Daisy McNally

Student spotlight details

Daisy McNally had not done any sort of creative writing until studying at Oxford Continuing Education. She has now published her first novel with Orion.

'I studied English Literature at university but I hadn’t done any sort of creative writing until I moved to Oxford and discovered Conted. A friend recommended the Creative Writing courses and I began with Dr John Ballam’s weekly classes on ‘Writing Stories and Novels.’ I don’t think I ever looked back and I’m so grateful to Dr Ballam for all his inspiring teaching! I began the Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing immediately afterwards which allowed me to continue to focus on writing fiction but also to explore other genres. Dr Beatrice Hitchman was teaching the short stories module and it was from her that I heard about the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa.

'I completed the MA at Bath Spa with Distinction and last year was successful in my application to study for a PhD in Creative Writing at the same university. The PhD takes the form of two components, critical and creative. The creative aspect of my work is a novel called “The Hyacinth Garden” and the critical component explores the link between narrative unreliability, jealousy and impotence with particular emphasis on the first person observer as narrator.

'I began my first novel "After The Flood" whilst studying for the Diploma at Conted, as part of the Long Fiction module. The tutor of the Long Fiction module, Jeremy Hughes, had been extremely supportive of this project and it is currently being read by my agent at William Morris Endeavor.

'During the MA at Bath Spa I completed a novel called “I See Through You”. It was taken up by the WME agency and sold to the Orion Publishing Group. It is a novel about female obsession and male entitlement and will be published in November 2018.

'My background is in publishing but as a mother of two small children who hadn’t worked for some time, I definitely felt that my life was on one trajectory only. Studying at Conted totally changed my perspective on this. The evening classes were after the children had gone to bed and writing was something I could do at home although when they were at school I often wrote in the Bodleian Library (which you are given access to as a Diploma student). Oxford is a very special place to study and I have kept in touch with many of the tutors and friends I met on the courses and various modules. For me, the opportunity for part-time education has been life-changing.'

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