Writer • Playwright • Writing Events
Commissioned to create two new story-walks in 2023: one for the Clifton LitFest in November, and one for the WE Irish Festival in March. Next year I will lead the Bristol Irish story-walk again, and also create a new walk exploring Irish Bath.
My story walks are now available in print. Buy this year's Clifton Story Walk here.
Short story collection Mouthy accepted for publication by Axe River Books, 2023
Long listed (in the top 50 stories) for the BBC National Short Story Award 2021
Short listed for the Bridport Short Story Prize 2020
Stand-alone short The Guts of a Mackerel published by Fly on the Wall Press in 2021, available to buy here.
My latest story walk for the Clifton LitFest in November went very well. "I was transported," "we loved every moment of it", and "you have a magical way of storytelling" are just some of the responses from audiences. Missed it? Enjoyed it so much you'd like to try another one? I am available to lead groups on a story walk of their choice - have a look at the selection here and get in touch if you'd like more information.
Pubs and Potatoes, Giants and Geniuses, a story-walk around Irish Bristol: I was delighted to be commissioned to create a story-walk for the West of England Irish Culture Festival in Bristol in March this year. Over 60 walkers joined me across two weekends to explore the hidden histories of the Irish diaspora in Bristol. I was really pleased with the turnout during chilly March. And they seemed to enjoy themselves: 'emotive animated storytelling which really brought the history to life', 'fascinating' and 'a story stroll for the soul'. I have just been asked to lead the walk again in March 2024, as well as create a new Irish story-walk in Bath. The dates will be the weekends of 9th/10th and 16th/17th March. Watch this space for more info!
Publications and comps:
My story The Acorn Vase has been selected for a lovely new illustrated anthology Botanical Short Stories, to be published next year by the History Press. It looks like it will be a gorgeous book. My story The Tea Dance will be published in The London Independent Story Prize (LISP)'s upcoming anthology. Other recent publications include pieces in Porridge Magazine, in new Bristol-based Oranges Journal and on comedy website Funny Pearls. My story The Stoat was shortlisted for the Parracombe Prize and was published in their anthology.
My play Flotsam was selected as one of the plays developed by Theatre West as part of their Zooming Ahead project in 2021. I worked on the play with Theatre West and dramaturg Marietta Kirkbride and had a full reading of the play on zoom. The play has now been selected by a local Bath theatre group who have plans for a rehearsed reading in September. They are aiming for a full production during the festival season next year.
Since March 2020 I have been running my regular writing workshops on Zoom. I run monthly creative writing workshops and a short story discussion group that has proved very popular. There's further information here. Let me know if you'd like to be kept informed about upcoming workshops.
Wild and Precious: my first solo show. At the Theatre Royal Bath (upstairs!) as part of the Elevate Festival, March 2023. I had a full house! People seemed to enjoy my leopards, seaweeds and face masks as I wrestled with how to make our lives more wild and precious.
I'm so pleased to be included in the v cool Unpleasantville Bath sonic walk created by Kim Halliday. Walk and listen, or listen at home to fun history, local music and me! I'm in the 11th blue circle (very Dante) or you can stand and listen in situ on Royal Avenue.
I joined fellow writer Philip Douch for his show at Burdall's Yard in Bath and again later on in his tour in Chipping Sodbury. I recently participated in a fab new live short story event, Fresh Fiction, run by Grace Palmer of Novel Nights. One of the audience members said of my story 'Green Roofs': Lovely evocation of hope and the power of kindness – beautifully paced. I'm glad they enjoyed it.
I've got another story on the Unbound podcast series. A Long Way From Home is available to listen to here. It is read by Rebecca Charles, sound edited by Mark Lingwood and produced by Tempest Productions. Tempest also recorded my story Living in The Shadow of Venus, which you can listen to here. The Unbound series of stories are all well worth a listen.
