This group was mentored by novelist Maria McCann, poet Daljit Nagra and playwright Nell Leyshon.
Mentor – Maria McCann
Maria McCann is the author of As Meat Loves Salt (Fourth Estate, 2001) which was an Economist Book of the Year and The Wilding (Faber, 2010) which was longlisted for the Orange Prize and chosen as a Richard and Judy book club choice. She has also contributed to various anthologies, most recently to Why Willows Weep (October 2011) and Beacons (edited by Gregory Norminton, which will appear in 2013).
Julie Mayhew grew up in Peterborough, studied Journalism at Bournemouth University, then trained as an actress at Drama Studio London. She still acts occasionally, but now calls herself a writer. Julie has co-written two comedy plays with writer/actress Josephine Teale and recently completed her first solo theatre commission, HAVING IT, for Top Drawer, the company behind Jeff Wayne’s stage shows. She made her BBC Radio 4 writing debut last year with her Afternoon Play STOPGAP. Her follow-up, A SHOEBOX OF SNOW, airs in September. Julie’s short story collection, A LITTLE DEATH, was recently shortlisted for the 2011 Scott Prize.
Martha Close lives in South West London where she teaches English and drama. She has taught and travelled in Europe, North America and South East Asia. She recently graduated from Birkbeck’s MA in Creative Writing and is working on her first novel Extraordinary Chambers. Her work has been published in Cadenza, Other Poetry, Yoga Magazine and the Guardian online.
Fleur Sinclair worked for many years as a photographic agent in London, before returning to her native Kent to raise her young family. Growing up, she always imagined that writing was an occupation enjoyed only by a select and very lucky few, but Fleur is now most joyfully occupied in writing her first novel. She has written both children’s fiction and adult short stories, and was awarded an overall distinction upon completion of a Certificate in Creative Writing through the University of Kent. Fleur attended two Arvon courses before winning a place on the Jerwood/Arvon mentoring scheme.
Mentor – Nell Leyshon
Charlotte Macleod set up and ran The Script Factory , one of the world’s leading filmmakers’ organisations and served on the Board and Council of BAFTA. She has written for many publications including The Guardian, The Face and i-D and is a regular contributor to The Evening Standard. Her first play Falling was shortlisted for The Westminster Prize for the Soho Theatre in 2010. She is working on her second play for the BBC.
Georgina Burns is from North London. She is currently studying for an MSc. in integrative psychotherapy while working in NHS mental health. Prior to this, she studied politics at Durham University before spending five years working in the editorial departments of both fiction and non-fiction publishers. She started writing for theatre seriously two years ago and has had work on at Hampstead Theatre (Start Night) and Theatre 503 (Rapid Write Response).
Helen Saarma lives in Lancashire and attended her first Arvon course in 2008. After writing scripts for several short films, she is now developing her radio and TV scriptwriting. Through submitting a radio play to BBC writersroom in 2010, she reached the final ‘Meet and develop’ stage and has recently been invited to a BBC writersroom Comedy Writing workshop in Manchester. A sitcom pilot she co-wrote gained a place in the top 10% of entries in the BBC’s ‘Laughing Stock’ sitcom competition in 2011.
Mentor – Daljit Nagra
Daljit Nagra was born in London and has published three collections of verse. He has won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem and for Best First Collection. In 2015 he was selected as a New Generation Poet. www.daljitnagra.com
Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in London where she works as an infant school teacher. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway and her poems have appeared in most of the major UK magazines and on BBC Radio 3. She received an Eric Gregory Award from The Society of Authors in 2009. She was the winner of the 2010 tall-lighthouse pamphlet competition and her debut pamphlet The Patron Saint of Schoolgirls was published in July 2010. She is an Emerging Poet in Residence at Kingston University.
Anita Pati first wrote poetry as a child, stopped for 25 years, then restarted a few years ago. She lives in London but was born, and grew up in, a northern seaside town. Anita has taken one Arvon course so far and is about to have her first poem published in Magma.
Richard Scott lives in London and works as a musician and teacher. He has sung for the Royal Opera House, ROH2, Opera North and the London Handel Festival. Richard attended the Faber Academy poetry course and is currently completeing an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths University. He attended an Arvon poetry course in 2010 at The Hurst.