Writer

I’ve written novels, plays, a musical, interactive dramas, interactive fiction, social media drama, factual digital and broadcast content and screenplays. I’ve won some awards for my writing – and been short and longlisted for others. I’ve also completed a number of writer training and development schemes.

My debut novel for young adults, Baby Girl, was published under the Emma Hill, Writes imprint in 2020. The book tells the story of teen mum and wannabe MC, Missie, who tries to survive the massive challenges life throws at her, by writing songs to the rhythms of her daughter’s nursery rhymes playlist. Baby Girl won a Northern Writers’ Award and was Commended in the Faber & Faber FAB Prize. Find out more about Baby Girl here.

My second novel for young adults, The Change, tells the story of Luna Higginbotham – the only brown girl in her Yorkshire village – and how she comes into her power. One day, Luna wakes up with her empathy levels switched to max. How will she navigate this change in her? What will she learn about those she loves and those who have been racist towards her?  The Change was longlisted for the SI Leeds Literary Prize in 2020. It will be published by the Emma Hill, Writes imprint in 2021. Find out more about The Change here.

My short, interactive story for 11-16s, After Words, was part of the shortlisted Alternarratives 2020 prize cohort and follows an infinity loop narrative, through a series of web links and additional content. Designed to be experienced in ten minutes, or several hours – depending on how much content the reader explores – the story is written to a child by an adult, who has ten minutes left to tell them everything they need to know. I am working towards developing the whole story as an infinity loop online and, later, as an in-person immersive experience. Find out more about After Words here.

I wrote the Bailey episodes of After The DG – BBC Children’s Instagram drama for 13-16s, which was a teen spin off of the highly successful CBBC drama, The Dumping Ground. I also developed and produced the entire series as part of my work as a senior producer of scripted digital and interactive content for BBC Children’s InHouse Productions. Find out more about After The DG here.

I wrote the short play, Christmas Presence, for Dibby Theatre’s Christmas do – a fundraiser for The Christmas Dinner for care leavers in 2017.

I created, produced, wrote the lyrics and script and facilitated outreach for #ChipShoptheMusical – a grime-meets-brass Yorkshire musical. The show toured fish & chip restaurants to sold-out audiences and told the story of a shy, young, wannabe MC – Ayla – and her disillusioned, middle-aged, brass-loving employer – Gram. Find out more about #ChipShoptheMusical here.

I collaborated with an ensemble of professional, learning-disabled actors to write and direct the promenade theatre piece, Each Day I Live, for Dark Horse Theatre company. Inspired by the music of Whitney Houston and Aphex Twin, the show told the inner stories of each actor’s daily life, through mostly non-verbal performance. Find out more about Each Day I Live here.

I was the BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow in Digital Storytelling for Children & Young People at Z-arts in Manchester for 12 months in 2015. During this time, I investigated the space between theatre and digital and wrote and directed the short film, Crybaby. Find out more about my fellowship here.

I wrote my musical play for ages 3 to 7, Splinter Bottom, while on the children’s theatre writing scheme, First Words, with the acclaimed theatre company, Tutti Frutti. Find out more about Splinter Bottom here.

I devised, wrote and directed the play, Selfies, for the young people of the Regent Theatre Academy, part of the Ambassador Theatre Group, in Stoke. Find out more about Selfies here.

My stageplay, Mortals – a two-hander telling the story of best friends Cat and Mags and how they navigate teenage alienation, mid-life infertility and the ultimate end to their friendship – was longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize. Find out more about Mortals here.

My short play, Tiger, weaves a narrative around a story that middle-aged Maurice has always told his estranged daughter, Clare, about seeing a tiger, when he was a boy growing up in India. Can the father and daughter come together, with the help of support worker, Robert, before Maurice’s tiger story is lost forever? Tiger was staged on a micro tour by Freedom Studios. Find out more about Tiger here.

Mothering Heights was a comedy drama pilot, set in ‘The UK’s Best Place to be a Parent’, which I wrote while on the award-winning TV writers’ development scheme, Writers’ Lab @ Bolton.

Blood was a stage play exploring racial identity and revenge, which I wrote for my writers’ development grant from the West Yorkshire Playhouse/BBC Writersroom. When mixed-race, but passing-for-white Sarah, starts working with far-right party activist, David, where will it end? Whose blood will be spilt and whose spared?

Other scriptwriting schemes and achievements include:

  • Street Voices 4 scheme with Freedom Studios
  • Finalist on Emmerdale Original Voices scheme
  • Completed Hollyoaks script shadow placement
  • Writers’ Lab scriptwriting scheme, run by University of Bolton in association with AbbottVision, Arvon Foundation, Red Productions, LA Productions, Lime Pictures, ITV Drama & BBC Writersroom
  • Awarded a writer’s development grant by the West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • Highly commended in Grand Words Playwriting competition
  • Completed So You Want to be a Writer course & showcase at West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • TAPS (Television Arts Performance Showcase)
  • Awarded bursary from Yorkshire Arts for Short Film Writing at Northern Film School
  • Runner-up in Channel 4/HotDog film writing competition
  • Production assistant on ‘Dockers: Writing the Wrongs’ documentary

Factual & entertainment writing & editing achievements:

  • Writer, JISC Collections, Mickey & Mallory Ltd
  • Writer/Senior Digital Producer, Bedtime Live Digital, Channel 4/TwoFour Group (IVCA Clarion Gold Award)
  • Advised on existing content, researched and wrote new content and advised on proposed user journeys for the Healthy Stockport website
  • Wrote and edited content for the Houldsworth Village urban development site, which was shortlisted for a Big Chip Award
  • Wrote and edited content for the NHS Smokefree website (some content has been added subsequent to my involvement with the project)
  • Wrote and edited copy for The Telegraph Media Group’s Advertising site
  • Wrote and edited copy for Disney Channel’s global interactive portal, Star Factory
  • Wrote and edited copy for the Nestlé Munch Bunch website
  • Wrote and edited copy for the Discovery Communications Group, including copy for the Animal Planet Channel, Discovery Channel and Discovery Kids sites and interactive TV platforms. I wrote everything from short programme descriptions to large web-based factual guides to Sharks, Ships and Construction
  • Wrote and edited interactive and website copy for two BBC1 series, Fame Academy and The Murder Game
  • Writer & editor, Big Brother 3 Online, Channel 4/Endemol
  • I have also worked to write, edit and produce content for Ananova.com, Granada Media Children’s, Wcities.com and The Leeds Guide

I’ve written lots of other stories too – anonymous, fictional Twitter accounts, more stage and screen plays, a couple of short films and a novel I handwrote three drafts of in the late 90s, which has long since been lost to house moves and clear outs – I hope…