I am a writer, researcher, and tutor based in the North East of England with my curly-haired daughter and even curlier-haired dog, Brucie.
My memoir, LIFE AFTER YOU, based on my award-winning blog Wife After Death, is published by Virgin Books. A Sunday Times bestseller, it was selected as a Richard and Judy Autumn Bookclub pick 2015, and was subsequently voted to be the Reader’s Choice out of all eight Bookclub titles. It was adapted for TV by Georgia Pritchett under its original title Wife After Death and was selected as one of the top twenty scripts by British writers (Brit List: TV 2018.) My novel THE SONG OF ANNIE CHAPMAN was a Northern Writers’ Award fiction winner for 2018/19 – see latest news for more information.
In 2018, I won one of three writing commissions for Durham Book Festival . Supported by Arts Council England, the project explored women’s voices from the ‘World Above’ the pits across the Durham coalfield and was presented at a stunning event at the headquarters of Durham miners at Redhills. Click here to read the commission, and here to watch the event.
I have taught Creative Writing at both Leeds and Newcastle University, and am currently a writing practitioner on New Writing North’s Young Writers’ City project.
My doctorate in Creative Writing was entitled “The Grey Space: Notions of Loss in Writing Real Lives and The Sculptress, a work of creative non-fiction.” It explored the writing of real lives and creative non-fiction, specifically notions of loss therein. The Sculptress is a creative reimagining of the life of American artist Mary Callery. My research interests include life-writing and writing as a therapeutic response to loss.
I am a member of the Society of Authors and joint founder of ‘Writing Through Grief’ with BACP counsellor Nicki Walker, a programme which uses writing as a therapeutic tool in bereavement.