Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme

The Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme, run in partnership with Jerwood Charitable Foundation, takes on nine talented, emerging writers, who receive mentoring for one year by an established writer working in either Fiction, Playwriting or Poetry.

Over the course of the year you will benefit from dedicated support and guidance with your writing, two week-long residentials at an Arvon centre, additional advice from industry experts, and publication in a group anthology. This is a unique opportunity to transform your writing practice. 

This programme is now run biennially, subject to continued funding. The next iteration will run from 2019-2020 and open for applications in late 2018; it will be open to applications from 2017 and 2018 Arvon course participants, with additional eligibility requirements. For more details contact the scheme’s coordinator Joe Bibby on

The Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme is generously supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation.


Jerwood Charitable Foundation is dedicated to imaginative and responsible revenue funding of the arts, supporting artists to develop and grow at important stages in their careers. The aim of its funding is to allow artists and arts organisations to thrive; to continue to develop their skills, imagination and creativity with integrity. It works with artists across art forms, from dance and theatre to literature, music and the visual arts. For more information visit Jerwood Charitable Foundation’s website.


Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2017/18

The 2017/18 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by playwright Tim Crouch, poet Pascale Petit and fiction writer Jacob Ross.


Jacob Ross

Jacob Ross is Associate Editor for Fiction at Peepal Tree Press, author of several story collections and editor of five short story anthologies. His novel, Pynter Bender, was shortlisted for the Society of Authors ‘Best first Novel’. His latest novel The Bone Readers – won the inaugural Jhalak Prize and was shortlisted for the Association of Caribbean Writers Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Jo Clayton

Jo Clayton is a professional storyteller, director and workshop leader. She trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has performed and directed in the UK, Europe and New Zealand. She led community projects at the Globe Theatre for 3 years and has told stories at the Southbank Centre and numerous schools, festivals and events. She was instrumental in setting up The Point, an award winning Community Association on the Lambeth/Croydon border where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Martin Kidd

Martin Kidd was born in Leicester, raised in Plymouth, seasoned in Nottingham and is now marinating in the far South Western reaches of Cornwall. He is a songwriter, traveller, cat scratcher and all-round reasonably nice guy. His huge love of fiction and wordsmithery in general has had him working on his debut novel Halja for several years. Working with Jacob Ross has helped Martin create a more visceral work. Funnier – with stronger characters, richer world building, crisper violence and very bitter ends.

Jemma Picken

Jemma Picken is an Assistant Insurance Claims Manager for a large construction and facilities management company in the West Midlands. She has obtained BSc Archaeological Sciences, MSc Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation and LLDip. Jemma has written for her own enjoyment since she was a teenager, but has only begun to share her work with others in the last 3 years. One of her short stories was the British Fantasy Society’s story of the month in February 2017. Jemma has used her year on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme to complete the first draft of her first novel, The Price of Daylight.

Abbie Salter

Abbie Salter was born in Bristol and studied English and Creative Writing at the University of London. She works at a publishing house, marketing books from authors like Cecelia Ahern, Dawn O’Porter and Joanna Cannon. Previously, she volunteered as an editor at For Books’ Sake, an organisation that champions women and other marginalised writers.


Tim Crouch

Tim Crouch is a performer, writer and director. His plays include My Arm, England, An Oak Tree, The Author and Adler & Gibb and a series of plays inspired by Shakespeare’s lesser characters, that includes I, Malvolio. For the RSC, Tim has directed The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear and I, Cinna (the poet). Most recently, Tim has adapted and directed The Complete Deaths for Spymonkey and directed Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore at the Unicorn Theatre.

Rachel Burns

Rachel Burns completed a screenwriting talent scheme with Northern Film and Media. Her plays have been longlisted in several playwriting competitions, including Verity Bargate and Papatango. Her screenplays were longlisted in recent BBC Script Rooms 11 and 12. During her time on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme, she completed two darkly comic plays. Rachel has also had several poems published in literary magazines, as well as a short story in Mslexia. She volunteers with a prisoners’ charity supporting defendants and their families at Crown Court.

Maeve Clarke

Maeve Clarke is a teacher and writer from Birmingham. Her first novel, What Goes Round, and her short story, ‘Letters a Yard’, were both published by Tindal Street Press. She has also written educational readers, Give us the Money (OUP) and The Real Deal (writing as Sam Carter). In 2016, she was shortlisted for WriteNow (Penguin Random House) and won first prize with ‘Sewing Flowers’ (flash fiction) in the Creative Future Literary Awards. Her monologue Night Games was published in 2017. She has had rehearsed readings of her work at the Birmingham Rep and the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. In 2018 she was awarded Arts Council funding to further develop her Jerwood/Arvon play, White Gold, and to work on her second novel.

Russ Davies

Russ Davies is a teacher and writer from Rochdale, Lancashire, living in Lewisham, London. Originally a singer-songwriter, Russ started writing plays in 2016 and with his first submission was awarded a bursary to attend the Introduction to Playwriting Arvon City course at JW3. Alongside teaching English to secondary school children, Russ has spent the last year completing his most recent play Victor Brown, whilst also collaborating with the Brixton Youth Theatre on an original play idea to be performed this spring.

