YA / Graphic Novel

Jane Ray is the renowned English writer and illustrator of over 70 children’s books, and is an alumna of Middlesex University. She won the 1992 Nestlé Children's Book Prize in the 6- to 8-year-old readers category for the Story of the Creation, and has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal several times. She was also a nominee for the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava 2017, as well as for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2018.

Florian Grosset is a more recent alumna who has won acclaim for her hard-hitting first graphic novel The Chagos Betrayal, telling the story of the Chagos islanders' eviction from the archipelago, mistreatment and fight to return. The book made a splash when it was published in June 2021, with glowing reviews from the likes of Benjamin Zephaniah, who wrote that "it is impossible to read this book and not feel the injustice." Florian discussed her work at a PEN Literary Salon event at The London Book Fair with international lawyer and member of the legal counsel for Mauritius, Philippe Sands.

Illustration to The Chagos Betrayal
Florian Grosset

Middlesex University teaches graphic story-telling as a part of its Children's Book Illustration and Graphic Novels MA and as an option in the third year of its Creative Writing and Journalism BA. In addition to that, the university has a strong tradition in both writing and researching Young Adult (YA) fiction, comic books and graphic novels. For example, academic Ariel Kahn has research included in Eisner-Award winning publications Graphic Details (2014) and Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning (2015), and more recently in Routledge’s Broken Mirrors: Representations of the (Post) Apocalypse and Dystopias in Popular Culture (2019). Recent BA graduate Kadisha Kaur-singh (2021) wrote her third-year BA English independent project on ‘Wonder Woman: Sexualised or Sexual Icon? A Feminist Analysis of the Portrayal of Wonder Woman through Different Decades’.

If you would like to access some free learning materials related to creative writing, please find them here.

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