Sarah graduated from Aberystwyth University in 1995 with a BA Joint Honours in English and Art History. Now she writes prize-winning novels such as Haweswater and The Electric Michelangelo. She also freelances, and has been commissioned to write for national papers and the radio, as well as contributing to fiction anthologies.
“As an author I tour, give readings and interviews, attend literary festivals, and I’m often asked to take part in panel discussions and arts programs. I occasionally tutor for creative writing programs and at universities. Despite the challenges - self-discipline, time management, the necessity to produce strong original work - this is the most interesting occupation I could conceive or hope for myself: it allows for imagination and flexibility, research and stage performance. The perks are great – travel, meeting other writers, and discussions about literature with audiences.
Being short-listed for the Man Booker prize in 2004 at the age of 30 was a wonderful, deeply validating thing, as was winning the Commonwealth Writers prize and in 2007 the John Llewellyn Rhys prize for The Carhullan Army. Being invited to read in overseas locations such as Auckland and Sydney, Canada and America, has been great. I’ve also undertaken a literary residency in Italy, which was an amazing gift. However, perhaps the best highlights have been meeting and reading with other writers I deeply admire.”
Why English and Creative Writing?
“Studying English at Aberystwyth was the best foundation. As well as encouraging historical literary perspective and deepening my understanding of the mechanics of language, it introduced me to texts that have been inspirational to my own work. It was during my degree course that I first undertook a creative writing program and began to formalise my interest in writing.”