Read about last year’s group of writers.
Mentor – Ross Raisin
Ruth Gladwin was raised in Essex and Dar Es Salaam. In 1988 she went to York to study English Literature and she never left. In 2004 she got a Contemporary Literary Theory MA (Creative Writing strand). She has five children, all still living at home. She wrote her first poem when she was four (it was: There are ants behind the wallpaper/And witches in the moon). As a student she had a few poems published in magazines. She has written scripts which have been performed by amateur groups, including Youth Theatres, and been given readings by professional theatres. She is going to spend her time on the mentorship perfecting her first novel which she has been working on for seven years.
Gill Darling was born in Leicester and grew up in Hinckley. She graduated from the University of York with a degree in Economics and Statistics and has subsequently lived in London and, since 2003, Manchester, where she works in social housing. She has only come back to writing fairly recently after a long break and is using her mentoring year to complete a novel.
Carol Farrelly grew up in Glasgow and lives in Edinburgh. In 2013, she received a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from Creative Scotland and spent the summer in France working on her first novel, This Starling Flock. An early extract from the novel won her the Sceptre Prize. Her short stories have been widely published in journals such as The Irish Times, Stand, Edinburgh Review, New Writing Scotland, Popshot and Aesthetica and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2013, she won the international Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize. Her stories have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, Fish Prize, Asham Award and Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. She holds a DPhil on the novels of Thomas Hardy: her love for Hardy remains intact. She is excited to be working on her second novel during this year. For more: www.carolfarrelly.com
Mentor – Tanika Gupta
Tanika Gupta is a playwright and screenwriter. Some of her plays include The Empress, Sugar Mummies, Catch, White Boy,Wah!Wah!Girls and Love N Stuff. Her plays have been performed at the RSC, Royal Court and Sadlers Wells. She has also written extensively for BBC radio drama and television series.
Sarah Mulholland was born and bred in Portsmouth and has spent the last few years pursuing a career in mental health, she is now working for Solent Mind with people who are struggling with anxiety and depression. Since 2013 she started to explore her previous passion for writing that had somewhat fallen by the wayside by joining a writers group in Portsmouth and beginning a creative writing course with New Writing South. This led, in a roundabout way, to booking a playwriting course with Arvon on a whim and discovering a talent for something that had previously always felt restricted to something ‘other people’ do. Sarah feels incredibly proud and honoured to have been chosen as part of the mentoring scheme and is excited to see where it will take her next.
Born, raised and currently living in south London Annette Brook has BA (Hons) English and MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy both from Goldsmiths College, University of London . She started writing plays in 2005; making it through to the final 30 out of 2000+ entries for Channel 4’s ‘The Play’s the Thing’. In 2008 Annette completed the Royal Court’s Young Writers’ Programme and their ‘Invitation’ group. Plays include Make You Mine (showcased at Soho Theatre in 2010), Bounty (Iris Theatre, 2011), Little Baby Nothing (Theatre503, 2013), Halves (White Bear Theatre, 2014; Brockley Jack, 2012) and One in Three (Ophelia, Dalston, 2014). She has worked in the arts sector for 10 years and is currently Communications Manager for The Royal Society of Literature. She is excited to be working on a full-length play during the scheme.
Charlotte Coates is originally from the north of England and lives in London. She started writing for the stage in 2010 having previously been involved in stand up comedy, sketch-writing and various kinds of performance. Writing credits include Bilanka Cosmos, part of the Is It Getting Cold In Here? season at Theatre 503; Warehousing, a rehearsed reading at the New Diorama Theatre; Off You Get, a Rapid Write Response at Theatre 503 and The Death of Norman Tortilla produced by Sheer Drop at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Other credits include Billy a short film, which was a finalist in the Smoke and Mirrors 48 hour short film competition and Vanilla Slice, which was a finalist in the BBC Talent sit-com competition. She is delighted to be part of the Arvon/Jerwood scheme and is using the year to work on a new full length play.
Mentor – Caroline Bird
Rachel Long was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London 2014. She has had poems published by Magma, The Emma Press, and was Highly Commended in The Poetry Book Society’s National Student Competition 2014. She has featured at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The Royal Festival Hall. She is a proud member of the Burn After Reading poetry collective. Rachel will use her Jerwood/Arvon mentoring year to focus on her debut pamphlet.
Hilary Watson was born and raised in South Wales to Scottish parents. At fifteen, she began writing under the guidance of welsh poet Clare Potter, performed poetry in Cardiff and Swansea as part of the collective Young Welsh and Poetic. She completed a BA in English and Creative Writing and a Masters in Writing at the University of Warwick, during which she read at the Worcestershire LitFest and at the MA anthology launch in Soho. Since graduating, she has worked at a science communication centre in Cardiff, organising maths, science and literacy engagements for pupils across Wales. She performs her poetry regularly in venues in Cardiff, Bridgend and Swansea, as well as volunteering at the local arts centre, the Hay Festival and drums in a samba band. She has studied printing and book making at Cardiff Open Art School and has recently taken up roller derby with the Tiger Bay Brawlers.
Emma Simon grew up in Northamptonshire and now lives in London. She returned to poetry writing six years ago and has since had poems published in various magazines – including Popshot, Bare Fiction and The Interpreter’s House. In 2013 she won the Prole Laureate Competition and was placed second in the 2014 Cannon Poets’ Sonnet or Not Competition. In 2014 she was an active member of Jo Bell’s online ’52’ project. She also works as a journalist and freelance copywriter.