The University of Hull presented award-winning author, Valerie Wood with an honorary Degree of Doctor of the University, in recognition of her exceptional service and devotion to literature at a ceremony held at Hull City Hall.
Valerie, also known as Val, received the honour to celebrate her writing career which focusses on fictional characters living in and around the city of Hull during the Nineteenth Century.
Val’s impressive body of work was mentioned in the ovation by Presenting Officer, Professor Valerie Sanders. She said:
“It seems especially fitting that we should be honouring Valerie Wood in Hull’s UK City of Culture year.”
So far, 2017 has been a full year for the author, beginning with participation in the Made in Hull celebrations and captivated audiences at the WOW Festival. Val has had continued success since her first novel, The Hungry Tide won the Catherine Cookson Prize For Fiction in 1993 and through her publisher Transworld, Val continues to release annual best-sellers.
Upon receiving the Degree, which she dedicated to her late husband, Peter, Val read an acceptance speech aiming to inspire fellow graduates. She said:
“When I heard that I was being offered the accolade of an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Hull, words failed me. I was both shocked and honoured.”
“It is hard to believe that this is happening to someone who failed the Eleven Plus, not just once but twice, yet that never quashed my passion for writing, although I didn’t fully focus on my career until I reached the age where most consider retirement.”
“The overwhelming rewards I’ve received just go to show that it is never too late to pursue your ambitions and I hope to inspire other writers to keep pushing on.”
“I had a wonderful time at the ceremony, it far exceeded my expectations and it was a pleasure to be surrounded by students who are eagerly beginning their next chapter.”
Val releases her twenty-third novel, A Mother’s Choice in November and supports new writers through an annual creative writing competition alongside Hull Central Library. For more information on Val’s work, the competition and how to enter visit valeriewood.co.uk.