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Falmouth writing graduate lands book deal

After graduating last month from University College Falmouth with an MA in Professional Writing, Frea Lockley has had extra cause for celebration: she has just signed a contract for her first book with a leading publisher.

The book, to be published by Octopus in 2008, will take an upbeat, enthusiastic look at motherhood. It's designed to be an ideal gift for first-time mums, as Frea explained:

"There are lots of books out there that give all sorts of advice to parents on everything from health issues to discipline, but none that look at the possibilities that can open up when you become a mum, or how to make this an enjoyable experience. People these days get so anxious about bringing up kids, and tend to forget that it can and should be a huge amount of fun – which is what my book will be all about."

As the mother of a lively nine-year-old son, Frea certainly meets the first test for authors: know your subject. She also worked for several years as a teacher, notching up plenty of experience of dealing with large groups of easily bored kids.

Giving up her teaching job in Brighton in order to take up a place on Falmouth's Professional Writing course was a bold move for Frea, but one that she certainly doesn't regret:

"It's been an amazingly stimulating year for me, and signing a book contract has made it seem all the more worthwhile. To be honest, this wasn't a project that I had in mind a year ago when I started the course. But one of the best things about the MA is that it gives you insights into many different kinds of writing."

The idea for the book came out of attending sessions on creative non-fiction. Frea added: "We had a brilliant tutor who's a very experienced author and editor herself. She was extremely helpful in showing us how to package and present book ideas for maximum appeal to publishers and agents."

Frea's success is the latest in a run of achievements by students and graduates of the course. In the summer, Penzance-based Joanna Thomas saw her book Lost Cornwall, which delves into some of the most fascinating but least-known aspects of the Duchy's history, published under the prestigious Birlinn imprint, alongside authors including Alexander McCall Smith and Allan Guthrie.

Meanwhile, Frea's fellow student, Tim Warren, recently heard that his script for a radio comedy series had been taken up by a well-known production company and pitched for consideration by the BBC.

Course Leader, Christina Bunce, said: "We're always delighted by the success of our students, and it's very rewarding to be able to help them develop strong ideas in a way that allows them to reach the widest possible audience."

The MA Professional Writing is a one-year course that allows students to explore a variety of specialist options including fiction, creative non-fiction, features journalism, writing creatively for business and TV scriptwriting. Graduates of the course are working in a wide range of writing and editorial roles across the media industry.

University College Falmouth is a founding partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC), a unique initiative to promote regional economic regeneration through Higher Education. The CUC is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.

For further information about MA Professional Writing at University College Falmouth, please visit:, email or telephone Admissions on 01326 214374.

For further information please contact Jilly Easterby, Head of Public Affairs, University College Falmouth on 01326 213792 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). University College Falmouth is a partner of the CUC.


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