I am a writer and academic. My fiction explores, amongst other things, weird landscapes, concentric objects, compulsive fainting, pregnancy, skin, crocuses, environmental contamination. My academic work focuses on the literary history of swooning and on contemporary fiction, especially in relation to depictions of the environment and the body.
I completed a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Sussex, and researched literary swooning, which inspired my first work of fiction, The Lost Art of Sinking (2015). This was selected for New Writing North’s Read Regional campaign 2017 and won the Saboteur Award for Best Novella. My first novel, Sealed, is a work of eco-horror, which was shortlisted for the Not the Booker Award 2018. My second novel, Exit Management, moves between contemporary London and Dewsbury, and 1940s Budapest, and was a Guardian Fiction Book of the year in 2020. My first love is short fiction, and my stories have been long-listed for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize, and anthologised in Best British Short Stories 2019. I’ve recently re-written the Yorkshire folktale of the boggart for the Audible Original and Virago collection, Hag, and my debut short story collection, Animals at Night, publishes soon.
I am an experienced creative writing lecturer, examiner, mentor and prize judge. I previously lectured in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Sussex and York St John University, where I was Subject Director for Creative Writing and worked with colleagues within the York Centre of Writing. I am now Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Durham University.
I have spent most of my life in Yorkshire: I was born in Bradford, grew up in Dewsbury, and now live in York.
Agent: Sabhbh Curran, Sabhbh.Curran@curtisbrown.co.uk