Jerwood/Arvon Mentees Announced

21 Mar 2019 / News

Notebook on a table during an Arvon course

Arvon and Jerwood Arts are delighted to announce the 2019/20 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees. These nine emerging writers were selected out of nearly 350 applicants in the categories of Poetry, Playwriting and Fiction, to receive a year of mentoring support from poet Hannah Lowe, playwright Evan Placey, and novelist and short story writer Nicholas Royle.

Now in its ninth iteration, this programme is run by Arvon in partnership with Jerwood Arts, with applications open to writers who attended Arvon courses in the previous two years. The programme begins in April with a week-long Masterclass residential at Totleigh Barton, Arvon’s writing centre in Devon, where mentees will attend workshops across all three forms and establish goals and plans for the year. As well as ongoing mentoring support, mentees are offered additional consultations with industry professionals, and a final writing retreat week in spring 2020. At the end of the programme, mentees contribute to a group anthology, launched at showcase events in the summer.



Nicholas Royle

Nicholas Royle is the author of three volumes of short fiction – Mortality (Serpent’s Tail), In Camera (Negative Press London) and Ornithology (Confingo Publishing) – and seven novels, most recently First Novel (Vintage). He has edited more than twenty anthologies and is series editor of Best British Short Stories (Salt). Reader in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, he also runs Nightjar Press and is head judge of the Manchester Fiction Prize.

Nicola Freeman

Nicola Freeman started her career in journalism and publishing, working as a writer and editor for various arts organisations, including the British Film Institute and the Royal Academy of Arts. She has since worked in museums and galleries, including the National Gallery and British Museum, exploring ways to engage audiences with objects and artworks through different media, including print, film, audio, digital and live events. She has invited artists from all disciplines to respond to museum collections, including established and emerging writers. Nicola enjoys experimenting with the short story form.

Sonia Hope

Sonia Hope writes short stories about everyday life. She is Librarian at the National Portrait Gallery, and Assistant Librarian at the University of London. Her stories have appeared in The Nottingham Review, Flight Journal and Flash Flood. She lives in Walthamstow, London with her partner and rescue cat.

Adam Welch

Adam Welch is a journalist and editor currently at work on a collection of short stories and his first novel. His fiction has been published in Ambit and longlisted for the 2018 London Short Story Prize, while his writing on fashion and culture appears regularly on MRPORTER.COM where he works as Editorial Director. 


Evan Placey

Evan Placey is an award-winning playwright who has written for theatres internationally and in the UK, including the National Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Unicorn, Birmingham Rep, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Plymouth Theatre Royal, NYT at the Ambassadors (West End) and BBC Radio 3.

Rachel Betts

Rachel Betts is a writer, director and practitioner from Oxford and recently developed her first play through an Arvon retreat and the John Retallack Playwriting course. As if you are Infinite explores the depth and complexity of parent/child relations and is supported by Pegasus Theatre, where she is an Associate Artist, Fevered Sleep and the Arts Depot residency scheme. Rachel is a Visiting Lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London, was an Associate Director of Oily Cart and is a trustee for Theatre-Rites. Her MA focused on how experiencing drama can support young people to write freely and expressively and this work has taken her to the townships of South Africa, to India and Japan.

Charlie Dupré

Charlie Dupré is a writer and performer from London. As a spoken word artist, he performed at festivals such as Latitude and In The Woods, and was a BBC and National Slam finalist. His first solo show, The Stories of Shakey P, commissioned in part by the RSC, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2012, and in 2016 he won the Rising Star Award at the LABF Film Festival, for his Arts Council-funded short film, Faustus: Remixed. His satirical comedy, Macblair toured in 2017, hailed as one of The Scotsman‘s Top 6 political shows at the Fringe. The sequel, Boris Rex will premiere at Brighton Fringe in May 2019.

Gillian Greer

Gillian Greer is a playwright and dramaturg from Dublin who has seen her work performed in The Abbey in Dublin, The Traverse in Edinburgh and all manner of London fringe venues. Her debut play Petals was nominated for the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play in 2015 and is currently being adapted for radio. Her most recent play Meat was shortlisted for the Theatre503 International Playwriting Prize 2018 and is currently slated for production in 2020. Gill currently works on the artistic teams of The National Theatre, VAULT Festival and Clean Break.


Hannah Lowe

Hannah Lowe has published three chapbooks of poetry, and two full collections, Chick and Chan. Her family memoir Long Time, No See was chosen for BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week. She was named a 2014 Poetry Book Society Next Generation Poet.

Arji Manuelpillai

Arji Manuelpillai is a poet, performer and creative facilitator based in London. For over 15 years Arji has worked with community arts projects nationally and internationally. He is co-founder of children’s theatre company A Line Art and is an advocate for arts as a tool for change. Recently, his poetry has been published by magazines including Prole, Cannon’s Mouth, Strix, Rialto and The Lighthouse Journal. He has also been shortlisted for the BAME Burning Eye pamphlet prize 2018, The Robert Graves Prize 2018 and The Live Canon Prize 2017. Arji is a member of Wayne Holloway-Smith’s poetry group, Malika’s Poetry Kitchen and London Stanza.

Vicky Morris

Vicky Morris is a poet, editor and educator, grown in Wales, and adulted in Sheffield for many years. For 21 of them, she’s worked as a creative practitioner and facilitator, beginning in visual arts, and eventually finding her way home to words. She focuses on supporting the artistic, personal and professional development of young people, and for the past 13 years, she’s built young writers’ provision in South Yorkshire, founding Hive in 2016. Vicky won a Northern Writers Award in 2014, and in 2019 The Sarah Nutly Award for Creativity for her impact in Sheffield and beyond.

Jeffery Sugarman

(Photo: Harry Richards Photography)

Jeffery Sugarman is an American-born poet living in London. He grew up in Tampa, and has architecture degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and Virginia; he was finalist for a 2006 Harvard-Loeb Fellowship. He has written in various forms: first, architecture and design criticism; then in planning and urban design practice, in New York City where he lived, and began writing poetry, from the mid-1990s. He writes on domestic or familial love; gay desire and social difference; illness and loss, particularly from AIDS. His debut pamphlet, Dear Friend(s), is due from The Emma Press spring 2019; a first collection, The Usual Haunts, is underway. Other work has been published, or is forthcoming in the online journal Here-There Poetry, Magma and American Book Review, and long-listed in the National Poetry Competition 2016. He moved to the UK in 2009 with his English husband, and volunteers at Poet in the City.


This programme has already benefited 75 writers since first launching in 2009; recent achievements by Jerwood/Arvon alumni include: Richard Scott’s Soho (Faber & Faber, 2018) being shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prizes’ Felix Dennis Award for Best First Collection; Andrew Thompson winning Best Writer at The Stage Debut Awards 2018, and Stephanie Scott signing an international deal for her forthcoming novel The Sentence (Weidenfield & Nicholson, June 2019). For more information on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme, and to find out more about alumni of the programme and download past anthologies, click here: JERWOOD/ARVON MENTORING PROGRAMME


The Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme is generously supported by Jerwood Arts.

Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. We enable transformative opportunities for individuals across art forms, supporting imaginative awards, fellowships, programmes, commissions and collaborations. We present new work and bring people from across the arts together in the galleries at Jerwood Space, London, as well as across the UK.

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