Jill Dawson is the author of nine novels – Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred & Edie (short-listed for the Whitbread and Orange prizes) Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear (long-listed for the Orange and optioned by ITV) The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke: a best-seller and Richard and Judy Summer Read, and Lucky Bunny, winner of a Fiction Uncovered award and chosen as a Telegraph book of the year, The Tell-Tale Heart, nominated for the Folio prize and The Crime Writer (about Patricia Highsmith), winner of the East Anglian Fiction Award and East Anglian Book of the Year. She has also won an Eric Gregory award for poetry and has held many fellowships, including the British Council Fellowship at Amherst, USA and Royal Literary Fund Fellowship and Creative Writing Fellowship at UEA where she taught on the MA for a number of years. In addition she is the editor of six collections of poetry and short-stories, and has an exceptional track record in discovering, nurturing and supporting new writers. In the very first anthology she edited, at the age of 28, School Tales, she was the first to publish a story by Malorie Blackman (who went on to become the Children’s laureate) as well as one by Joanna Briscoe (now an acclaimed novelist).
The Crime Writer has been optioned by Pathe Films.
More about Jill Dawson’s tutoring here
Romesh Gunesekera’s Reef was short-listed for the 1994 Booker Prize. The Sandglass, received BBC’s inaugural Asia Award and Heaven’s Edge, like his collection of stories, Monkfish Moon, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His novel, The Match, was described in the Irish Times as a book that ‘shows why fiction is written—and read’. His latest novel is The Prisoner of Paradise. A new collection of stories, Noontide Toll, will be published by Granta in 2014 along with a 20th anniversary edition of Reef.
He was on the board of the Arvon Foundation for six years and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He has been a judge for a number of literary awards including the Granta list of the Best of Young British Novelists (2013). He is currently co-writing The Writers’ & Artists’ Book of Novel Writing.
Liz Jensen first made her name as a Dillons Debutant with her first novel, Egg Dancing, published in 1995 by her long-term publisher, Bloomsbury. Her second novel, Ark Baby, was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Award, long-listed for the Orange Prize and named a Notable Book of the Year in the New York Times. The Paper Eater was published in 2000, followed by War Crimes for the Home in 2003 (long-listed for the Orange prize). In 2005 her best-known work, The Ninth Life of Louis Drax (winner of an Arts Council of England Writers Award) was published. My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time came out in 2007 and the first two in a trio of cli-fi novels followed: the best-selling The Rapture in 2010 (selected for The TV Book Club) and The Uninvited in 2012. Both are currently optioned for TV development, and Liz is currently at work on the third in the series. 2016 saw the release of the Hollywood movie of The Ninth Life of Louis Drax adapted for screen by Max Minghella and starring Jamie Dornan, Aaron Paul, and Sarah Gadon.
Liz Jensen’s work is translated into 20 languages and her short stories have appeared in many anthologies and on BBC radio. She reviews regularly for BBC’s Saturday Review and The Guardian. She has had wide experience of creative writing teaching, inspired by her own experience as an Arvon student the 1990s. She has tutored regularly for the Arvon Foundation since 1996, and spent ten years as Writer in Residence at Kingston University. She tutors at Curtis Brown Creative and A Chapter Away, and has mentored and edited many novels from draft to publication. She built the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, where she currently lectures.
In 2003 she was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature.
Liz Jensen lives in Denmark but is a frequent visitor to Britain. She offers face-to-face mentoring by arrangement in London, Oxford, Cambridge or Copenhagen, as well as on Skype, FaceTime, and email.
Louise Doughty is the author of eight novels, one work of non-fiction and five plays for radio. Her latest book, Black Water, is out now from Faber & Faber UK and Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar Straus & Giroux in the US, where it was nominated as one of the New York Times Book Review Notable Books of 2016. Her seventh novel was the top ten bestseller Apple Tree Yard. First published in 2013, it was shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger Award and the National Book Award Thriller of the Year and sold in twenty-eight languages worldwide. A four-part TV adaptation with Emily Watson in the lead role was broadcast on Sunday nights on BBC1. It received widespread critical acclaim and consolidated viewing figures of seven million per episode, making it the most-viewed new BBC drama since The Night Manager. Doughty’s sixth novel, Whatever You Love, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has also won awards for radio drama and short stories, along with publishing one work of non-fiction, A Novel in a Year, based on her popular newspaper column. She is a critic and cultural commentator for UK and international newspapers and broadcasts regularly for the BBC and has been the judge for many prizes and awards including the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Novel Award. She has widespread experience of teaching creative writing including six month courses for the Faber Academy and Guardian Masterclasses and shorter course for the Arvon Foundation and Skyros Holidays. She has been a Gold Dust mentor since its inception and lives in London.
