Read about this years mentees and mentors…
Mentor – Jenn Ashworth
Jenn Ashworth’s first novel, A Kind of Intimacy, won a Betty Trask Award. On the publication of her second, Cold Light, she was featured on the BBC’s The Culture Show, as one of the UK’s twelve best new writers. Her third novel is The Friday Gospels. She lives in Lancashire and teaches Creative Writing at Lancaster University.
Grahame Williams was born in County Down, Northern Ireland and now lives and works in London. He studied English Literature at Cambridge and then Computer Science at Bristol. He is using his mentoring year to work on a series of short stories and his first novel, which has the working title Samson & Goliath.
Susie Hales grew up in a small village in the Midlands, a reluctant country-dweller yearning for the city. She graduated with a Psychology degree from Manchester University before working as a researcher in London. Some years later, she trained as a mental health professional. Previously, Susie has experimented with various written forms including poetry, short stories and flash fiction. She has used the mentoring year to focus on completing her first full length novel.
Sarah Franklin grew up in the Forest of Dean and now lives between London and Oxford. She read French and German at the University of Cambridge before starting a career in publishing which encompassed time in London, Seattle, and Dublin. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and runs a monthly literary night, Short Stories Aloud, in central Oxford. Sarah’s features, book reviews and columns have appeared in The Guardian, the Seattle Times, Psychologies magazine and the Sunday Express amongst others. Her creative non-fiction has been published in anthologies in the US and appeared on NPRaffiliates there. Sarah’s focus for the mentorship is to finish her first novel, SHELTER.
Mentor – David Eldridge
David Eldridge’s plays include Under The Blue Sky, Festen (after the dogme95 film), Market Boy, The Knot of the Heart, In Basildon and recently Holy Warriors. His work has been performed at The Royal Court, the Bush, the Almeida, the Royal Exchange and the National Theatre, amongst others. He has adapted classic Scandinavian dramas, and written for TV, film and radio. The Picture Man won a Prix Europa.
Cathy Thomas was born in Bristol and grew up in Guernsey. After studying at Oxford, she went on to gain an MA Distinction in Writing for Stage and Broadcast media from the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has been invited on to playwriting groups at the Royal Court Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith. Her work has been produced at Southwark Playhouse, Rich Mix, Embassy Theatre, Burton Taylor Studio, and Climate Camp, as well as readings at the Lyric Studio and Theatre Royal Haymarket. She is excited to be working on a new play as part of the scheme.
Caroline Gray lives in London. She has an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and has been a Fellow of Fine Art at the same college. In 2012 she completed the John Burgess Playwriting course in London which set her on a different course. Following this she was selected from over 630 applicants to be one of the fifty emerging playwrights who formed the Traverse 50, a year long association with the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh as part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations. She has had work shortlisted for the BBC Opening Lines competition and had a short play ‘Nits’ performed as part of Miniaturists 45 at the Arcola Theatre, London. She is using the mentoring year to extend this into a full-length play.
Andrew Thompson was born and raised in Sunderland I studied English at Northumbria University and acting at the Webber Douglas Academy. I have worked professionally as an actor for 8 years for companies including Sheffield Crucible, Nottingham Playhouse, Stratford East and the National Theatre amongst many others.
My writing includes: ‘Le Marchand de Merde’ (Arch468) – shortlisted for the Kenneth Brannagh Award, ‘Promises’ (Rosemary Branch) – Winner of Sell A Door’s Branching Out Festival, ‘Spear-Carriers’ (Northern Stage First in Three and Alphabetti Theatre), and a series of short plays staged at Theatre503,
Drayton Theatre and Theatre41. My work was selected as part of ’20 Tiny Plays About Sheffield’ at the Crucible Studio and I am currently developing my play ‘The Allotment’ with Poleroid Theatre and Live Theatre Newcastle. Having studied on an Arvon Course in 2013 with Laura Wade and Simon Stephens I am delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to be part of the Arvon/Jerwood Fellowship and work alongside my mentor David Eldridge.
Mentor – Clare Pollard
Ian Dudley was born in Dudley, lives in Oxford and works as the Chief Enterprise Architect for a global company. He won a prize in the 1985 National Poetry Competition, and had a poem shortlisted in the first Forward anthology in 1992. In the mid noughties he wrote stories which were broadcast on Radio 4 and Radio 4 extra. Since 2013 he’s devoted himself exclusively to writing poetry.
Holly Corfield Carr is based in Bristol. She received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2012 and was Highly Commended by Faber New Poets in 2014. She has undertaken residencies at the University of Bristol’s Poetry Institute, Ceramic Review, the British Ceramics Biennial, the Curfew Tower, Northern Ireland and Spike Island, with support from Arts Council England. For more information: www.hollycorfieldcarr.co.uk
Deborah Stevenson has taken her poetry from Beirut to Shanghai working with organisations such as Channel 4, The Roundhouse and The British Council. She teaches poetry on the BA Creative and Professional Writing program at the University of Nottingham and is the Artistic Director/Founder of the Mouthy Poets CIC – a collective of 50 poets writing, performing and producing poetry shows across the country.
She has been published by Louis Vuitton and has received commissions from the likes of BBC Radio 3, The Olympics and The World Freerunning Championships. This year she has been named an Associate Artist at The Curve theatre, Leicester and her debut pamphlet, Pigeon Party has been published by Flipped Eye ltd.