Daisy McNally

Student spotlight details

Daisy had not done any sort of creative writing until studying with us, first with a weekly class and then the Diploma. She has since published her first novel with Orion and is now a tutor at the Department – teaching short courses (weekly classes and summer schools) and on the Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing.

'I studied English Literature at university but I hadn’t done any sort of creative writing until I discovered Oxford Continuing Education. I began with a weekly class, taught by Dr John Ballam, on how to write stories and novels and I’m so grateful to Dr Ballam for all his inspiring teaching. I started the Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing immediately afterwards which allowed me to continue to focus on writing fiction but also to explore other genres.

'My background is in publishing but as a mother of two small children who hadn’t worked for some time, I felt that my life was on one trajectory only. Studying at the Department 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).

'I began my first novel whilst studying for the Diploma, as part of the Long Fiction moduleand continued working on it during my MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa. I See Through You was sold to Orion and published in November 2018. 

'I completed my master's with Distinction and was successful in my application to study for a PhD in Creative Writing at the same university. The PhD took the form of two components, critical and creative. The creative aspect of my work is a novel called Half River, Half Sea and the critical component explores the links between passivity, obsession and unreliability in first-person narrators.'

Daisy is currently working on a new novel.

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