The Short Version:
I’m a novelist, short story writer, creative writing teacher and editorial consultant. My debut novel ALL THE GOOD THINGS (Viking, Penguin, 2017) won a Betty Trask Award and was published in eight territories worldwide. Influx Press published my collection of very short fiction, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, in 2018. It was then longlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. I’m currently working on my next novel, doing an AHRC-funded PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Leeds which looks at experimental writing, failure and queer theory.
I am currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the School of Law, University of Leeds. I also teach Creative Writing to Undergraduates at the University of Leeds and Leeds Arts University, as well as to MA students at Goldsmiths College, University of London. I have previously taught at Queen Mary University London, at Arvon, and in a wide variety of community settings.
Born in 1987 in Tooting, south London, I now live in Leeds, and my heart is firmly torn between the two cities. I have a BA in History from the University of Oxford, an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths and am represented by Zoe Waldie at Rogers, Coleridge and White.
If you’d like me to give you some feedback on your manuscript, run a creative workshop or collaborate in any other way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The not-so-short version:
My short fiction has been published widely in print and online, including in anthologies from Siren Press, Cinnamon press Litro, Aesthetica, Annexe Magazine and Flight Press. I won second place in the 2015 Ilkley Literature Festival short story competition, and won the 2013 London Short Story Prize and Cinnamon Press writing award.
I’ve also been involved in a number of collaborative creative projects:
Leeds Creative Labs: Biological Sciences Edition, 2017 – 18
I was lucky enough to be selected to take part in Leeds University Cultural Institute’s Creative Labs for 2017 – 18 in which five artists from different disciplines are paired up with a biological scientists and asked to collaborate – with no end product or goal in mind. I didn’t believe it at first: they were going to pay me without any promise of a finished project? But it was true and, once I’d got over the shock of it, it was wonderful. I spend a highly enjoyable few months collaborating with plant biologist Paul Knox. Find out what we got up to by watching the video of our final presentation here.
Satellite Artist to Stevie Ronnie, PH1 ‘Artist in Place Residency,’ Dec 2014
I spent many cold December afternoons at the New Schoolhouse Gallery in York, learning about book-making, participatory art of all forms, how to stay warm, and many other things from writer and artist Stevie Ronnie. I also ventured onto the streets of York to ask people for things they didn’t need or want. The objects I gathered, as well as those I failed to gather, and the stories I inadvertently gathered, formed the basis of an Artist’s Book, ‘You Are So Much More Than What Is Expected Of You,’ which featured short fiction of a tactile nature, and (depending on when you read this) is or was displayed in the PH1 Residency final exhibition.
Write Where You Are: Writer in Residence at the UK Young Artists Festival, Nov 2014
I spent a whole four days in Leicester hanging out with other young artists from myriad disciplines, performing my existing work and writing new work in response to theirs. It was strange and wonderful and very, very fun.
How the Light Gets In
How the Light Gets In is an interactive storytelling installation which explores the ways in which words can and cannot lead us through the dark – both the literal dark of the winter months and the dark that everyone encounters when life gets hard. Originally commissioned for Light Night Leeds 2014 as part of the ACE-funded SHINE Emerging Artist Programme, I developed the material through leading a series of creative workshops all over Leeds. I then chose Katie Eleanor Dawson, Jane Kendrick, Skye Spittle and Rachel Watson to perform the stories on the night itself, whilst audiences could contribute their own thoughts and experiences to the postcards, washing lines and display walls.
- Read a review from Amy Griffiths in The State of the Arts Magazine here.
- Read some sample stories here and here.
- Read an interview with Neil Mudd in The Culture Vulture here.
How the Light Gets In will be performed in a slightly different incarnation at the Northern Art Festival at Theatre Deli North, Sheffield, on Friday December 19th. If you’re free, come along; as well as a lot of interesting art, there will be mince pies.
How the Light Gets In – Art Vend
Woolgather Art commissioned new works from artists across the UK and use vending machines to provide a platform for their practice whilst also developing an audience and consumer for the works. Art Vend offers people an art experience amongst everyday life, by placing the machines in public venues such as shopping centres, bars, cafes and at public events.
For my commission, I transformed some of the stories from How the Light Gets In to art-vendable objects. These are currently being shown as part of the Art Vend exhibition in Leeds until 21st December. They also feature in the exhibition catalogue.
Other Things about Me:
I hold an MA (with Distinction) in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London and BA in Modern History from Oxford. I speak French, play the piano, run, swim and walk.
“I have no doubt that we are in the presence of a great talent. Top notch storytelling, and a most deserving winner.” Courttia Newland, Spread the Word Writer’s Prize 2013 Judge and Editor of Edgeways Anthology