Author! Author!

Many UK universities now teach creative writing, notably Bath Spa, Southampton Solent, Goldsmith’s and the place that started it all, UEA, but dozens and dozens of others now offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees too.

Many of these courses are taught by established writers. Others are taught by academics who have gone on to be successful authors. And there are plenty of other academics who just happen to be best-selling novelists too. Annoyingly.

So how well do you know your academic authors? The following list of worthies includes five individuals who are not or were not both academics and writers of fiction. Can you spot them without Googling? Add your guesses in the comments section (answers in due course).

Stephen Kingacademicnovelists
Umberto Eco
Jon McGregor
Rose Tremain
David Lodge
Iris Murdoch
Simone de Beauvoir
W G Sebald
Michele Roberts
Philip K Dick
Patricia Duncker
Lavinia Greenlaw
Muriel Spark
Malcolm Bradbury
Paul Magrs
Ali Smith
Howard Jacobson
Eden Sharp
Angela Carter
Ian Rankin
Giles Foden
Christopher Bigsby
J R R Tolkien
Lewis Carroll
George R R Martin
D H Lawrence
Angus Wilson
Stephen Hawking
C S Lewis
Isaac Asimov
Alexander McCall Smith
Andrew Motion
G K Chesterton
Russell Celyn Jones


(For anyone who can’t possibly wait the answers can be found here)

31 thoughts on “Author! Author!”

  1. Smita Jamdar says:

    Malcolm Bradbury, David Lodge, Howard Jacobson, CS Lewis, Iris Murdoch

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      That’s 0/5 Smita. I think you may have misread the rubric.

      1. Paul Greatrix says:

        Or I’ve written it really badly

        1. Smita Jamdar says:

          No it’s me. Doh!

  2. Stephen Rowlstone says:

    Ian Ranking, Ali Smith, George Martin, Philip K Dick & Rose Tremain

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Just 1/5 there Stephen

      1. Stephen Rowlstone says:

        I’m impressed I got one right ☺

  3. Dee Bird says:

    Philip K Dick, DH Lawrence, Muriel Spark, Lavinia Greenlaw,Jon McGregor

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Good effort 3/5!

  4. Chris Husbands says:

    Philip K Dick, DH Lawrence, Muriel Spark, Isaac Asimov, George R R Martin

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Nice try Chris – 3/5 isn’t too shabby

      1. Chris Husbands says:

        High 2:1 unless I am much mistaken.

        1. Paul Greatrix says:


  5. Stephen Rowlstone says:

    Second attempt : Dick, Lawrence, Spark, Hawking, Motion?

  6. Paul Greatrix says:

    3/5. Bit of bunching in the scores here

  7. Iris Murdoch, Ian Rankin, George RR Martin, DH Lawrence, Ali Smith

  8. Yikes that was meant to be Muriel Spark,not iris Murdoch

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      It’s a slightly dodgy 2/5 there Caroline

  9. Gabriele says:

    This is really hard, so guessing it’s Lawrence, spark, Asimov, Martin and Dick. Does Lewis Carroll count because it’s just a nomdeplume and the academic behind that name used his real name for work? Too pathetic an attempt and clutching at straws?

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      Yep, clutching at straws is right. 3/5

      1. Gabriele says:

        *hangs head in shame* Has googled and knows answer now. Resubmit? Or does that way disqualification lie?

        1. Paul Greatrix says:

          The specific instructions were not to Google…

  10. pinman says:

    Dick, Spark, Lawrence, Carter and Sebald.

  11. Paul Greatrix says:

    Another 3/5 effort!

  12. Michelle Dickson says:

    Dick, Lawrence, Spark, Rankin, Greenlaw

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      It’s good but it’s not right. Another 3/5

  13. pinman says:

    This is so like playing Cluedo, Paul. Of course, it’s the ‘no Google’ rule which is turning away the masses.

  14. Gordon Slaven says:

    Asimov, Lawrence, Rankin, Spark, Forden?

  15. Gordon Slaven says:

    Foden, that last one is…

    1. Paul Greatrix says:

      A rather weak 2/5 there I’m afraid

  16. Gordon Slaven says:


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