Richard Skinner is the author of three novels, all published by Faber and Faber, three books of non-fiction and two poetry collections. His work has been nominated for prizes and is published in eight languages.
His debut novel, The Red Dancer, is reissued by Faber in October 2017. Richard is Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy and a tutor on its six-month ‘Writing a Novel’ course. He also runs Vanguard Readings and its publishing arm Vanguard Editions.
Kathryn Heyman is the author of six novels, including Storm and Grace and The Accomplice. She has won an Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate and the Southern Arts Awards, and been nominated for the Orange Prize, the Scottish Writer of the Year Award, the Edinburgh Fringe Critic’s Awards, the Kibble Prize, and the West Australian Premier’s Book Awards. She’s written several radio plays for BBC radio including adaptations of her own work. Kathryn Heyman was the Scottish Arts Council Writing Fellow at Glasgow University and a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Westminster College, Oxford. She’s judged many literary awards and is a member of the Folio Prize Academy. Currently the Conjoint Professor in Writing at the University of Newcastle, she’s taught Creative Writing for many institutions including the University of Oxford and has mentored many writers from draft to publication..
Tim Pears is the author of nine novels, including In the Place of Fallen Leaves, 1993, (awarded the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award); In a Land of Plenty, 1997 (made into a ten-part BBC TV series); Landed, 2010; and The Horseman, 2017. He has also published short stories, and essays on sport. In 1996 he received a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, in America. He has taught creative writing with Ruskin College, Oxford and the Arvon Foundation, among other organisations. He was Writer in Residence at Cheltenham Festival of Literature, 2002-03, and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University 2006-08 and 2010-11, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
SALLY CLINE, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Research Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, previously Advisory Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and a Hawthornden Fellow, is an award winning biographer and short fiction writer.
Her 13th book and latest biography Dashiell Hammett: Man of Mystery (Arcade) follows landmark biographies on Zelda Fitzgerald and Radclyffe Hall. Her first book of short stories One of us is Lying (Golden Books) precedes her novel Lily and Max to be published this year.
She was a 2013 Judge for the HW Fisher Prize first published Biographies. She is co-Series Editor for Bloomsbury’s 9 volume Writers’ & Artists’ Companions about writing and she has co-Authored 2 volumes on Life Writing and Literary Non-Fiction.
Her current projects are writing podcasts for the RLF, researching both a biography of the artist Dora Carrington, and also a book on Women Crime Writers.
Formerly Director of the Writers’ Pool mentoring scheme, and mentor for the Arts Council’s Escalator programme; she has taught at Cambridge University, was Writer in Residence and mentor for the MA Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University, holds degrees and Masters from Durham and Lancaster University and was awarded and Honorary Doctor of Letters for her international writing.
Michelle Spring has extensive experience as a writer and as a teacher and mentor, which enables her to bring the best of both worlds to her work with developing writers. She writes both fiction and non-fiction, and has won major awards for both. Her six crime novels, published by Orion in the UK and by Ballantine / Random House in the USA and Canada, have been translated into a number of languages, including French, German and Russian. She is co-author of a best-selling social science textbook, and has published four other major works of non-fiction on topics ranging from new technologies of reproduction to the way gender operates in co-educational classrooms. Her most recent non-fiction work, co-authored with crime novelist Laurie R. King, is Crime and Thriller Writing: a Writers’ and Artists Companion (Bloomsbury 2013). As well as providing a comprehensive introduction to the ins and outs of these genres, the book offers 26 essays packed with insights from other top crime and thriller writers.
Michelle Spring enjoys helping other writers to hone their skills, and to use their talents to produce the finest books that they can. As a crime writer, she knows how important it is to find the very best structure to deliver a story, and to ensure that work is not only well-written, but also pacey, coherent and involving.
Michelle previously lectured at Cambridge University and was for two decades a Professor of Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University. Since becoming a full-time novelist, she has held posts as Royal Literary Fellow at Newnham and Magdalene Colleges, Cambridge. For many years, she chaired the panel of mentors and judges for the Arts Council Escalator Project, which is devoted to developing the talents and careers of promising new writers.
Jim Kelly was born in London in 1957, the son of a Scotland Yard detective. He went to Sheffield University and then into provincial newspapers before moving to the Financial Times, where he became Education Correspondent. In 1985 he was a press fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge. His first novel, The Water Clock, published in 2001 by Penguin, was short-listed for the John Creasey Award, given by the Crime Writers’ Association for best debut crime novel. In 2002 he left the Financial Times to write full-time. Four more crime novels in the series, set in the Black Fens around Ely, followed – The Fire Baby, The Moon Tunnel, The Coldest Blood and The Skeleton Man. In 2006 he won the CWA’s Dagger in the Library, in recognition of the popularity of the series. He began a second series in 2009 with Death Wore White, set on the north Norfolk coast, followed by Death Watch. He lives in Ely, Cambridgeshire, with his partner Midge Gillies, a writer, and lecturer in creative non-fiction.
