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Two of the region's cultural luminaries have been honoured by Sheffield Hallam University for their outstanding contributions to the creative industries.

Music producer Eliot Kennedy and novelist Marina Lewycka were both given honorary doctorates at a graduation ceremony at Sheffield City Hall today. They were presented by the University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Philip Jones.

Ivor Novello Award-winning producer and songwriter Eliot Kennedy was given the doctorate for his contribution to the region's music industry, and for his outstanding work for charities, including his own One Song Foundation.

Receiving his award, Eliot said: "I started as a tea-boy - I was working in the studio for free for a couple of years before I got to the point where I knew what I was doing in a recording studio and could do it professionally.

"I'm testament to the fact that if you work hard enough, good things come."

Marina Lewycka is best known for her first published novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, which became an overnight sensation in 2005 when she was 58.

After decades of rejections from publishers, it was while she was lecturer at Sheffield Hallam that she completed a part-time MA in creative writing at the University, writing the book that would go onto to become her debut novel.

Elliot Kennedy and Marina Lewycka
Elliot Kennedy
Elliot Kennedy
Marina Lewycka
Marina Lewycka

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Since it came out in 2005 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian has sold more than 1,000,000 copies worldwide and has been translated into 35 languages, including Chinese, Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian, Finnish, and Ukrainian.

She has followed this up with the successful Two Caravans in 2007, We Are All Made of Glue in 2009 and Various Pets Alive and Dead this year.

She said: "This award is the culmination of quite a long life here at the University, of teaching, being with students, doing research, doing my own writing, and it's very nice to be recognised in this way.

"I would tell graduating students to be bold, to take risks and to enjoy it. Graduation isn't the end of the story, it's just the beginning and success can come at any time in life."

For press information contact: Joe Field on 0114 225 2074 or email