I regularly have stories broadcast on BBC Radio Bristol Upload. Recently Adam Crowther repeated my story 'For Those In Peril On The Sea', in celebration of broadcasting from the Sea Monster in Weston Super Mare. When he played my story A Long Way From Home, he said 'one of the finest writers we've had on Uploader', which was lovely. He also broadcast and enjoyed my story King Arthur Fights The Corona Dragon. And Lancelot Comes Too, Dammit. 'A masterclass in storytelling,' he said. During lockdown I wrote three stories that were selected to be played and Adam has also broadcast A Living in the Shadow of Venus and The Winter's Egg. He's also chosen a couple of funny stories including The Witch, "It put a right smile on my face," said Adam, and No Animals Were Hurt In The Writing Of This Story: 'Lovely story that had me belly laughing today', said Adam.
BBC Upload Festival:
Participated as a panellist in this excellent festival on BBC Radio. Ran a workshop which seemed to go down well. Attendees took to Twitter and said: Great writing workshop, loved the writing exercises and great writing advice! | Very informative | Really useful exercises, tips and motivation. Got my mojo back! And my favourite: 'Superb!'
Delighted, and slightly amazed, that my script Whale Song is one of only two feature length screenplays in development with a Bristol film company.
Very proud to be selected by Documental Theatre to be one of the south-west artists featured in their #WhereTo campaign. You can view my contribution in their compilation here, but I'd highly recommend watching all the films - they're an incredibly impressive snapshot of the fantastic variety of work going on in this region.
Fairlight Books have published a short story of mine, Touching The Sun, in their first anthology of short stories. It's rather a delicious book, have a look here. I have a number of stories on the Fairlight short story portal including The Garden, which they chose as their story of the week and The Winter Egg which appeared at Easter. The Winter Egg is about the female designer of one of Faberge's Imperial Easter eggs, and was inspired by a trip to St Petersburg. Touching The Sun was the first of my stories Fairlight published.
My short story The Longest Journey is being published in an anthology Together Behind Four Walls. As part of this project, I have filmed myself reading the story for Paris Lit Up. (It's on Youtube, just after 11 minutes in).
Filmed story walk:
In 2019, I curated a story walk around Bath with six other writers and long-time friends and collaborators, Kilter Theatre as part of Bathscape Walking Festival We were unable to run a new story walk during the pandemic, so we filmed the original stories and created a virtual walk. You can view the films here. I hope you'll walk the walk, either in reality or on your sofa at home!
My story The Longest Journey won the B&NES Libraries Lockdown competition. The story was recorded by Bel Mooney and has been published on the Papernations website as part of their Great Margins project. The judges said that the story 'caught their attention, finding light, hope and happier days where there only seemed despair'. You can read it here or listen to Bel Mooney reading it here. It was also broadcast on BBC Radio Bristol (read by me this time). 'Beautiful fiction,' said Adam Crowther, 'Absolutely lovely.'
A story project from Kilter Theatre and my company, A Word In Your Ear, this is hand-crafted story therapy for when you feel like you're losing the plot. A series of story spritzes and story balms were delivered via zoom. For all information click here.
Festive Doorstep Stories:
My company A Word In Your Ear and Kilter Theatre teamed up for Christmas 2020 to bring some festive cheer to the doorsteps of Bath. Creating a 'traditional carol singing meets story deliveroo' event, we visited audiences outside their homes to read them Christmas stories - have a look at the pics here. I had two stories on offer on our Twelve Stories of Christmas menu: 'A White Christmas' and 'Robin Hood And The Rule of Six'. You can read 'A White Christmas' on the lovely Fairlight Books website, where it was published on Christmas Eve.
Story Friday Online:
With all live events cancelled during lockdown, I got together with Olly and Caroline from Kilter Theatre and we decided to put Story Friday online. We created three events with the theme Dark Clouds, Silver Linings in April and May, and a collection of stories with the theme A Breath of Fresh Air in June. We've got a Youtube channel with 27 brand new stories - a hugely varied selection, including two of mine. Click here for all the links.
I was involved in Bath Radio's Literature Festival. A Word In Your Ear curated five short fictions from Story Friday writers, including one of mine. I interviewed the brilliant crime writer Sarah Hilary, and I was interviewed in turn by Elaine Miles.
I was very pleased that my favourite Cornish live fiction event TellTales selected one of my stories for their online recordings, theme of 'Freedom'.
If you'd like to get in touch with me send me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.