Lesley Glaister is the writer of 14 novels the latest of which –The Squeeze – will published by Salt in 2017. Her previous novel, Little Egypt, was awarded a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and she won both the Somerset Maugham and Betty Trask Award for her first novel Honour Thy Father and was given the title ‘Yorkshire Author of the Year’ for Easy Peasy. Lesley’s short stories have appeared in various newspapers, journals and anthologies, most recently Salt’s Best British Short Stories of 2013, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She edited an anthology of short stories, Are You She, for Tindal Street Press and she has written drama for stage and radio and published a pamphlet of poetry: Visiting the Animal published by Mariscat Press 2015. Lesley lives in Edinburgh and spends her summers in Orkney. She has taught writing to a wide range of students at every level, and currently teaches at the University of St Andrews.
Andrew Miller was born in Bristol in 1960. He has lived in Spain, Japan, Ireland and France, and currently lives in Somerset. His first novel, Ingenius Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour prize in Italy. He has since written four novels: Casanova, Oxygen, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker Prize in 2001, The Optimists, and One Morning LIke a Bird.
Shelley Weiner is the author of five novels, including A Sisters’ Tale, The Last Honeymoon, and The Audacious Mendacity of Lily Green. She is widely known as an inspirational creative writing tutor and nurturer of new talent. Shelley is a regular tutor for Guardian Masterclasses, the Faber Academy, Peirene Press Masterclasses, and Skyros Writers’ Lab. She is a trusted Reader for The Literary Consultancy. She served as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow for five years and subsequently as an Advisory Fellow. Shelley has lectured on the Creative Writing MA at Anglia Ruskin University, as well as for Birkbeck College, the Open University, the Taliesin Trust, the British Council in Israel, and Durham University Summer School.
Sarah Hall was born in Cumbria in 1974. She received a BA from Aberystwyth University, Wales, and a MLitt in Creative Writing from St Andrews, Scotland. She is the author of Haweswater, which won the 2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award, and a Lakeland Book of the Year prize.
In 2004, her second novel, The Electric Michelangelo, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia region), and the Prix Femina Etranger, and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.
Her third novel, The Carhullan Army, was published in 2007, and won the 2006/07 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, a Lakeland Book of the Year prize, was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction and long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC award. It was chosen as one of the Times Best 100 Books of the Decade.
Her fourth novel, How To Paint A Dead Man, was published in 2009 and was longlisted for the Man Booker prize. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is working on a fifth novel and a collection of short stories.
Sarah Hall is an honorary fellow of Aberystwyth University, and a fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation (2007). She was a member of Art Council England, North-West Region 2008-2009. She regularly tutors for the Faber Academy, the Arvon Foundation, and has taught creative writing in a variety of establishments in the UK and abroad. She currently lives in Cumbria.
Midge Gillies is a freelance journalist and the author of six books. She has written critically-acclaimed biographies of the record-breaking pilot, Amy Johnson and the Edwardian music hall star Marie Lloyd. She is the author of How to Write Memoir & Biography (published by The Guardian) and Writing Lives: Literary Biography (CUP). She has been a judge and mentor for the Arts Council Escalator Programme for three years. Her book about creativity among Allied Prisoners of War in the Second World War will be published next year. She studied history at Cambridge University and is a part-time tutor for Cambridge University Institute of Continuing Education. She lives in Ely with her husband, the crime writer Jim Kelly.
Jane Rogers is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and radio dramatist. She is author of nine novels, including The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Man-Booker longlisted and winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award 2012. Her story collection Hitting Trees with Sticks was shortlisted for the 2013 Edgehill Award, and the title story was a BBC National Short story award finalist.
Other works include Mr Wroe’s Virgins (which she dramatised for the BAFTA-nominated BBC drama series), Her Living Image (Somerset Maugham Award) and Promised Lands (Writers Guild Best Fiction Award). She has written original drama for Radio 4, and adapted numerous novels for the Classic Serial slot.
Jane is Emerita Professor of Writing at Sheffield Hallam, where she taught writing for many years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and teaches Short Story for Faber Academy.
Her latest novel is Conrad and Eleanor.