Laurie Ogden

Laurie Ogden is a writer and performer from Merseyside, now living in south-east London. She is a Barbican Young Poet and recipient of the Outspoken Performance Poetry Prize (2016). Previous work has been published in Mud Press’ WOMAN anthology and she has created work for organisations such as BBC, Roundhouse, Nationwide, Barnardo’s, and the Barbican. Her plays include TWIX **** ‘A new writing triumph’ (A Younger Theatre), and Colder Water *****. She graduated from Goldsmiths in 2017. Laurie is currently developing No One Thing, her first full-length play, and her debut poetry pamphlet.


Pascale Petit

Pascale Petit’s seventh collection Mama Amazonica will be published by Bloodaxe in 2017. Her sixth, Fauverie (Seren, 2014), was her fourth to be shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and five poems from the book won the 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize. Petit has had three collections chosen as Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement, Independent and Observer. She has travelled extensively, particularly in the Peruvian and Venezuelan Amazon, and her books have been translated in Mexico, China, Serbia and France. She trained as a sculptor at the Royal College of Art and spent the first part of her life as a visual artist. In 2015 she received a Cholmondeley Award.

Romalyn Ante

Romalyn Ante grew up in the Philippines and moved to the UK in 2005. She is joint-winner of the Manchester Writing Competition, winner of a Creative Future Literary Award, and commended in Battered Moons Poetry Competition 2017. She is also a Primers Volume 3 poet, and was recently chosen to attend Silliman University National Writers Workshop, the longest-running writing workshop in Asia. She will travel to the Philippines in 2018 to hone her craft as a Silliman fellow. She is working towards her first full collection.

Alice Hiller

Alice Hiller was Commended in the 2018 Hippocrates Prize, shortlisted for the 2017 Bridport Prize and longlisted for 2017 Primers and Fool for Poetry pamphlet competitions. She is working towards her first collection, album without photos, which responds to her direct experience of sexual abuse in childhood – and its aftermath. She has reviewed for the TLS and Poetry Review. She founded and runs the Covent Garden Stanza, a closed workshop for emerging poets. She holds a PhD from UCL, and published a history of the T-Shirt with Ebury Press. She is researching a critical biography of Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex.

Seraphima Kennedy

Seraphima Kennedy grew up in west London. She writes poetry and creative non-fiction about family, migration, conflict and music. Last year she was shortlisted for The White Review Poets’ Prize, and performed at Ledbury Poetry Festival and Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival. Her work has appeared in magazines including The Rialto, The White Review online, Magma, and And Other Poems. Seraphima is a proud member of the collective Malika’s Poetry Kitchen.

Yvonne Reddick

Yvonne Reddick’s pamphlet Translating Mountains (Seren, 2017) won the Mslexia Magazine Pamphlet Competition and was selected as a favourite pamphlet of the year in the Times Literary Supplement. She has received a Northern Writer’s Award (2016), a Hawthornden Fellowship (2017), the Poetry Society’s inaugural Peggy Poole Award and a commendation in the National Poetry Competition (2018). Her work appears in magazines such as PN Review, Stand, The North, The Compass and Mslexia. Her book Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet is published by Palgrave Macmillan. She lectures in Creative Writing and English Literature, and has reviewed poetry for the Times Literary Supplement and PN Review. She has been invited to read her poems at the Scottish Poetry Library, the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre and Lumb Bank.

Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2016/17

The 2016/17 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by poet Mona Arshi, playwright Chris Thorpe and novelist Emma Jane Unsworth.


Emma Jane Unsworth

Emma 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 adapted her second novel, Animals, into a screenplay, the film of which is due to be released in 2019. She is editing her third novel and writing a fourth.

Jean Seeram Ashbury

Jean Seeram Ashbury comes from Trinidad in the Caribbean and now lives in London. She is a teacher, traveller and writer. Her writing has appeared in anthologies published by Kingston University, Writers Abroad, Bradt Publications, and She Voices writers’ group; in Wanderlust magazine and in travel e-zines. She has been commended and highly commended in national competitions, including the 2012 & 2014 Bradt-Independent on Sunday travel writing competitions, and was on the long-list of The London Short Story Prize in 2015. She holds an MA in Creative Writing and is currently working on a collection of stories set in Trinidad.

Nasreen Rafiq

Nasreen Rafiq attended her first Arvon course in 2015. Later that year, at The Festival of Writing in York, her submission was met with excitement and the manuscript requested. With only a few thousand words written she vowed to complete Sunset House. Months later she was awarded a place on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme and began writing her first draft. In 2016 she was awarded Joanna Cannon’s Goat Bursary Award (Notable Runner-Up) giving her the opportunity to attend the literary festival and meet with industry experts. Under the guidance of her mentor she is well on her way to completing Sunset House.

Stacey Sampson

Stacey Sampson is an actor, writer and mother from Sheffield. She has worked in theatre and television since the age of 15 and combines this with teaching performance in a variety of settings. She creates plays in collaboration with communities and theatre companies and is currently on tour with Third Angel, with whom she is an Associate Artist. Over the past two years she has completed a fellowship with the BBC and represented the UK at the international ASSITEJ gathering as an emerging writer for young audiences. The Salt of the Sky is her second novel. It recently won a Northern Writers’ Award and the Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition. She is represented by Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency.


Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe is a writer and performer from Manchester, recently for the Royal Court, the Royal Exchange and the Unicorn. He also makes work with Third Angel, Rachel Chavkin, Hannah Walker and China Plate, among others, and is produced and tours worldwide. His plays include The Oh Fuck Moment and There Has Possibly Been An Incident.

