Success story

June 12, 1998

Will great expectations fall on hard times?

Anna Davis, , attended the Manchester MA course in its first year and the novel she wrote for it will be published next January by Sceptre, as part of a two-book deal.

Now working for David Hyam as a literary agent, she has already started on her second novel. She says the course gave her help in understanding the market and, more importantly, a deadline. A BA graduate of the English and American literature course at Manchester, she had written a novelette or two as a child and some short stories. After graduation, she decided she wanted to try something more ambitious.

As it turned out, the novel she wrote in the first, workshop, year of the MA was a little too ambitious - ranging widely over different settings and timescales. Realising it was not going to work, she scrapped it part of the way through her second year in favour of The Dinner, set over a single evening. The book, written in six months while Davis was working full time, deals with a dinner party that goes horribly wrong, thanks to an uninvited guest and a series of revelations.

Davis left it for a while after finishing the course, then redrafted it and sent it to an agent, Carole Blake at Blake Friedmann, who has already secured a German translation deal for her and is working on selling it to the American market.

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