Jerwood/Arvon Mentees | Arvon


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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 mentors Hannah Lowe, Evan Placey and Nicholas Royle.


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, her first published short story, Halloween, appeared as a chapbook from Nightjar Press in 2019.

Sonia Hope

Sonia Hope’s short fiction has appeared in online magazines, including The Nottingham Review, Flight Journal and Ellipsis Zine. She was shortlisted for The Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize 2019. Sonia is the Librarian at the National Portrait Gallery and lives in London.

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 premiered at the Edinburgh Festival before showings at the Arcola, the Roundhouse, Trafalgar Studios and the RSC. In 2016 he won the Rising Star Award at the LABF Film Festival for his short film Faustus: Remixed, and in 2017 his satirical comedy Macblair was one of The Scotsman‘s Top 6 political shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. Its sequel Boris Rex was nominated for an Off-Westend Award during its run at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London.

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. Arji’s debut pamphlet was released with Out-Spoken Press.

Vicky Morris

Vicky Morris is a poet, editor and creative educator raised in North Wales and based in Sheffield. For 21 years she’s worked as a creative practitioner and facilitator, beginning in visual arts and finding her way home to words through supporting the development of young writers. She’s been published in places like Butcher’s Dog, The Rialto, Poetry Wales, The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, Brittle Star, and Verse Matters anthology (Valley Press). She won first place in the Prole Laureate Competition 2019, was a runner-up in the Mother’s Milk Poetry Prize 19/20, and was highly commended in the Carers UK Poetry competition 2017. For the past 13 years, Vicky has built young writers’ provision in South Yorkshire, founding Hive in 2016. She won a Northern Writers Award in 2014, and in 2019 The Sarah Nulty Award for Creativity for her impact in the region.

Jeffery Sugarman

(Photo: Harry Richards Photography)

Jeffery Sugarman is an American-born poet living in London. He grew up in Tampa, Florida, and studied at the universities of Pennsylvania and Virginia. He began writing on architecture and urban design whilst in professional design practice in New York City; and was a finalist for a 2006 Harvard-Loeb Fellowship. From early days poetry allowed for personal exploration—domestic and familial love; homosexual desire and shame; social exclusion, illness and loss, particularly from AIDS. He’s grateful to the Jerwood/Arvon programme, especially his mentor, Hannah Lowe, for helping him forge a more public voice. His debut chapbook, Dear Friend(s), is published by The Emma Press; a first collection, tentatively titled The Usual Haunts, is underway. Other work is published, or forthcoming, in ‘Here-There Poetry’ and ‘Vada’ online; Magma, Finished Creatures, and American Book Review; and was long-listed in the National Poetry Competition. He moved to the UK in 2009 with his English husband, and volunteers at Poet in the City.


Following a year of mentoring, the nine mentees will contribute to a group anthology published by Arvon in summer 2020.

For more information on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme, click here: JERWOOD/ARVON MENTORING PROGRAMME 2019/20

See below to read about alumni of past iterations of this programme, and to download past anthologies.


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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The 2017/18 group of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by playwright Tim Crouch, poet Pascale Petit, and novelist Jacob Ross. You can download a digital copy of their group anthology Midnight Listening here:


Midnight Listening 2018 Jerwood Arvon Mentoring Scheme Anthology Cover

Midnight Listening (PDF)

Midnight Listening (ePub)
(open in iBooks, Microsoft Edge or Adobe Digital Editions)

Midnight Listening (mobi)
(transfer to your Kindle)


I will devote
my midnight listening to you, hum the song
that lessens the weight of my eyelids.
– from ‘Nightingale Pledge’, Romalyn Ante


Jacob Ross

Jo Clayton
Martin Kidd

Jemma Picken
Abbie Salter


Tim Crouch

Rachel Burns
Maeve Clarke
Russ Davies
Laurie Ogden


Pascale Petit

Romalyn Ante
Alice Hiller
Seraphima Kennedy
Yvonne Reddick


The 2016/17 group of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by poet Mona Arshi, playwright Chris Thorpe and novelist Emma Jane Unsworth. You can download a digital copy of their group anthology Tell It Again here:


Tell It Again (PDF)

We will tell you a story about who we are and you will say I know and we will tell it again.”
– from Light is on a Timer, Alex Murdoch


Emma Jane Unsworth

Jean Seeram Ashbury
Nasreen Rafiq
Stacey Sampson


Chris Thorpe

Kim Cook
Jenny Lee
Alex Murdoch


Mona Arshi

Dom Bury
Ella Frears
Elisabeth Sennitt Clough


The 2015/16 group of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by poet Caroline Bird, playwright Tanika Gupta and novelist Ross Raisin. You can download a digital copy of their group anthology Whisper the Wrong Name here:


Whisper the Wrong Name (PDF)


Shake your head as you close the door, whisper through the
slit, ‘I don’t know who you are‘.”
– from ‘Almost No Memory’, Rachel Long



Ross Raisin

Rue Baldry
Gill Darling
Carol Farrelly


Tanika Gupta

Annette Brook
Charlotte Coates
Sarah Mulholland


Caroline Bird

Rachel Long
Emma Simon
Hilary Watson


The 2014/15 group of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by novelist Jenn Ashworth, playwright David Eldridge and poet Clare Pollard. You can download a digital copy of their group anthology Wassailing here:


Wassailing (PDF)


Jenn Ashworth

Sarah Franklin
Susie Hales
Grahame Williams 


David Eldridge

Caroline Gray
Cathy Thomas
Andrew Thompson


Clare Pollard

Holly Corfield Carr
Ian Dudley
Debris Stevenson


The 2013/14 group of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by poet Patience Agbabi, novelist Nikita Lalwani, and playwright Amy Rosenthal. You can download a digital copy of their group anthology Swimming Lessons here:


Swimming Lessons (PDF)



Nikita Lalwani

Jessica Mitchell
Sarah Hegarty
Stephanie Scott


Amy Rosenthal

Grace Cleary
German Munoz
Yvonne Smith


Patience Agbabi

Niall Campbell
Samantha Jackson
Paul Stephenson



Maria McCann

Martha Close
Julie Mayhew
Fleur Sinclair


Nell Leyshon

Georgina Burns
Charlotte Macleod
Helen Saarma


Daljit Nagra

Liz Berry
Anita Pati
Richard Scott



Bernardine Evaristo

Chelsey Flood
Lin Noueihed
Lina Morton


Rebecca Lenkiewicz

Kate Kerrow
Ros Martin
Janice Okoh


Jo Shapcott

Gemma Green
Geraldine Clarkson
Stevie Ronnie



Romesh Gunesekera

Tom Raphael Eaves
Joanna Quinn
Sue Wilsea


Colin Teevan

Gemma Langford
Hannah Silva
Claudine Toutoungi


Mimi Khalvati

Carole Bromley
Thomas Yates