Kim Cook

Kim Cook was born and bred in Yorkshire and now lives in Somerset with her husband. During her time on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme, she completed her full length play, Carnival, produced it at her local theatre and is now working on a darker version. Last year she received a paid commission for a short family play which was performed during December in Lapland. She continues to combine her day job as a podiatrist with writing every day, ‘even if it is only ten minutes’, and is currently producing three of her short plays scheduled for performance in May 2017.

Jenny Lee

Jenny Lee 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 started writing in 2014. Her work includes Super Ordinary, an illustrated musical, at Soho Theatre; Neon Nights, which won an IdeasTap Inspires/BBC Writersroom Award, and Heartbeats & Algorithms at the Edinburgh Fringe, which subsequently toured to London and the regions. Jenny is a member of the Royal Court writers’ group. “A writer who knows how to push all the right buttons” – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian.

Alex Murdoch

Alex Murdoch was born in Cardiff and trained as an actor at École Philippe Gaulier. Her theatre company Cartoon de Salvo devised shows for 20 years touring nationally and internationally. She recently began exploring her practice beyond the company, working as an actor with Improbable, NIE and Young Vic. Encouraged by a commission from John McGrath (then at National Theatre Wales), she began to write plays and was invited onto Royal Courts 26+ writers programme. During her mentorship her play Light is on a Timer was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and she signed with Ikenna Obiekwe at Independent Talent.


Mona Arshi

Mona Arshi’s debut collection, Small Hands, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2015. Her second collection will be published in spring 2019.

Dom Bury

Dom Bury lives between North Devon and London and has worked as a motorcycle factory machine operator, a Nanny and as an Advertising Creative. He has been published recently in magazines and anthologies including: Poetry London, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Wales, Magma, Ambit, Iota, The North, Oxford Poetry, The New European, and Best British Poetry 2014. He has won the Magma Poetry Prize, 2nd Prize in the Resurgence Ecopoetry Competition and was the recipient of a 2016 Eric Gregory Award.

Ella Frears

Ella Frears is a trustee and editor of Magma Poetry and has had work published in Poetry London, The Rialto, The Moth, The Emma Press, Brittle Star, Poems in Which and The Stockholm Review of Literature among others. She was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London 2014 and has completed residencies and commissions for the National Trust, Tate Britain, Tate St.Ives, Newlyn Art Gallery and most recently in the Observatory spaces in Buckler’s Hard, New Forest with SPUD. Ella was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry prize 2015 & 2017, the Bridport Poetry Prize 2015 and was highly commended in the Brittle Star Poetry Competition 2016. Ella was recently awarded a fully funded scholarship for the MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway University, where she is currently Poet in Residence writing about the Cassini space mission. Her pamphlet Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity will be published Autumn 2017 with Goldsmiths Press.

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough was born in Ely, but spent two decades living and working abroad. Elisabeth’s pamphlet, Glass, was a winner of the Paper Swans inaugural pamphlet competition. It went on to be a Poetry Society Young Poets’ Network Summer 2016 ‘pick’ and sold its first print-run in two months. In 2017 it was shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards. Her debut collection Sightings (Paper Swans) was nominated for the Forward Prize 2017. Elisabeth’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Poem, The Rialto, Magma, Mslexia, The Cannon’s Mouth and Stand. She has won prizes in numerous poetry competitions and has been widely anthologised.

Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2015/16

The 2015/16 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by poet Caroline Bird, playwright Tanika Gupta, and novelist Ross Raisin.


Ross Raisin

Ross Raisin is an author of short stories and two novels, God’s Own Country and Waterline, which won or were shortlisted for a dozen awards. He was one of Granta Best of Young British Novelists 2013.

Rue Baldry

Rue Baldry was raised in Essex and Dar Es Salaam. In 1988 she went to York to study English Literature and never left. She now has five children and an MA in Creative Writing. Her scripts have been performed by amateur groups, and given readings by professional theatres. Her play for children, Under the Stars, is currently in its second production. In recent years she has changed direction to concentrate on writing fiction. She spent this mentorship year completing her first novel, Still, which she had been working on for seven years, and has just begun working on a second novel.

Gill Darling

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. My Quondam Dreams are Shot to Hell is her first novel.

Carol Farrelly

Carol Farrelly is a fiction writer based in Edinburgh. In 2013 she received a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from Creative Scotland and in 2011 won the Sceptre Prize and a Scottish Booktrust New Writer Award. Her short stories have been widely published in journals such as The Irish Times, Stand and Edinburgh Review, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She won the International Hemingway Short Story Prize and has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Fish Short Story Prize. During her time on the scheme, she has been working on her novel Beheld. She read an extract from Beheld at the 2015 Edinburgh International Book Festival.


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.

Annette Brook

Annette Brook was born, raised and currently lives in south 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, 2010), Bounty (Iris Theatre, 2011; shortlisted for the McConnell New Writing Fund, 2016), Little Baby Nothing (Theatre503, 2013), Halves (White Bear Theatre, 2014; Brockley Jack, 2012), One in Three (Ophelia, Dalston, 2014) and The other half (The Feminist Library, 2015). She has worked in the arts sector for 10 years and is currently Communications Manager for The Royal Society of Literature. She has loved working on a full-length play during the scheme.

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates’ 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 503 135 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 has an MA in Scriptwriting with distinction from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Sarah Mulholland

Sarah Mulholland was born and bred in Portsmouth and has been pursuing a career in mental health since leaving university. In the last couple of years she decided to practise what she preaches and faced her fears about sharing her writing, which she has done in secret for most of her life. As a result, last year she had her first short play, Defeat, staged locally and managed to complete her first full length play, Whisper the Wrong Name. Sarah is a very new mother to the gorgeous Martha and lives happily by the sea with her partner Jackson.


