I know it's a cliché, but I have always been a writer. My earliest career ambition was to be able to touch type like my primary school secretary Mrs. Berry, and as soon as we had a computer at home I penned a dozen Jacqueline Wilson-esque novels that I printed out and forced onto my parents, teachers and family friends.
Nowadays my work is far less plagiarised and, thankfully, a bit more successful. I like to write about family, identity and the concept of 'home', and often blur the lines between poetry and prose.
Just before the pandemic I wrote a memoir called Bridie, Darling about my relationship with my amazing dad Patrick, who died in 2018. Then, in early 2023, I received DYCP funding from the Arts Council to work on translating some of my experiences into fiction, specifically for a young adult audience. The opening to this new, experimental manuscript - which is currently called Stone Galaxies - won me the Northern Debut Awards for YA fiction at the Northern Writers Awards in June of this year.
My hope is to use the prize money and the mentoring the Northern Writers Awards offers to finish this manuscript by Christmas and start querying agents in early 2024.
I have been lucky enough to be commissioned to write poems and short stories for a number of different organisations, including Changing Relations, Curious Arts, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and Gateshead Council. I have also put together writing programmes for places such as Kielder Observatory, and I run the 150-member online creative writing group for the charity Let's Talk About Loss.
You can find out more about these specific projects - and my creative process - on my portfolio page.