Like trillions of others, I have always loved crime fiction. At not a very great age, I began to work my way through the stack of Agatha Christie novels and short stories in my mum’s bookcase. There’s something undeniably comforting about a detective story with a reliable coming together of the culprits and the eventual truth revelation by an infallible protagonist. I started the course with a rough idea and now into my second year, I’m editing my first draft and tweaking my ending.