Caroline Bird

Caroline Bird has five poetry collections published. Her most recent, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry.

Rachel Long

Rachel Long was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014. Her poems have featured in Magma, The Honest Ulsterman and The London Magazine. She is Assistant Tutor to Jacob Sam-La Rose on the Barbican Young Poets programme, and leads Octavia: Poetry Workshops for Women 136 of Colour at Southbank Centre. She has curated cross-arts literary events for Clear Lines Festival – raising awareness about sexual abuse and consent, Tate Britain, where she invited millennial female poets to respond to Tracey Emin’s My Bed, and most recently, Lit & Lynch, in which poetry is spliced into David Lynch films.

Emma Simon

Emma Simon is based in London. Her poems have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Under The Radar, The Interpreter’s House (where she was the featured poet) and Bare Fiction Magazine. In 2015 she was commended in the Battered Moons Poetry Competition and she won the Prole Laureate competition in 2013. She has used her Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme year to focus on her debut pamphlet, Phantom Limbs, and to start working towards a first collection.

Hilary Watson

Hilary Watson grew up in South Wales and currently lives in Cardiff. She completed a BA in English and Creative Writing and an MA in Writing at the University of Warwick. During her time on the scheme, Hilary was shortlisted for the Live Canon International Poetry Prize and had a poem 137 commissioned for their ‘Project 154’, in 2016. With support from Literature Wales, she is currently working on her first collection of poetry. She works at Welsh Women’s Aid and plays roller derby with the Tiger Bay Brawlers.

Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2014/15

The 2014/15 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by novelist Jenn Ashworth, playwright David Eldridge and poet Clare Pollard.


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 was The Friday Gospels. She lives in Lancashire and teaches Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Her latest novel is Fell.

Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin grew up in the West Country and read Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge. After several years overseas, she now lives between Oxford and London. 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 USA and appeared on NPR affiliates there. She is founder and host of popular Oxford literary night Short Stories Aloud and a Senior Lecturer at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, Sarah has used the mentoring year to focus on her novel, Shelter.

Susie Hales

Susie Hales grew up in a small village in the Midlands, a reluctant country-dweller yearning for the city. She studied psychology at the University of Manchester and worked as a waitress, a record shop assistant and a door-to-door researcher before training as a mental health professional. After the Group is her first novel.

Grahame Williams

Grahame Williams was born in County Down, Northern Ireland in 1978 and now lives and works in London. He studied English Literature at Cambridge and then Computer Science at Bristol. He has spent the mentorship year completing his first novel, Samson & Goliath, as well as working on a series of linked stories related to the novel. One of these stories was short-listed for the Fish Short Story Prize 2015. A letter to the imaginary girls of Samson & Goliath will appear in issue 6 of The Letters Page. Grahame also co-runs the Kinder Stories creative writing project and has led a number of workshops in it over the course of the mentorship year.


David Eldridge

David Eldridge is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His play Beginning premiered at the National Theatre in autumn 2017 and subsequently transferred to the West End. Other plays and screenplays include The Scandalous Lady WIn BasildonFesten, The Picture Man and Under The Blue Sky. He is currently under commission to BBC TV, the Royal Court Theatre and Cave Bear/Tiger Aspect.

Caroline Gray

Caroline Gray was for several years a practising artist in sculpture and installation following an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and a Fellowship at the University of the Arts London.  In 2012 she completed the inaugural John Burgess Playwriting course in London, which was a radical and exciting change of direction.  Following this she was selected to be one of the emerging playwrights who formed the Traverse 50, which involved a year long association with the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in 2013.  Her piece Hard Shoulder was shortlisted for the BBC Opening Lines competition and her short play Nits was performed at the Arcola Theatre as part of the Miniaturists 45.  Caroline has used the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme year to develop Nits into her first full length play.

Cathy Thomas

Cathy Thomas was born in Bristol and now lives in London. After studying at Oxford, she went on to gain an MA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media from the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has since been invited on to playwriting groups at the Royal Court and Lyric Hammersmith. Her work has been produced at Southwark Playhouse, Rich Mix, Embassy Theatre, Burton Taylor Studio and Climate Camp, as well as rehearsed readings at the Lyric Studio and Theatre Royal Haymarket

Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson studied English at Northumbria University before winning a scholarship to study Acting at the Webber Douglas Academy. He has worked as an actor for the last 10 years. Andrew has written short plays staged at Theatre503, Arch 468, Northern Stage, Theatre41 and Sheffield Theatres, amongst others. Longer works include The Merchant, shortlisted for the Kenneth Branagh Award, Promises, winner of the Sell A Door Branching Out Festival and recently staged at The Bridewell Theatre, and The Allotment – currently in development with Poleroid Theatre and Live Theatre Newcastle.


Clare Pollard

Clare Pollard’s latest collection of poetry is Incarnation (2017). Her translations include Ovid’s Heroines (2013), which she toured as a one-woman show. She edits Modern Poetry in Translation.

Holly Corfield Carr

Holly Corfield Carr is a poet based in Bristol, where she has worked in residence at the Bristol Poetry Institute at the University of Bristol and Spike Island, with support from Arts Council England.  She received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2012 and in 2014 was Highly Commended by Faber New Poets.  With Clare Pollard and the Jerwood / Arvon Mentoring Scheme, Holly has worked on her first collection and on the site-specific project MINE, a sequence of poems which she performed underground in the eighteenth-century Goldney Grotto as part of the Bristol Biennial. MINE was published as a pamphlet by Spike Island with City Edition Studio in 2014.

