Teaching & Events Online

This week I’ve been teaching Creative Writing to new students at the University of Leeds via online seminars. As my work usually involves a lot of live workshops and readings, I’ve been thinking hard over recent weeks about how to create welcoming, supportive spaces online: how can we re-create effective, friendly workshops and literary salons …

Interview: Martin Banham

A few extracts from my recent interview with Professor Martin Banham, published in the anniversary issue of Moving Worlds (20.1). In the inaugural issue of Moving Worlds, Martin introduced an extract from Wole Soyinka’s highly satirical play, King Baabu. Martin has nurtured a lifelong passion for African theatre and performance cultures: after graduating from the University of Leeds in …

Walter Swan 18-25 Poetry Prize, ILF 2020

I am delighted to be judging the Walter Swan 18-25 Poetry Prize this year for the Ilkley Literature Festival. The theme of this year’s competition is ‘A Kindness’. Please send us your poems and spread the word! Established in memory of the writer Walter Swan, the Walter Swan Trust encourages all forms of creative writing, …

The London Magazine Short Story Prize 2019/20

It’s such an honour to have won the The London Magazine Short Story Prize this year with my story “Against the Tide.” I’d like to thank the panel of judges and everyone involved for their time and energy in making this happen, especially during such challenging times. I am sorry that it hasn’t been possible …

Northern Short Story Festival 2020

I’m very proud to be involved in the Northern Short Story Festival 2020 and I want to thank SJ Bradley and the team for summoning the energy and creativity to get this brilliant festival online! The festival is celebrating its fifth birthday this year – and wherever you are in the world you can now …

Sheffield Stories – Collections in Verse

Over the last year, I’ve been working on a project called Collections in Verse in Sheffield, commissioned by the British Library and Poet in the City, along with two other brilliant poets – Joe Kriss and Kayo Chingonyi. The idea of the project is to bring the British Library exhibitions to life through poetry and …

Stay At Home! Literary Festival

I have been absent because of the current crisis, but I’m here to tell you about the wonderful #StayAtHome!LiteraryFestival, organised at lightening speed by the brilliant Carolyn Jess-Cooke in partnership with Paper Nations. A flood of writers and artists responded to Carolyn’s initial Tweet about the idea on Twitter and within a few days the …