what I’m up to now

Photography by Naomi Woddis

I am a poet, writer, teacher and editor based in the North of England. 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 November 2019. My hybrid book, And What If We Were All Allowed to Disappear, is now available from Guillemot Press. 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, which will be published by John Blake Books in February 2021. A spin-off from our hugely successful OnThisDay She Twitter account, it features 366 stories of women throughout history.

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. I am also constantly adding new recordings to my SoundCloud page if you’d like to hear me reading some of my work.

I have recently finished a fictional memoir-in-collage partly inspired by being writer-in-residence in Manchester’s Southern Cemetery, and another hybrid book, on Time, for which I received an Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice grant.

I am founder and curator of ShortStops, a website whipping up excitement about UK & Ireland short story activity.

I have a PhD in Creative Writing, for which I wrote a book-length creative work inspired by particle physics, which is a prose/poetry and fiction/non-fiction hybrid. The book, And What If We Were All Allowed to Disappear, will be published in March 2020 by Guillemot Press.

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, and am now based 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 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.