Peter James congratulates outstanding literature students
Published 10 February 2012
Peter James, the Brighton-based award-winning author, recently took time out of his busy schedule to meet the two students from the University of Brighton's School of Humanities who were the recipients of the Peter James Scholarships for last academic year.
Helen Pantis, a current English Language and English Literature student, won the scholarship for the results she achieved during her first year of study, whereas Olly Hunt, now in his final year of his English Literature degree, was the highest achieving second year student.
The scholarships were established three years ago by Pan Macmillan, Peter's publishers, to help encourage and motivate our English literature students. Peter himself is an active member of the university's Ambassadors group (which comprises our most generous charitable donors) as well as being one of our honorary graduates.
Left to right: Helen Pantis, Peter James and Olly Hunt
Helen and Olly were invited to join Sam Davies (Director of Development and Alumni) in visiting Peter at his home just outside Brighton as part of their scholarship achievement. Peter warmly welcomed the students to his home and spent time asking about their studies and future career plans, as well as sharing details about his latest Roy Grace book (due out in June) and indeed plans to start filming the big screen version of the first instalment of the Roy Grace series (Dead Simple) later in the year.
Peter also told the students how very important he considered research to be as a writer, describing research as part of the 'holy trinity' along with characters and plot – without a strong research base, you have nothing. This is why he invests so much time – on average, one day per week – working directly with the police force in Sussex and London, often joining officers on their patrols and sometimes coming directly into contact with some dangerous and volatile people and situations.
Helen much appreciated the chance to thank Peter personally. She said: "Meeting Peter added the personal touch to the scholarship. He shared with us some of what goes on behind the scenes to bring alive his crime stories and gave us an insight into his particular writing style."
Olly spoke with Peter about his hope to embark upon postgraduate study after graduation this summer and clearly enjoyed the opportunity to meet a best-selling author. He said: "I was very proud to win the scholarship this year and I think it is fantastic that Peter and Pan Macmillan sponsor something which rewards hard work from English literature students."
Peter congratulated the students on their efforts and hard work, encouraging them to keep in touch and indeed to seek advice for him as and when they needed it in the future. He said: "My own writing career would never have happened had it not been for the support and encouragement of others. It is a real joy to be able to pass this baton on, especially to students here at the University of Brighton, of which I am proud to be a part, and in this city I love so much."
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