Book club: 7 alumni writers to be proud of

The Greenwich Book Festival returned to our Greenwich Campus at the Old Royal Naval College in June, featuring such speakers as Blake Morrison, Lucy Mangan and Chris Difford.

But did you know that the University of Greenwich has many literary alumni of its own to be proud of?

Here are just a selection.

Nina Stibbe

Course: BA Hons Humanities
Year of graduation: 1987

Nina Stibbe will be appearing at the Festival this Saturday, 16 June.

She is best known for her semi-fictionalised book, Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life, which recounts her experiences as a nanny among London’s literary set – and her time at our predecessor, Thames Polytechnic. The book won Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the 2014 National Book Awards and was adapted into the BBC television series Love, Nina.

Nina Stibble

Malorie Blackman OBE

Course: HNC Computing Science

Malorie Blackman was Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015. She has written more than 60 books, television scripts and a stage play, winning over 15 awards.

Her Noughts and Crosses series was number 61 on the Big Read list, a BBC vote for “The Nation’s Best-Loved Book” – ahead of the likes of A Tale of Two Cities and Lord of the Flies.

Malorie Blackman OBE

Ian Livingstone CBE

Course: Cert Ed FE
Year of graduation: 1974

Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson co-wrote the first of their Fighting Fantasy gamebooks in 1982. The series has gone on to sell 20 million copies and has recently been revived, with a new story by Charlie Higson.

Ian also founded Games Workshop and became one of the founding fathers of the UK games industry, bringing the likes of Lara Croft; Tomb Raider to the world.

Ian Livingston

Jenni Fagan

Course: BA Hons Creative Writing
Year of graduation: 2010

In 2013 Jenni Fagan was named in the once-a-decade Granta list of Best Young British Novelists, following her acclaimed debut novel The Panopticon.

In 2016 she released her second novel, The Sunlight Pilgrims and was named Sunday Herald Culture Awards Scottish Author of the Year. Also a poet, she is a past winner of the 3:AM Poetry Book of the Year.

Jenni Fagan

Adelle Stripe

Course: BA Hons Creative Writing
Year of graduation: 2009

Adelle Stripe’s debut novel Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile, based on the life and work of playwright Andrea Dunbar, received the Society of Authors‘ K Blundell Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize in 2017.

She has also published three poetry collections, winning the 3:AM Poetry Book of the Year in 2012, and helped form the Brutalists movement.

Adelle Stripe

Bola Agbaje

Course: BA Hons Media and Society
Year of graduation: 2002

Bola Agbaje’s play Gone too Far! won an Olivier Award in 2008, showing at the likes of the Royal Court Theatre, Albany Theatre and Hackney Empire.

Her screenplay adaptation of the play premiered at the London Film Festival in 2013 and was released in UK cinemas the following year.

Bola Agbaje

Sarah Ockwell-Smith

Course: BSc Hons Psychology
Year of graduation: 1997

Sarah Ockwell-Smith is a parenting expert and author, who introduced the idea of ‘gentle parenting’.

She has written a series of well-received books about parenting, covering sleep, eating and discipline, among others. Her latest book, Ready, Steady, Go takes on the minefield of potty training.

Sarah Ockwell-Smith

Other notable alumni writers