Ian Dudley

During his mentoring year Ian M Dudley had poems published, or accepted for publication, in Oxford Poetry, The Dark Horse, and Wasafiri, and won the 2015 Oxonian Review poetry competition. He wrote Business Class, a pamphlet-length sequence about work in a multinational company, and worked on a collection of poems under the working title Heartbreak Tattoo.

Debris Stevenson

Debris Stevenson found poetry at 16 in the gut of the Roundhouse, where words enabled her to navigate her dyslexia. After being followed by Channel 4 for 2 years, she was published by organisations such as, Louis Vuitton, Oxford University, Holland Park Press and BBC Radio’s The Verb. Flipped Eye published her debut pamphlet, Pigeon Party, in 2014. A social carrier pigeon, Debris has performed her poetry from the National Theatre Zagreb to a street corner in San Francisco. She is particularly interested in the alternative narrative and vocabulary that poetry provides for those navigating identity; race, education, sexuality, disability and mental health. A trained Zumba instructor, Debris can often be found dancing sober and alone to Dubstep, Dancehall or Moombahton.

Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2013/14

The 2013/14 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by poet Patience Agbabi, novelist Nikita Lalwani and playwright Amy Rosenthal.


Nikita Lalwani

Nikita Lalwani is the author of two novels, The Village and Gifted, which was longlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2007, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and winner of the Desmond Elliot Award for New Fiction.

Jessica Mitchell

Jessica Mitchell was born in Lancaster in 1983, and now lives in Bristol. She studied Drama with English at Manchester University and then Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam, where she specialised in poetry and script. Sylvia Said is her first novel.

Sarah Hegarty

Sarah Hegarty was born in Bristol, and grew up in the North West. After graduating in Mandarin from Leeds University she worked as a print journalist, latterly as a freelance. She left journalism to start a family and studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University, graduating with Distinction in 2006. Her short fiction has been published by Cinnamon Press, Mslexia, the Momaya Annual Review and on the web, as well as placed in competitions. Her story Something Hidden is the title story of the 2013 anthology from Bridge House. Her first novel, The Ash Zone, based on her life in Beijing in 1980, won the 2011 Yeovil Literary Prize. Her novel-in-progress, Beyond the Forest, is inspired by the Congolese woman who appears at the end of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Find out more about Sarah’s work at

Stephanie Scott

Stephanie Scott was born in Singapore. She graduated in English Literature from the Universities of York and Cambridge and worked in investment banking in New York, London and Rome before leaving finance to write full-time. Her debut novel, The Sentence, is set in modern Japan. In 2012 she was awarded the Toshiba Studentship for her anthropological work on Japanese culture, a Distinction for her M.St in Creative Writing at Oxford University and the A.M. Heath Prize for New Writing. Thus far, Stephanie’s fiction has focused on East and South East Asia where she grew up: a poem on the Death Railway in Thailand was one of the winners of the Fish International Poetry Prize 2011, and her prose on the bombing of Hiroshima was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize 2012 and 2013.


Amy Rosenthal

Amy Rosenthal has written extensively for theatre and radio. Her plays include On The Rocks, Sitting Pretty and Henna Night. Amy has two musicals in development and is currently working on two new plays.

Grace Cleary

Grace Cleary grew up in Glasgow. She has a family who, between them, provided her with nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. When her children were self-sufficient she completed her Social Work qualification. She then obtained a Practice Teaching diploma and a BA Honours degree. All this resulted in a lifelong hunger for learning. Consequently, on the day that she retired, she applied for a Creative Writing course at Edinburgh University. Last year she was chosen, from 630 applicants from all over the world, as one of 50 emerging playwrights – ‘The Traverse 50’, formed to celebrate Traverse Theatre’s 50th anniversary. In spring 2014 she recently collaborated with Liz Lochhead, the Scottish Makar (Poet Laureate), and Tom Leonard, on a play which was performed in the Traverse, Oran Mor and The Barony theatres. During the mentoringyear she completed two full-length plays – but her greatest achievement will always be her children.

German Munoz

German Munoz grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, and it is here that he will always call home. He wrote his first play when he was 13 and it was pretty bad. Nonetheless, seeing it performed by his class caused him much exhilaration. When his mother dragged him to see Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women he realised how powerful and moving theatre could be. His short plays have been produced in London at The Bush Theatre, Arcola Theatre, and Theatre503, as well as in Canada and the US. He was commissioned to write a short play for Papercut Theatre’s XY (Hopelessly Devoted to You) which was seen at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2013 at the Pleasance Courtyard. His first full evening of work, Straying in Seattle, premiered at The White Bear Theatre in January 2014. He is very appreciative of the support and encouragement he received from Amy Rosenthal this year and has agreed to worship her for life.

Yvonne Smith

Yvonne Smith grew up in Croydon and studied literature at the University of Leeds. She works in the field of legal research and trade union education. She has had several short theatre plays performed at venues such as Theatre 503, the Etcetera Theatre. She has also worked with the Red Room Theatre Co on an optioned play ‘Field’ and had a rehearsed reading for Paines Plough. Yvonne has reached the final shortlist of the Verity Bargate Competition. She has used the mentoring year to focus on completing her full-length play.


