Publications and biography

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

  • Are we home yet? Jacaranda (book, memoir)

  • 'Don't mention class' in Common People: An anthology of working class memoir edited by Kit de Waal. Unbound (book, anthology)

  • Who are we now? Editor and writer, (pamphlet)

  • Tangled Roots: true life stories about mixed race Britain, Editor and writer, (book, anthology)

  • Life Writing in Troubled Times (blog, commissioned by New Writing South)

  • Forty Years of Reading: Celebrating 40 years of the Ilkley Literature Festival (book, commissioned by Ilkley Litfest)

  • Jackie Kay: a poetic imagining of post-racial (be)longing, darkmatter (academic paper, journal)

  • You are not invited, ID on Tyne Press (poetry pamphlet)

  • 'Morphea' in Skin, Route publications (book, anthology)

  • 'Testimony' in Brown Eyes Troubadour (book, anthology)

  • 'Secrets' in Sepia Souls ID on Tyne Press (book, anthology)

  • Are we home yet? Ex Plus Ultra (academic paper, journal)

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Prizes

Shortlisted Jhalak Prize Book of the Year by a Writer of colour

Shortlisted Penguin WriteNow

Shortlisted SI Leeds Literature Prize

Shortlisted Crocus Books/Commonword First Chapter competition

Shortlisted Route publications ‘A Few Good Books’ competition

Biography

 

My memoir Are we home yet? was published by Jacaranda in September 2020. It was well received by readers and critics, and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2021. An extract from Are we home yet? appeared in Kit De Waal’s anthology of working class writing, Common People, in 2019.

I came to creative writing after working as a journalist for 15 years. I returned to education in my mid-30s, and eventually completed a PhD focused on memoir and autobiography at Newcastle University. During my PhD I wrote down family’s story and researched life story publishing, investigating the reasons why some individual's lives are much less likely to be recorded, and lauded, than others.

Based on my research findings, I create literature projects designed to encourage non-writers to author their life stories. I particularly work with people whose lived experiences tend to be ignored by mainstream publishers, and I commission well-known writers and published their work alongside them (some of these writers are pictured below).

 

My Arts Council-funded projects have resulted in two anthologies: Tangled Roots, a collection of memoir by over 30 members of mixed-race families, and Who are we now? a collection of first-person responses to the Brexit referendum . For more information on these, please see my BOOKS page.

 

At the moment I am working on a crime novel set in the late 1970s in Leeds, near the beginning of the Yorkshire Ripper’s crime spree.

Jhala celebration pic.jpg