Friday, 5 February 2010

My 10th Birthday

I've just realised I am ten years old as a writer.

January 2000, I started going to a creative writing course, Fiction Writing - Women only (Beginners) - run by the University of Bristol.
March 2000, I heard about the Creative Writing MA at Bath Spa and thought I'd give it a go.
April 2000, I was offered a place and almost turned it down on the grounds that if they were offering me a place the course couldn't be much cop.
October 2000, I started the MA.
May 2001, I started writing the first draft of my first novel.
July 2001, I finished it. It was brilliant.
September 2001, I didn't get a distinction for my novel. Nor an agent.
November 2001, a book doctor thought my novel wasn't brilliant.
February 2002, I started rewriting completely, making it single viewpoint.
May 2002, I joined the RNA, went to the summer party and got an agent. Yes, just like that. Sort of.
Sept 2002, the rewrite was finished.
October 2002, I had a publisher
October 2003, I was offered the same teaching slot as the course I'd been on, renamed it The Fiction Writing Workshop and made it open to anybody.
May 2004, Adultery for Beginners was published in ten countries around the world.

In the last six years I've published four more novels and I'm still teaching at Bristol University. I also teach at Oxford Uni and an American university. I've written a film that's won lots of awards at film festivals but didn't get distribution. I'm writing my sixth novel. In a couple of hours I'm teaching the Fiction Writing Workshop, and I hope the students enjoy it as much as I do.

I am ten, and it happened to me. No reason why it shouldn't happen to you too.


Blossom said...

Happy Birthday, Sarah.

Hope you enjoy the next ten years!


Sarah Duncan said...

Thanks Blossom. It always amazes me what a difference ten years has made. Roll on the next ten!

Judealude said...

Just catching up on your blog (while at work - shhhhh). This is such a sweet entry I really enjoyed reading, that I wanted to somehow tell you that - so I am (thank goodness for blogs eh?)
I think it's inspiring that you should end on such a positive note for the reader. I'm not sure it will ever happen to me, but I like hearing about it happening to someone else a little like me.

Congratulations :)

Sarah Duncan said...

Well, I do believe that it's open to anyone - I didn't have any contacts or special knowledge when I started, and the same is true for most of the published writers I know. And I didn't do English beyond 15. So I always think, if I can, anyone can.