Patience Agbabi

Patience Agbabi’s most recent collection is Telling Tales, a Canterbury Tales for the 21st century. She is a Fellow in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University.

Niall Campbell

Niall Campbell grew up on the island of South Uist, one of the Western Isles of Scotland. He has been a recipient of an Eric Gregory Award and won the Poetry London Competition in 2013. His first collection, Moontide, was produced in 2014 and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Samantha Jackson

Samantha Jackson was born in Yorkshire and now lives in London, working as a commissioning editor for Penguin Random House. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, where she experienced her first creative writing workshop, taught by Esther Morgan. After focusing on a career in publishing, she came back to writing in 2006, completing a Creative Writing Certificate at Birkbeck, University of London, followed by an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work has appeared in UK poetry magazines and anthologies, including Ambit, ARTEMISpoetry, Iota, Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam, The Frogmore Papers and The Rialto.

Paul Stephenson

Paul Stephenson was born and grew up in Cambridge. He studied modern languages then European Studies, living in France, Spain and the Netherlands. His poetry has appeared in many UK magazines as well as the anthology Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins, 2012). His poem ‘Round the Block’ was awarded second prize in the 2013 Café Writers Open Poetry Competition. He has been highly commended twice in the Bridport Prize. Recently he completed the Sheffield Poetry Business Writing School. He lives between London and Paris and works as a university teacher and researcher.

Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2011/12

The 2011/12 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by playwright Nell Leyshon, novelist Maria McCann, and poet Daljit Nagra.


Maria McCann

Maria McCann is a fiction writer. Her novels As Meat Loves Salt, was an Economist Book of the Year and The Wilding was longlisted for the Orange Prize. She has been in anthologies, including Why Willows Weep and Beacons.

Martha Close

Martha Close worked and travelled in Europe, North America and South East Asia before settling in South West London where she teaches English and drama. She  graduated from Birkbeck’s MA in Creative Writing and her work has been published in Cadenza, Other Poetry, Yoga Magazine and the Guardian online. Her first novel, developed during the mentoring year, is a contemporary story of a Cambodian girl’s struggle for survival in a brutal world.

Julie Mayhew

Julie Mayhew grew up in Peterborough, studied Journalism at Bournemouth University, then trained as an actress at Drama Studio London. She still acts, but mostly writes. Her latest radio play for BBC Radio 4, A SHOEBOX OF SNOW, was radio choice in eleven national newspapers, shortlisted for the Nick Darke Award and nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award. Her short story collection END OF has been shortlisted for the 2012 Scott Prize. As well as writing MOTHER TONGUE, Julie edited and found a home for her first novel RED INK while on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme. It will be published by Hot Key Books in Spring 2013.

Fleur Sinclair

Fleur Sinclair grew up on the edge of a small town, reading, writing and recording radio serials with her best friend, drawing detailed pictures of pond life with her mum, watching old musicals with her dad and playing games of Tiddlywinks and Contraband with her octogenarian great aunt. Fleur studied photography and worked for many years in London as a photographer’s agent, before returning to her native Kent to concentrate on raising her young family. She has written both children’s and adult fiction and is represented by Louise Lamont at A P Watt.


Nell Leyshon

Nell Leyshon’s novels include Black Dirt and The Colour of Milk. Her plays include Comfort Me With Apples and Bedlam, the first play written by a woman to be performed at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Georgina Burns

Georgina Burns is from North London and works in NHS mental health. Prior to this she worked in the editorial departments of both fiction and non-fiction publishers. She started writing for theatre seriously three years ago and has had work on at Hampstead Theatre (Start Night), Theatre 503 (Rapid Write Response, Rapid Write Rewind) and Riverside Studios (OffCut). Her work has been shortlisted for the International Student Playscript Competition 2010 and longlisted for the Papatango new writing competition in 2011.

Charlotte Macleod

Charlotte Macleod’s afternoon play The Womb Whisperer will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 later this year. Her first play Falling was shortlisted for the Westminster Prize at the Soho Theatre. Wasted was performed at the John Taylor space in Coventry and is going to The Edinburgh Festival. A Thousand Several Tongues was performed at The Theatre 503 in January 2012. Charlotte is currently working on her next project for the BBC.

Helen Saarma

Helen Saarma lives in Lancashire and attended her first Arvon course in 2008. After writing scripts for several short films, she is now developing her radio and TV scriptwriting. After submitting a radio play to BBC writersroom in 2010, she is now part of a BBC Writersroom North’s writing group at Media City UK in Salford. Through this, Helen has attended a series of intensive screenwriting workshops, been invited to pitch ideas, meet industry professionals and submit scripts.


Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra was born in London and has published three collections of verse. He has won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem and for Best First Collection. In 2015 he was selected as a New Generation Poet.

Liz Berry

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in London where she works as an infant school teacher. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2009. Her poetry has appeared in many of the major UK magazines and on Radio 3. Her debut pamphlet, The Patron Saint of Schoolgirls, was published by tall-lighthouse in 2010. She is Emerging Poet in Residence at Kingston University and is currently working on her first collection.

Anita Pati

Anita Pati first wrote poetry as a child, restarted slowly a few years ago, and became serious as a 2011 Jerwood/Arvon mentee. She had her first poem, ‘An unborn child wonders if it’s worth it’, published in Magma in 2011. The same poem is due to appear in the Salt anthology Best British Poetry 2012, published later this summer. Anita was born and grew up in a northern seaside town and now lives in London. Trained variously as a journalist and a librarian, she has taken one Arvon course so far and hopes to attend many more.

