Television’s Richard and Judy, Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell and leading figures from the literary, publishing and political worlds have all got the latest University of Northampton literary collection for their bookshelves.
Red Kite is an annual yearbook featuring work from final-year Creative Writing students at the University, and includes writing from all genres, including poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction.
The book was given as a gift to a number of high-profile attendees at the 12th Althorp Literary Festival, Northamptonshire, including Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, whose Book Club has helped to boost book sales in the UK, and broadcaster, author, Northamptonshire vicar and former pop star the Reverend Richard Coles, whose speaker event the School of The Arts sponsored.
Other leading lights who were given a complimentary copy of Red Kite included the playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard, Labour MP and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, and author Bernard Cornwell, whose novels about a Napoleonic War rifleman were adapted into the hit ITV series Sharpe.
Professor Richard Canning, Subject Leader, English and Creative Writing at the University, said: “I and the creative writing team – poets Charles Bennett and Susan Sheridan, and fiction writers Jon Mackley and Vestal McIntyre – celebrate once again the outstanding contributions of our creative writing graduates in the second edition of our yearbook.
“The book is required reading not only for everyone interested in our creative writing programme, but for all lovers of diverting, entertaining and superbly written contemporary fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
“There is something here for everyone, and we’re proud of the talent we have been fortunate enough to nurture. We wish the 2015 graduates every success in their publishing careers – you heard of them here first!”
Creative Writing graduate, Jacob Toye, who has contributed to the book, added: “With the guidance and support of truly inspirational lecturers and peers, the past three years have been creatively stimulating, rewarding, and above else, an experience I have loved.
“My degree has taught me more than how to write poetry and prose; it has honed my perceptions of the world and in turn, me as an individual.”
The book is available in paperback and Kindle formats from a range of stockists.
You can view a Facebook gallery of the VIPs being presented with Red Kite.
Richard and Judy are pictured at the festival with Drs Larissa Allwork and Jon Mackley from the University.