I am a queer writer of odd things, short, very short, and longer. A poet, writer, teacher and editor based in Manchester, UK, I’m the author of nine books: my second poetry collection, Still Life With Octopus, was published by Nine Arches Press in July 2022, and my debut novel, Go On – a fictional memoir-in-collage partly inspired by being writer-in-residence in Manchester’s Southern Cemetery – by Broken Sleep Books in November 2022. You can buy signed copies of both books here. My writing has won various prizes and awards. I am editor of the charity anthology FUEL: 75 Prize-Winning Flash Fictions Raising Funds to Fight Fuel Poverty (Feb 2023), and was honoured to be Arvon’s writer-in-residence from Nov 2022-April 2023.
Current Projects 2023-2024
Currently writing… I received an Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice grant to research and write a hybrid pamphlet colliding neuroscience with non-human characters in Star Trek to contemplate what it might mean to be human and/or not human., individual and/or part of a group or collective.
Just finished…A novel set in an alternative version of our society where moving through the world alone is the norm, solitude is celebrated and nurtured, and “couples” are viewed with great suspicion. To hear a little more, listen to my interview on the Spinsterhood Reimagined podcast.
My hybrid creative nonfiction book on Time, a “chronomemoir”, for which I received an Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice grant, is currently out with publishers.
My hybrid book, And What If We Were All Allowed to Disappear, was published in a limited edition by Guillemot Press in March 2020. It is now sold out but can be read in electronic form as part of my PhD in Creative Writing, ‘Particle fictions: an experimental approach to creative writing and reading informed by particle physics’, available to be downloaded from Bath Spa University here: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/10693/. I am co-author, with Jo Bell and Ailsa Holland, of On This Day She: Putting Women Back into History One Day at a Time (Bonnier Books,2021). A spin-off from our hugely successful OnThisDay She Twitter account, it features 366 stories of women throughout history.
My poetry pamphlet, How High Did She Fly?, one of the winners of the 2019 Live Canon Pamphlet Competition, was published by Live Canon in 2019. Nine Arches Press published my debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions in July 2017 and Unthank Books published my third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others in May. More information about my books is here.
If you’d like to hear me reading some of my work, there are recordings on my SoundCloud page. I am founder and curator of ShortStops, a website whipping up excitement about UK & Ireland short story activity. (The website is no longer adding new content, but the Twitter account is very active.)
I co-authored Writing Short Stories: A Writers & Artists Companion (Bloomsbury, Dec 2014) together with Courttia Newland, and co-edited – together with Pippa Goldschmidt – an anthology of short stories inspired by the 100th birthday of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, I Am Because You Are.
I was a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Bristol from 2014-2016 and at the University of Manchester 2017-19 and 2020-21. I was a 2014 Gladstone’s Library Writer-in-Residence and judge of the 2014 Bridport Flash Fiction Prize. I collaborated for the Bristol Festival of Ideas with military historian Jeremy Banning, the fruits of which you can see at LeavingTheLine.com.
How I got here
Born in London in 1970, I moved to Jerusalem in 1994. After making a living for 13 years as a science journalist, writing for publications such as WIRED and NewScientist, I gave it all up to write fiction, later also poetry and hybrid pieces, and am now based in Manchester in the north of England. I have a first degree in Maths and Physics, a diploma in journalism, an MSc in Philosophy of Science, an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing.
My first collection, The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008), was commended by the judges of the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers, and contains flash fiction and short stories inspired by science. My second story collection, My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions, was published in May 2012 by Tangent Books and contains fifty six very short fictions. My first book of poetry, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open, won 2nd prize in the Fool For Poetry chapbook contest and was published by Southword Editions in Feb 2016.
My stories and poems have won various prizes, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, been published, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4 & performed. I teach regularly for the Arvon Foundation.
I was writer-in-residence in the Science Faculty at Bristol University from 2009-2012, and received an Arts Council England grant to work on a short story collection inspired by a year spent in a biochemistry lab.
I am also the founder of ShortStops, an online hub for all things short-story-related in the UK and Ireland, and The Short Review, an online journal dedicated to reviewing short story collections and anthologies and showcasing short story authors, though am no longer involved in its activities.