Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester, Dr Jonathan Taylor’s novel Melissa has been shortlisted for the prestigious East Midlands Book Award 2015. The awards seek the best books written by authors in the region each year.
Dr Jonathan Taylor’s novel, Melissa is set in 1999-2000 on a small street in Stoke-on-Trent where a young girl dies of Leukaemia; at that moment everyone on the street experiences the same musical hallucination. The novel is about the strange phenomenon and its aftermath, whilst exploring the young girl’s family, as they struggle to come to terms with their terrible loss.
Having completed the novel within his first year of lecturing at the University of Leicester, Dr Jonathan Taylor said that he is ‘delighted’ that his novel has been shortlisted for the award. He said: “Teaching Creative Writing really helps when it comes to your own writing too, you become much more conscious of what works, what doesn’t, and how to communicate with an audience.” Melissa was launched at the bookshop in the University of Leicester’s bookshop on campus.
Dr Philip Shaw, Head of English and Modern Languages, said: “We are delighted to hear about Jonathan’s richly-deserved recognition for Melissa, and congratulate him warmly of this success. The Centre for New Writing in the School of English celebrates and promotes local and national creative writing talent, and we are thrilled to see Jonathan, one of the key members of the Centre, recognised in this way as an important figure in the writing culture of the East Midlands.”
Professor Julie Coleman, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, said: “In the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities we’re committed to working in ways that impact upon real life, so I was particularly pleased to hear of Jonathan’s well-deserved nomination for a book that is of such relevance and interest for the region.”
The winner of this year’s East Midlands Book Awards will be announced at a ceremony in June. Further information about the award can be found here: http://www.writingeastmidlands.co.uk/writers/emba-awards/