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Kingston alumni discuss the impact Kingston University had on their careers

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Former Kingston students discussed how they became published, and the impact Kingston University had on their journeys at Waterstones last week.
Four creative writing MA students explained how the University helped them become published authors with what they learned and who they met.

Ben Halls, who attended Kingston from 2014 until 2016, said: “I met so many people who were crucial to my book going from a manuscript to being on a shelf.”

Halls was at Waterstones to discuss his new book, The Quarry, published in February.

Author Faiqa Mensab said: “I don’t think I would be published if it wasn’t for Kingston. I learned a lot from there.

“I learned so much from my teachers, and it was a two-year program so I got to grow and develop as a writer because it was all the same teachers and they all saw my work so could give me the kind of feedback I needed.”

Hannah Vincent, who discussed her second book being published, claimed that while she had been writing for years, it was not until going to Kingston that her work was good enough to be published.

Vincent said: “I honed skills I already had, and my prose writing became more refined while at Kingston.”

Stefan Mohamed, who was promoting his new book, Falling Leaves, said he learned a lot at Kingston as a student but did have some regrets.

Mohamed said: “I do wish I had taken a bit more advantage of what was on offer in terms of extra events and so on.

“There is probably a lot I would have benefited from if I’d managed to drag myself out of the house.

“It’s a precious time, and I don’t think you quite realise that until it’s over.”

Mohamed’s book Bitter Sixteen is one of six shortlisted books for the next KU Big Read.

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