Creative Writing alumna releases her first book Under Loch and Key

A purple background with pink circles on with an image of Kathryn holding her book and smiling in the middle of the canvas.

Kathryn Cockrill Woolard has always been passionate about writing and published her first collection of short stories, Case Files of the Supernatural, in January 2018 before writing her first young adult novel.

An image of Kathryn smiling in the wilderness

Kathryn completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Loughborough. She studied BA English and American Studies and also graduated with an MA in Creative Writing in 2018. She released her debut collection of short stories whilst at Loughborough with the launch being held in Martin Hall.  

After graduating, the alumna started working at The Student Wordsmith and began writing the first draft of her novel. Her initial goal was to finish the first draft in 20 days, and she managed to beat her own challenge and finish the draft in 15 days. The book then underwent many stages of editing prior to its release in 2021.  

Kathryn gave us an insight into the writing process. She said: 

“Undertaking my MA in Creative Writing was one of the things that inspired me to set myself the challenge of writing a novel in 20 days; being in a group of people so passionate about writing gives you that inspiration to take on daunting tasks and push your creativity and I'd learnt so much about writing during my MA that I felt confident I could complete the challenge!” 

She continued: 

“It felt like such a long process from start to finish after the initial draft, but this was in part due to graduating and starting work which put a hold on my writing and then, of course, the pandemic. Whilst in some ways the pandemic - and lockdown in particular- did afford me time to pick up more writing projects and pushed me into new writing and other creative hobbies, it also caused a bit of writer's block when it came to the finishing touches because I just wanted to jump to something new.  

I set myself another challenge to get Under Loch and Key edited and out into the world before my wedding in October 2021 (my now husband is also a Loughborough alumni and we met in Rutherford in our first year 

Finally, after years of work, I published Under Loch and Key through Kindle Publishing on 9 September 2021! I wanted complete control over the publication of this project, because it was such a huge personal achievement and decided to go the route of Kindle Publishing so I could ensure the final product, right down to the cover design, was exactly what I had envisioned in my mind. 

An image of some pumkins, a book, keyboard and hands on top of a desk.

Under Loch and Key is a young adult novel that explores the idea of using genetic engineering and animal DNA to create mythical monsters and legends which are then used for financial gain. The book follows the protagonist, Ari, on her journey to find her brother who has mysteriously disappeared 

Check out Under Loch and Key on Amazon