Harriett Gilbert to resign as head of novel writing MA in September 2009 writes Duncan Brown
Gilbert, who already presents The Word, joined the journalism department as a visiting lecturer in 1990. She taught on the Magazine course before becoming the first director of the Novels pathway on the Creative Writing course in 2004.
“Having got the course up and running, I’m exhausted,” she said. “I’d also been working for the BBC for several years, and something had to give.”
Fourteen part-time students take the course every year, for which the final assessment is writing a complete 250-page novel.
Under Gilbert’s guidance many creative writing students have been picked up by literary agents. She said: “My students are fearless. I used to be, but I sense that over the years I’ve become less like that.”
Although she has not published a novel since 1983 Gilbert hopes to return to writing, possibly using her time at City as inspiration.
She is the author of six novels, including Hotels With Empty Rooms and The Riding Mistress, and she has published non-fiction and essays on feminism and sexuality both in Britain and abroad.
She also contributed a chapter to the second edition of Wynford Hicks’s seminal Writing for Journalists.
Jonathan Myerson, who teaches on the course, will replace her in September 2009. Myerson, a TV and radio dramatist, received an Oscar nomination in 1999 for his animated film of The Canterbury Tales.