Backstreet Nursery

The letter came one morning as Paul was feeding the baby. He was still only half-dressed. Wearing most of his clothes, one unlaced shoe. “Oh no,” he said. “No way.” The baby hammered her feet, made demanding noises. Paul read the letter twice, and it said the same thing both times. “I can’t,” he toldContinue reading “Backstreet Nursery”

A Lockdown Surprise: Art At The Arms podcast

In February 2021, a monologue I wrote, “A Lockdown Surprise”, was produced by the wonderful Arts at The Arms team. Many thanks to producer Dermot Daly, actor Jeanette Percival, and organiser James Underwood and the entire team at Arts At The Arms for bringing it to life. The podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud,Continue reading “A Lockdown Surprise: Art At The Arms podcast”

Don’t You Forget About Me

Ricky Adam’s “Don’t You Forget About Me” is a photography ‘zine of abandoned office plants photographed after the first UK Coronavirus lockdown. The ‘zine has since been featured in The Observer and in Neues Deutschland. I was honoured to write the introduction, part of which is excerpted below. At five p.m., three men in darkContinue reading “Don’t You Forget About Me”

Green Cities Commission

In Summer 2020 I was commissioned by Lucy Turnell, a PhD student at the University of Leeds, to write two flash fiction pieces on themes of sustainability. The project was being supervised by Christopher Hassall, and the aim was to find out whether participants were more able to absorb information about sustainability when it wasContinue reading “Green Cities Commission”

Writer in Residence projects

In April 2019 I was overjoyed to be selected as a writer in residence for Alton Towers, led by the Liminal Residence. The project involved spending two days in Alton Towers, with five other writers, and producing a short story for their publication. You can hear me read the resulting story, The Stonechat, on theContinue reading “Writer in Residence projects”

Northern Short Story Festival Academy

The Northern Short Story Academy is a programme which develops the voices of twelve new short story writers resident in the North of England. Progressing their craft and professional skills, the scheme aims to help writers develop a network of contacts and give them infrastructure to grow. The programme, run in partnership with the WalterContinue reading “Northern Short Story Festival Academy”

The Gordon Trask

Annie used to say, “The maintenance men are coming any day now,” always with a handful of crumbling plaster. We spent months waiting for maintenance. Sitting together in the small office where she, and I, and Frances – a hard-elbowed woman who’d been running the Gordon Trask Centre twenty years – ran the music service.Continue reading “The Gordon Trask”

Fictions of Every Kind

Fictions of Every Kind (2010-current) is Leeds’ longest running writers’ social night. Dedicated to providing accessible, affordable support for prose writers, this friendly and kind night provides a consistently high level of invited speakers and an evening that anybody can enjoy. Previous invited readers have included writers such as Nasser Hussein, Chanje Kunda, Adam Marek,Continue reading “Fictions of Every Kind”

Brick Mother

Nominated for the Guardian First Book AwardShortlisted for the Gladstone Writers In Residence scheme Neriste and Donna both work at the notorious Cedar Hospital Heathley, a secure psychiatric unit that is understaffed and underfunded – a place where doors are kept locked, where the staff carry panic alarms, and where even a pen has toContinue reading “Brick Mother”