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Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2017/18

The 2017-18 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by playwright Tim Crouch, poet Pascale Petit and novelist Jacob Ross.

The Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme, run in partnership with Jerwood Charitable Foundation, takes on twelve talented, emerging writers, who are mentored for one year by an established writer working in either Poetry, Fiction or Playwriting. The programme includes two separate weeks away at an Arvon centre, ongoing one-to-one support, and advice from industry specialists. Find out more about the programme here:


Jacob Ross - Mentor

Jacob Ross


Jacob Ross is Associate Editor for Fiction at Peepal Tree Press, author of several story collections and editor of five short story anthologies. His novel, Pynter Bender, was shortlisted for the Society of Authors ‘Best first Novel’. His latest novel The Bone Readers – won the inaugural Jhalak Prize and was shortlisted for the Association of Caribbean Writers Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Jo Clayton -

Jo Clayton

Jo Clayton is a professional storyteller, director and workshop leader. She trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has performed and directed in the UK, Europe and New Zealand. She led community projects at the Globe Theatre for 3 years and has told stories at the Southbank Centre and numerous schools, festivals and events. She was instrumental in setting up The Point, an award winning Community Association on the Lambeth/Croydon border where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Martin Kidd -

Martin Kidd

Martin Kidd was born in Leicester, raised in Plymouth, seasoned in Nottingham and is now marinating in the far South Western reaches of Cornwall. He is a songwriter, traveller, cat scratcher and all-round reasonably nice guy. His huge love of fiction and wordsmithery in general has had him working on his debut novel Halja for several years. Working with Jacob Ross has helped Martin create a more visceral work. Funnier – with stronger characters, richer world building, crisper violence and very bitter ends.

Jemma Picken -

Jemma Picken

Jemma Picken is an Assistant Insurance Claims Manager for a large construction and facilities management company in the West Midlands. She has obtained BSc Archaeological Sciences, MSc Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation and LLDip. Jemma has written for her own enjoyment since she was a teenager, but has only begun to share her work with others in the last 3 years. One of her short stories was the British Fantasy Society’s story of the month in February 2017. Jemma has used her year on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme to complete the first draft of her first novel, The Price of Daylight.

Abbie Salter -

Abbie Salter

Abbie Salter was born in Bristol and studied English and Creative Writing at the University of London. She works at a publishing house, marketing books from authors like Cecelia Ahern, Dawn O’Porter and Joanna Cannon. Previously, she volunteered as an editor at For Books’ Sake, an organisation that champions women and other marginalised writers.


Tim Crouch - Playwriting mentor

Tim Crouch

Playwriting mentor

Tim Crouch is a performer, writer and director. His plays include My Arm, England, An Oak Tree, The Author and Adler & Gibb and a series of plays inspired by Shakespeare’s lesser characters, that includes I, Malvolio. For the RSC, Tim has directed The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear and I, Cinna (the poet). Most recently, Tim has adapted and directed The Complete Deaths for Spymonkey and directed Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore at the Unicorn Theatre.

Rachel Burns -

Rachel Burns

Rachel Burns completed a screenwriting talent scheme with Northern Film and Media. Her plays have been longlisted in several playwriting competitions, including Verity Bargate and Papatango. Her screenplays were longlisted in recent BBC Script Rooms 11 and 12. During her time on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme, she completed two darkly comic plays. Rachel has also had several poems published in literary magazines, as well as a short story in Mslexia. She volunteers with a prisoners’ charity supporting defendants and their families at Crown Court.

Maeve Clarke -

Maeve Clarke

Maeve Clarke is a teacher and writer from Birmingham. Her first novel, What Goes Round, and her short story, Letters a Yard, were both published by Tindal Street Press. She has also written educational readers, Give us the Money (OUP) and The Real Deal (writing as Sam Carter). In 2016, she was shortlisted for WriteNow (Penguin Random House) and won first prize with Sewing Flowers (flash fiction) in the Creative Future Literary Awards. Her monologue Night Games was published in 2017. She has had rehearsed readings of her work at the Birmingham Rep and the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. In 2018 she was awarded Arts Council funding to further develop her Jerwood/Arvon play, White Gold, and to work on her second novel.

