A novelist described as the rising young star of British fiction has been appointed to lead the Birmingham-based National Academy of Writing.
Nicola Monaghan, whose acclaimed debut novel The Killing Jar is published next month, will join the academy next month to help nurture Britain's budding authors.
It is hoped the appointment will help drive forward the project which has been beset by project since it was first announced six years ago.
The academy has struggled to find a permanent base and was at risk of pulling out of the city all together until a part-nership was signed with the University of Central England based in Birmingham.
Professor David Roberts, head of the School of English at UCE, said: "Nicola is a rising young star, an experienced and dynamic teacher and I know she will make a great contribution to the University and to the course."
The National Academy is backed by some of the country's leading authors including Nick Hornby, Ian Rankin and Iain Banks.
Its honorary president is TV presenter and writer Lord Melvin Bragg.
The centre of writing excellence aims to nurture the talents of aspiring authors as well as equip students with the skills to find work in writing-based careers, such as journalism.
Ms Monaghan's previouslypublished work includes poetry and short stories.
She has contributed to several magazines and anthologies including Cool Britannia.
She said: "I am thrilled and excited about the opportunity I have to work within the National Academy of Writing and, in particular, on this course, which will fill a gap in the provision of vocational training for writers and aims to produce working professionals."