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Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2016/17

Arvon is delighted to announce the mentees for this year’s Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme, to be mentored by poet Mona Arshi, playwright Chris Thorpe and novelist Emma Jane Unsworth.

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



Mentor – Emma Jane Unsworth

Resized Cards001Emma Jane Unsworth’s first novel Hungry, the Stars and Everything won a Betty Trask Award. Her second novel Animals won a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015. She is currently adapting Animals into a screenplay and writing a third novel.




Jean-ashburyJean Ashbury grew up in Trinidad & Tobago, and now lives in London. She is a teacher, writer and traveller, and has been composing stories since her high school days.  Her writing has appeared in anthologies published by Kingston University, Writers Abroad, Bradt Travel Guides, and in the online community pages of Wanderlust magazine.  She was Highly Commended in 2014 in the Bradt-Independent on Sunday travel writing competition.  In 2015 she was longlisted for The London Short Story Prize.  She holds an MA in Creative Writing and is currently working on a collection of stories.


Gainsboro 100%Nasreen Rafiq lives in Bedford with her husband and 3 children. She graduated with a First Class BA Honours in Humanities from Nottingham Trent University. She is a member of Bedford Writer’s Circle and a committee member of Bedford International Writing Competition. Nasreen will use her Arvon/Jerwood mentoring year to complete her first novel, Sunset House.



Stacey Sampson Picture (002)Stacey Sampson is an actor, writer, facilitator and mother from South Yorkshire. She has worked in theatre and television since the age of 15 and teaches performance in a variety of settings. She writes plays in collaboration with communities and theatre companies. In 2015 she was a BBC Performing Arts Fellow and in 2016 she is an ASSITEJ Next Generation Artist and Fuse Playwright. Her first novel won a Northern Writers’ Award and came third in the Mslexia Novel Competition. She will be using the fellowship to redraft this book, and develop a second novel. She is represented by Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency.


Mentor – Chris Thorpe

admin-ajax (2)Chris Thorpe is a founder member of Unlimited Theatre and artistic associate of Third Angel. His plays have been produced worldwide and include The Oh Fuck Moment written with Hannah Jane Walker, and There Has Possibly Been An Incident.




Kim-Cook Kim Cook has been writing for about fourteen years. After attending her first Arvon course in 2007, she attended three further Arvon courses and completed a BA (Hons) in English. She joined a playwright group three years ago, which led to her forming a theatre company ‘to see my plays on stage’ and to date has produced 13 original plays. She hopes to use the year to turn her okay plays into great plays, learn to be braver, and take the first step on the ladder to launching a professional career as a playwright.


Jenny Lee_photoJenny Lee grew up in London. After graduating from university she studied acting in Paris with Philippe Gaulier – a formidable teacher who regularly reminded her she was so bad she should be “made into a British sandwich for the imperial lions at the circus.” She then co-founded Aitherios Theatre, who’ve performed in Iran, Berlin, London and Zurich. Jenny started writing in earnest in 2014. Her work includes Super Ordinary, an illustrated musical, workshopped at Soho Theatre; Neon Nights, a winner of IdeasTap Inspires/BBC Writersroom Award, and Heartbeats & Algorithms, which she wrote and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016.

Alex MurdochAlex Murdoch was born in Cardiff and trained as an actor at École Philippe Gaulier. Her theatre company Cartoon de Salvo have been devising shows for nearly 20 years touring nationally (including Northern Stage, Bristol Old Vic, Edinburgh British Council Showcase) and internationally (Hong Kong and Washington DC). In recent years she began exploring her artistic identity beyond the company. Encouraged by a writing commission from John McGrath (then at National Theatre Wales), she began to write plays and was invited on the Royal Courts first 26+ writers programme. She’s excited to use the scheme to develop a full length play.


Mentor – Mona Arshi

admin-ajaxMona Arshi was joint winner of the Manchester Creative Writing Prize in 2014. Her collection Small Hands won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.




Dom BuryDom Bury is originally from the North Coast of Devon and now lives and works in London as a copywriter. He has had poems published in magazines and anthologies including Ambit, Poetry Wales, The North, Magma and Best British Poetry 2014. He has previously won the Magma Poetry Competition and has been named as one of five British Poets to Watch in 2016 by the Huffington Post. Dom will use his Jerwood/ Arvon mentoring year to focus on his first collection.


Ella FrearsElla Frears is a poet and artist based in London. She has had poetry published in BRAND, Lighthouse, Poems In Which, The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Emma Press and the Moth. She is on the board of Magma and is co-editing issue 66. She performs across London including Kings Place, RSA and the South Bank Centre and has received commissions from Tate Britain, Tate St. Ives, St. Michael’s Mount and the Olympic Park. Ella was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London (2014) and was Poet in Residence at Knole House (2015) with the National Trust and Spread the Word.

Elizabeth_SennittElisabeth Sennitt Clough was awarded a PhD in 2010. In 2014 she won the Portico Brotherton Prize and has been placed within the top three in several other competitions, including Cannon Sonnet or Not and Café Writers. Elisabeth has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize twice and has had poems published in several anthologies, to include Bloodaxe Hallelujah for 50ft Women and For Books’ Sake Furies. Her poems have been accepted for publication in magazines such as The Rialto, Stand and The Cannon’s Mouth. To read more about Elisabeth and her pamphlet-in-progress, Glass, please visit:



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