Richard Scott

Richard Scott was born in Wimbledon in 1981 and studied music at the Royal College of Music. He went on to study poetry at Faber Academy and has since had his poetry published in Poetry London and Wasafiri Magazine. His poem ‘Adin’ won the Wasafiri New Writing Prize in 2011 and he is currently completing an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College, London. Richard lives in London and works as a musician and a teacher.

Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2010/11

The 2010/11 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by novelist Bernardine Evaristo, playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz and poet Jo Shapcott.


Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction, most recently Mr Loverman. She is also a literary critic and essayist. She has written drama for BBC radio and theatre. Her many awards and honours include an MBE in 2009. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.

Chelsey Flood

Chelsey Flood lives in Derby where she is finishing the first draft of her novel Silverweed, supported by Arts Council England. Last year, she graduated from the University of East Anglia Creative Writing MA, where her dissertation – an extract from Silverweed – won the Curtis Brown Award. She has had her prize-winning short stories published in a variety of places including Route, Riptide, and Southword. She is represented by Catherine Clarke at the Felicity Bryan Agency.

Lin Noueihed

Lin Noueihed is a journalist working for Reuters. She moved to London in 2009 after a decade based in the Middle East, where she reported on politics, finance and conflict from Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus, Sanaa, Amman and Dubai. Lin has since been working as an editor, with brief stints in Bahrain and Tunisia to cover the Arab Spring, and has started writing her first novel, which is set in Beirut. Since being selected for the Jerwood/Arvon mentoring scheme 2010, she is half-way through the first draft of her book.

Lina Morton

Lina Morton was born to Russian and Polish parents in a Displaced Persons Camp, a sub-camp of Dachau Concentration Camp. She was raised in Germany and Australia and lives in Somerset. She taught business studies in Australia, Canada and England, and now works as an independent Counsellor at a medical centre in Somerset. She studied psychology while bring up her children, and her proposed PhD thesis led her to explore themes of trauma and the process of its transmission in literary form. Lina attended an Arvon life writing course in 2009.


Rebecca Lenkiewicz

Rebecca Lenkiewicz has written plays for the National, Arcola, Soho Theatre, Almeida and Old Vic amongst others. She also writes extensively for radio and has co-written one film, Ida.

Kate Kerrow

Kate Kerrow trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has a BA and MA in Literature. She co-wrote The Riot Showgrrrls Club to critical acclaim for Edinburgh in 2009, and her second play will be produced later this year. Kate was accepted into The National Academy of Writing this year and was shortlisted for the London Arts and Performance Short Fiction Award 2010. As an actress, Kate has worked for The Birmingham Rep, Belfast Opera House, The Bristol Old Vic, Southwark Playhouse, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Venice Film Festival, and has completed two national tours.

Ros Martin

Ros Martin is a Bristol-based playwright, who has been writing since 2002. Having joined Bristol Black Writers and co-founded both Black Women’s Writing Group and Our Stories Make Waves, she has attended Arvon writing courses, enhancing her artistic practice and confidence in her voice. Recent commissions include a short film, radio and news articles. She has also worked with musicians to combine history with performance art for the Bristol Poetry Festival 2009 and 2010. Of her plays, Shantytown’s Game 2011 and Moonheaven 2010, the latter received a rehearsed reading at the National Theatre Studio in 2010 and won the Alfred Fagon Special Commendation Award 2010.

Janice Okoh

Janice Okoh lives in London and has been writing since she was fourteen years old. She has attended one Arvon course outside the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme, participated in The Royal Court’s Playwriting Groups and completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She is currently one of twelve writers chose to participate in Channel Four’s prestigious Scriptwriting Course. Janice has written three plays for the BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play series and Carnival, a short response piece as part of the Current Affairs Series From Fact to Fiction.


Jo Shapcott

Jo Shapcott’s most recent collection, Of Mutability, won the Costa Book Award (Poetry). In 2011 she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Poems from her previous award-winning collections are gathered in a collection of selected poems, Her Book.

Gemma Green

Gemma Green studied Classics at university and gained an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia under the guidance of Andrew Motion. Her poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies and in 2008 she won 2nd prize in the Daily Telegraph Poetry for Performance competition and has since been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, Mslexia Poetry Competition and the Tall Lighthouse Pamphlet competition.

Geraldine Clarkson

Geraldine Clarkson has been writing for about three years, and has enjoyed courses and retreats at several different Arvon centres during that time. She was shortlisted for the Arvon International Poetry Competition in 2010, and her poems have appeared in Smiths Knoll (‘Lorm’), the Daily Mirror, Poetry Digest, and (forthcoming) Fuselit. At the beginning of 2011, she was chosen to take part in the Escalator Development Scheme, run by Writers’ Centre Norwich. Her poem ‘Marginalia’ was one of two poems selected for This Line is Not for Turning: Anthology of Contemporary British Prose Poetry, due out from Cinnamon Press in 2011.

Stevie Ronnie

Stevie Ronnie was born in Newcastle in 1976 and spent his childhood in a field in rural Northumberland. After several years working with computers in the automobile, gas and gambling industries he now earns a living as a freelance writer and artist. A poetry pamphlet, The Thing To Do When You Are Not In Love, appeared from Sand/Red Squirrel Press in 2008 and he has recently competed the manuscript for his first full-length collection. Stevie also writes scripts, stories and song lyrics and makes art installations, which often combine poetry with digital technology. For more information visit:

Jerwood/Arvon Mentees 2009/10

The 2010/11 cohort of Jerwood/Arvon mentees were mentored by novelist Romesh Gunesekera, poet Mimi Khalvati and playwright Colin Teevan.


