Author Carys Bray speaking at Edge Hill in 2014.
Author Carys Bray speaking at Edge Hill in 2014 © Edge Hill University

To mark National Writing Day (24th June), Edge Hill University is celebrating the news that alumnus Carys Bray has released her latest book When the Lights Go Out to critical acclaim.

The front cover of Carys Bray's lastest book When the Lights go Out
The front cover of Carys Bray’s new book.

At the age of 34, Carys decided she wanted to change her life through learning and higher education. This led her to study an MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill.

Carys made the most of her time studying at Edge Hill, fitting in her studies around looking after her four children. She worked hard and even won the 2010 Edge Hill Prize for the best short story by an MA student. It was this prize that led to Carys starting a successful career as an author.

Carys Bray said:

“The MA taught me to be a better writer. The staff expanded my reading horizons, taught me how to give and receive feedback, how to edit and discard things that don’t work, and how to submit work to journals and magazines.”

Since graduating from Edge Hill in 2011, Carys has written four books including her latest, When the Lights go Out, which has just been published in Ebook and Audio, the hardback version will be released in November 2020.

The book has received excellent reviews including:

 ‘A beautifully written, intimate novel about a marriage in crisis and a community on the brink, shot through with compassion and humour.’ – The Bookseller

‘Absolutely superb. So timely, and so deeply human…It’s bursting with compassion and wisdom – I felt for these characters every step of the way.’ – Shelley Harris 

Carys’ first book was Sweet Home, a collection of short stories which won the prestigious Scott Prize. Her first novel, A Song for Issy Bradley, was published in 2014 and was dedicated to her PhD supervisors, Professor Ailsa Cox and Professor Robert Sheppard, both of whom taught Creative Writing at Edge Hill. It received rave reviews from best-selling novelist Nick Hornby as well as The Times, The Express, The Independent and The Guardian. It was also chosen for Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel. It was the winner of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2015.

Her second novel The Museum of You was published in 2016. The same year, Bray contributed a story entitled Storge (familial love) to the short story anthology How Much the Heart Can Hold.

Edge Hill’s creative writing course helps students learn and develop as a writer, working with professional poets, novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, and short-story writers. To find out more about our undergraduate course BA (Hons) Creative Writing or for postgraduate studies take a look at MA Creative Writing.