Russ Davies -

Russ Davies

Russ Davies is a teacher and writer from Rochdale, Lancashire, living in Lewisham, London. Originally a singer-songwriter, Russ started writing plays in 2016 and with his first submission was awarded a bursary to attend the Introduction to Playwriting Arvon City course at JW3. Alongside teaching English to secondary school children, Russ has spent the last year completing his most recent play Victor Brown, whilst also collaborating with the Brixton Youth Theatre on an original play idea to be performed this spring.

Laurie Ogden -

Laurie Ogden

Laurie Ogden is a writer and performer from Merseyside, now living in south-east London. She is a Barbican Young Poet and recipient of the Outspoken Performance Poetry Prize (2016). Previous work has been published in Mud Press’ WOMAN anthology and she has created work for organisations such as BBC, Roundhouse, Nationwide, Barnardo’s, and the Barbican. Her plays include TWIX **** ‘A new writing triumph’ (A Younger Theatre), and Colder Water *****. She graduated from Goldsmiths in 2017. Laurie is currently developing No One Thing, her first full-length play, and her debut poetry pamphlet.


Pascale Petit - Poetry Mentor

Pascale Petit

Poetry Mentor

Pascale Petit’s seventh collection Mama Amazonica will be published by Bloodaxe in 2017. Her sixth, Fauverie  (Seren, 2014), was her fourth to be shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and five poems from the book won the 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize. Petit has had three collections chosen as Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement, Independent and Observer. She has travelled extensively, particularly in the Peruvian and Venezuelan Amazon, and her books have been translated in Mexico, China, Serbia and France. She trained as a sculptor at the Royal College of Art and spent the first part of her life as a visual artist. In 2015 she received a Cholmondeley Award.

Romalyn Ante -

Romalyn Ante

Romalyn Ante grew up in the Philippines and moved to the UK in 2005. She is joint-winner of the Manchester Writing Competition, winner of a Creative Future Literary Award, and commended in Battered Moons Poetry Competition 2017. She is also a Primers Volume 3 poet, and was recently chosen to attend Silliman University National Writers Workshop, the longest-running writing workshop in Asia. She will travel to the Philippines in 2018 to hone her craft as a Silliman fellow. She is working towards her first full collection.

Alice Hiller -

Alice Hiller

Alice Hiller was Commended in the 2018 Hippocrates Prize, shortlisted for the 2017 Bridport Prize and longlisted for 2017 Primers and Fool for Poetry pamphlet competitions. She is working towards her first collection, album without photos, which responds to her direct experience of sexual abuse in childhood – and its aftermath. She has reviewed for the TLS and Poetry Review. She founded and runs the Covent Garden Stanza, a closed workshop for emerging poets. She holds a PhD from UCL, and published a history of the T-Shirt with Ebury Press. She is researching a critical biography of Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex.

Seraphima Kennedy -

Seraphima Kennedy

Seraphima Kennedy grew up in west London. She writes poetry and creative non-fiction about family, migration, conflict and music. Last year she was shortlisted for The White Review Poets’ Prize, and performed at Ledbury Poetry Festival and Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival. Her work has appeared in magazines including The Rialto, The White Review online, Magma, and And Other Poems. Seraphima is a proud member of the collective Malika’s Poetry Kitchen.

Yvonne Reddick -

Yvonne Reddick

Yvonne Reddick’s pamphlet Translating Mountains (Seren, 2017) won the Mslexia Magazine Pamphlet Competition and was selected as a favourite pamphlet of the year in the Times Literary Supplement. She has received a Northern Writer’s Award (2016), a Hawthornden Fellowship (2017), the Poetry Society’s inaugural Peggy Poole Award and a commendation in the National Poetry Competition (2018). Her work appears in magazines such as PN Review, Stand, The North, The Compass and Mslexia. Her book Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet is published by Palgrave Macmillan. She lectures in Creative Writing and English Literature, and has reviewed poetry for the Times Literary Supplement and PN Review. She has been invited to read her poems at the Scottish Poetry Library, the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre and Lumb Bank.

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