Romesh Gunesekera

Romesh Gunesekera’s books include the Booker shortlisted Reef and Novel Writing: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion. He was a judge for Granta’s Best Young British Novelists 2013 and the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Tom Raphael Eaves

Tom Raphael Eaves is a twenty-two-year-old writer from West London. He recently returned from a three-month spell in San Francisco, where he interned for Dave Eggers and his publishing company of McSweeney’s. Tom is currently involved in the formation of a London branch of McSweeney’s 826 writing centres, among other transatlantic projects, although his own writing practice indisputably wears the trousers, and Tom is now applying to MA courses in Creative Writing at East Anglia and Goldsmiths. None of this, he strongly believes, would be possible without the impassioned benevolence of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Arvon, if:book, and his mentor Romesh Gunesekera.

Joanna Quinn

Joanna Quinn was born in London but now lives in Dorset, where she works for a charity. Previously, she has worked as a journalist in Bristol and South Dorset. Joanna came second in the Bridport Prize Short Story Competition in 2008 and won the Dorset Prize in 2009. She has also had a short story published in a Leaf Books anthology and another in the New Welsh Review. She is currently studying for an MPhil in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan, as well as working on two more short stories and a novel or two.

Sue Wilsea

Sue Wilsea lives in a village near Hull, Yorkshire. In an earlier life she had short stories and articles published in a variety of publications but took a short break (all right, 25 years) to cultivate a career, four children and her garden. Now she teaches creative writing part-time at Hull University and is a freelance Arts Practitioner. Her novel, Letters from the Summerhouse, had sat comfortably on the back burner for far too long until the year of mentoring forced it (rather like this metaphor) onto the hotplate. Sue is grateful, hopeful, and finally, impatient.


Colin Teevan

Colin Teevan’s work has been produced by the National Theatre, the Young Vic, Soho Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland among many others. He is also a translator, screenwriter, radio dramatist and Professor of Playwriting and Screenwriting at Birkbeck.

Gemma Langford

Gemma Langford was awarded an Arvon grant to attend a course in 2007. In 2008, her first full-length play We Were Here reached the top 10% of the Bruntwood prize. Gemma then went on to win a place on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme and was mentored by playwright Colin Teevan. Gemma has been chosen by the Royal Exchange Theatre to be one of ‘The Twelve’, a group of writers selected as up and coming talent. She is currently collaborating with them on her second full length play.

Hannah Silva

Hannah Silva is a performance poet and theatre maker currently based in Devon. She has performed widely at events including London Word Festival, Poetry Hearings in Berlin, and Alchemy in Prague. The Times has described her as ‘one of the most ambitious and entertaining poets in the country’ (Top Ten Literary Stars of 2008). Recent commissions include Boat on the Water, a poetry/dance/theatre piece set on board a yacht in Plymouth (for Dance in Devon). Two plays: The Blok and Babyvoice were completed during the mentorship. Hannah was recently awarded a development bursary from the Theatre Royal in Plymouth.

Claudine Toutoungi

Claudine Toutoungi trained as an actor at LAMDA and has acted at the Royal court and Oxford Playhouse. Her plays include Life Skills (for Shared Experience Youth Theatre, the Hampstead Theatre) Outside In (for Menagerie Theatre Company, the Junction Cambridge and Drip Action Theatre Company, Arundel) and Snap Crackle Pop (Menagerie, Cambridge). She also co-wrote the comedy review Shakespeare for Breakfast (Edinburgh Fringe, C venue) and has had poetry published by Bloodaxe. As a producer for BBC Radio Drama for four years, some of her credits include Baghdad Burning and Exiled from Paradise (CRE RIMA Award for Best Radio Drama).


Mimi Khalvati

Mimi Khalvati’s eight collections with Carcanet Press include The Meanest Flower, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry, and The Weather Wheel, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Carole Bromley

Carole Bromley lives in York where she teaches creative writing at York university. She has been writing for about fifteen years, has been on many Arvon courses and completed an MPhil in Writing at Glamorgan University in 2001. Carole has been widely published in magazines including Smiths Knoll, The North, The Rialto, and Mslexia and has taken a number of first prizes in competitions, including The Bridport (2005) and the Yorkshire Open (2007). Twice a winner in the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition, she has two pamphlets from Smith/Doorstop, Unscheduled Halt (2005) and Skylight (2009).

Thomas Yates

Thomas Yates was a TES Young Poet of the Week three times and won the Poetry Society’s Young Poet of the Year in 1998 and 1999. His work is forthcoming from Poetry Review and Dream Catcher and has appeared on the Arvon website and in anthologies including The Gift: New Writing for the NHS, Phoenix New Writing and The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Tenth Anniversary Anthology. He was recently longlisted for an Eric Gregory Award.


Maitreyabandhu lives and works at the London Buddhist Centre in East London. He has been ordained into the Western Buddhist Order for 20 years and has been practicing Buddhism and meditation for 24 years. In 2009 he won the Keats-Shelley Prize, the Basil Bunting Poetry Award, the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and first prize for a short collection in the New Writer Prose and Poetry Competition. He won first prize in the Manchester Cathedral International Religious Poetry Competition in 2007. He has published two books on Buddhism (Windhorse Publications).

This website uses cookies to give you the best experience. Agree by clicking the 'Accept' button.