Celia Brayfield is the author of nine novels which range from modern social comedies to genre bestsellers. She chose the London ‘urban village’ of Chiswick as a setting for two novels about suburban life, but has also set her stories in wartime Malaysia, in rural France and in the Canary Islands during a volcanic eruption. Her writing is noted for its strong sense of place, ‘wicked’ social observation and narrative strength. She has also published short and flash fiction, cultural commentary, biography and travel writing, and has not entirely given up her first career as a journalist. A creative writing tutor since 2005, she is an Associate Reader at Brunel University London and Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University. In these roles she has worked with many successfully published and award winning writers. She had a particular interest in historical fiction and in women’s writing. She has served on the Management Committee of The Society of Authors and on the working group which drafted the Creative Writing benchmark statement for the Quality Assurance Agency. She is currently deputy chair of the Higher Education Committee of the National Association of Writers in Education and has been recognised as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Lee Weatherly has written over 50 books for children and young adults, including the bestselling YA series Angel, which has sold over a third of a million copies worldwide. Awards for her work include the Sheffield Children’s Book Award, the Stockport Children’s Book Award, and the Leeds Book Award; she was also shortlisted for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. An experienced writing teacher and mentor, Lee’s taught courses for Arvon, SCBWI, and Cornerstones, and has seen many of her students go on to writing careers of their own.
Lee’s work spans all ages of children’s fiction, from picture books up through middle grade, teen and young adult. Her latest YA series, the Broken Sky trilogy, is “set in a daring and distorted echo of 1940s America”. Her older work frequently explores questions of identity and can be structurally sophisticated; she’s fascinated by non-sequential storytelling and loves playing with different timelines and points of view. In her younger work, magic in the real world often makes an appearance.
Lee has been writing professionally since 2002 and is published in 20 different languages. Passionate about helping new talent reach its full potential, she believes that so much of storytelling happens in the spaces between the words – and that good writing is more about what a writer doesn’t say than what she does.
Susan Fletcher is the award-winning author of seven novels – both contemporary and historical. Her debut, Eve Green, won the Whitbread (now Costa) First Novel award, the Betty Trask prize, The Author’s Club award and was voted Best Read in Richard and Judy’s Summer Reads programme; it was also shortlisted for the LA Times Book Prize. Further novels include Oystercatchers (longlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year award), Witch Light (winner of the Saint Maur en Poche prize in France; shortlisted for both the John Llewellyn Rhys award and the Writer’s Guild Fiction award), The Silver Dark Sea and Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew. She has also written a novel for the young adult market, A Little In Love, which won the North East Teen Book prize. Her latest novel is due to be published by Virago in July 2018.
Her novels have all garnered praise for two consistent qualities: firstly, for her lyrical prose – (The Guardian named her ‘one of the most poetic and original voices working now’); secondly, for her exploration and use of the natural world. Landscape features heavily in her work; her novels have been set in the Scottish Highlands (where she lived for many years), the north-Norfolk coast, rural Wales, the Cotswolds and Provence.
Susan has guest-tutored for numerous organisations, including the Curtis Brown Creative programme; in 2013 she was the Hexham Book Festival’s Writer in Residence, where she documented the experience of flooding in rural Northumberland. She has written for both The Sunday Times and The Independent and is currently the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Worcester.
Sarah May is the highly-acclaimed author of 7 novels, including The Nudist Colony, which was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. Her second novel, Spanish City, was shortlisted for the Encore Award, and The Internationals was longlisted for The Orange Prize. Her other novels include the best-selling trilogy, The Rise and Fall of The Queen of Suburbia, The Rise and Fall of a Domestic Diva, and The Wonder Girls.
Sarah has been a mentor and tutor of creative writing for over 15 years. She has taught UEA/Guardian Masterclass courses, and is currently a lead tutor on Faber Academy’s six month writing a novel courses.
Sarah May writes unsettling, darkly comic fiction. She has been described as having a voice which is bold, inventive and ceaselessly original. In her teaching and mentoring, Sarah is passionate about inspiring and supporting both new writers as well as those returning to writing, to find their own unique voice.
Andrew Wilson is the award-winning author of three novels, four biographies and one group biography. In 2003, his first book, Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith (Bloomsbury) won an Edgar Allan Poe Award and the LAMBDA Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. Since then he has written the biographies Harold Robbins: The Man Who Invented Sex (Bloomsbury); Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted, (Simon & Schuster); Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin (Simon & Schuster, film rights optioned by Damian Jones and Pathe); and the group biography, Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived (Simon & Schuster).
His 2007 psychological thriller The Lying Tongue was shortlisted for the Jelf First Novel award. In 2017, he published A Talent for Murder (Simon & Schuster), the first book in a series of crime novels featuring Agatha Christie. The sequel A Different Kind of Evil was published in 2018 and 2019 sees the publication of Death in a Desert Land (published by Simon & Schuster in the UK and US, and in numerous territories around the world). The television/film rights have been sold to Origin Pictures.
His journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, Tatler, the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, Evening Standard, the Smithsonian and the Washington Post. He is a frequent broadcaster and has appeared on BBC Front Row, Woman’s Hour, the Today programme and Sky News.
Andrew has taught creative writing (both narrative non-fiction and fiction) in a number of small workshops and one-to-one sessions. He splits his time between south Devon and London.