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Room 204

2012-13 Cohort

­­­Deborah Alma is a poet and writer. She created the Emergency Poet as a way of bringing poetry to people who might not seek it out.

She has worked as part of an Arts Council Funded project Well Versed (2011) which trained poets to teach poetry in primary schools.

She also has many years experience of working as a sales representative for Random House publishers for many years, (Chatto, Cape, Virago, Vintage division)

She has had poetry published widely in literary magazines and online publications and has twice been shortlisted for the Roy Fisher Poetry Pamphlet prize (2010 & 2011).

Lisa Carey was born in Yorkshire and trained as a classical musician and visual artist before finding her creative home in words. She is interested in nature and landscape and is working on a collection of poetry and short prose evoked by wild places. 

Contemporary landscape writing is the focus of her blog, and she is also developing some writing workshops based around experience of place. She lives on a windy hill in Shropshire.

Lisa’s website

Maeve Clarke was born in Birmingham. She is a published novelist and short story writer, and in addition has published readers for the English as a Foreign Language market and children’s fiction for reluctant readers. She also writes for stage and radio.

Playing Beethoven (radio) was recorded in 2007. Retribution (stage) was performed as a work in progress rehearsed reading at the Capital Theatre Festival in 2012.

She was writer in residence for BVSC – The Centre for Voluntary Action (2006/7), and for St Chad’s Sanctuary, Birmingham (2011/12). At the latter, she worked with refugees and asylum seekers as part of English PEN’s ‘Big Writing for a Small World’. A book of the work produced was published in 2012.

Stewart Derry has run hundreds of residencies, workshops, performances and projects, with particular expertise in community and educational settings.

Stewart writes poetry, plays and short stories, including poetry collection Poems In Neon; two large-scale public projects he created/delivered, funded by Arts Council England; and a series of short narrative films for the BBC.

Stewart’s website

Jan Edwards lives in the Staffordshire Moorlands, on the very edge of the Peak District National Park, with her husband, Peter, three cats and a selection of chickens.

Jan was short-listed for the 2011 BFS Award for Best Short Story; nominated for the same award in 2012; and has won the Winchester Writers’ Festival ‘Slim Volume’ prize. To date she has had more than thirty short stories published in various anthologies and magazines, both in print and digitally, most of these are inspired by her passion for folklore and mythology. Other work includes scriptwriting for TV spin-offs, reviews, interviews, poetry and articles. 

Jan’s website

Garrie Fletcher studied Art in Bradford, wrote for a music magazine in Northampton, travelled across America, worked as a carer and then trained as a teacher in 1998. He writes and performs in Birmingham. 

Garrie writes about the gaps between lives, the pauses between stations, the static hiss of the city and the dark knuckles of the earth in an honest and moving way. He specialises in modern fiction and poetry but is interested in all forms of writing.

Garrie’s website

Lorna French is a playwright.  

Lorna won the Alfred Fagon Award in 2006 for her play Safe House. She was writer-in-residence at New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich in 2008-09, and she co-wrote These Four Streets for Birmingham Rep. She has also written for Silver Street (BBC Asian Network). She won the Alfred Fagon award again in 2016 for her play City Melodies. 

Julie Fulton trained as a teacher. She now teaches music privately at home, which has given her the time to return to her love of writing.

She writes mainly for children and had her first picture book published by Maverick Books – Mrs MacCready Was Ever So Greedy. She also writes poetry (for children and adults) and occasionally monologues too.

Julie’s website

Jenny Hope is a writer and poet.  Her collection, Petrolhead was published in January 2010 by Oversteps Books, Devon. 

Jenny has also run poetry workshops for festivals, communities and schools.  Jenny collaborates with other writers to create poetic and spoken word events. 

Jenny is currently finishing a Young Adult novel.

Jenny’s website

Fiona Joseph was born and raised in Birmingham. She is a former university lecturer and textbook writer, who now runs an EFL website, Flo-Joe.

Fiona has had a number of short stories published in anthologies, including The Hills And The Fortune, which won a prize in the Happenstance International Short Story competition judged by Janice Galloway. A non-fiction memoir essay, Hair Wars: Growing Up Frizzy In The 1970s, appeared in the Hair Power Skin Revolution collection. She also won the BCU/NAW Prize for Fiction.

Fiona also writes graded readers (aka language learner fiction) for EFL learners. 

Fiona’s website

Sam Kenny has worked as a writer and broadcaster for the BBC and independent radio, newspapers, magazines and online.

She began her writing career as a commercial copywriter specialising in radio advertising and has since written commercial scripts for radio and television.

She has written plays for radio and the stage, having a play produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is currently writing a series of short stories and a novel. She gained an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester University and teaches Creative Writing for Shropshire Council’s Adult and Community Education Department and Walford and North Shropshire College.

Richard Lakin writes short stories, but also enjoys travel writing and planning a novel. 

He has had short stories published by Oxford University’s Oxonian Review, the University of Dundee, University of Chester, Writers’ Abroad and several crime-writing anthologies.

Richard has been a salesman, policeman and journalist and has reported at ringside from numerous world title fights. He likes working in noise and is most happy writing in cafés and arts centres.

Richard’s website

Anna Lawrence Pietroni is a novelist and creative writing tutor. Her first novel, Ruby’s Spoon, set in a fictional Black Country town in 1933, was published by Chatto & Windus in 2010 to critical acclaim in both the UK and the US. 

She writes poetry and critical essays and is working on two further novels. She is passionate about enabling others to write authentically and has worked with postgraduate scientists, primary school children and high school students to increase confidence and develop craft by using playful and mindful techniques. 

Anna’s website

Rochi Rampal writes scripts for theatre, radio, screen. Her play The Warrior Goddess was performed at TYP TAP, a children’s theatre festival at mac, Birmingham. 

She has worked with Black Country Touring on their co-production with Birmingham Rep. Her work in schools has included creative writing projects for Primary age, and developing texts for performance with teenagers.

Stephanie Ridings has been writing for theatre since 2004. Her first major script Me, Mum & Dusty Springfield enjoyed a sell out Edinburgh Festival and went on to be supported by The Lowry (Salford) and tour nationally. She has been Artist in Residence at Contact Theatre (Manchester) during which time she wrote The National Express, which went on to be selected for Re:Play at The Library Theatre (Manchester), a festival which celebrates the best of the region’s theatre. 

As well as writing scripts Stephanie has written and developed text for devised performances including, Obstacles to Coming Home, 360 Degrees (and Falling), I’ve never been to the moon and Angel Club (north). 

Stephanie’s website

Martin Smith began his writing career as a performance poet, and went on to work in television comedy, including Birds of a Feather and a number of comedy sketch shows.  He has written two full-length novels for children – Olaf the Viking (2008) and The Pig who would be King (2010).

He has also written and adapted many plays for children, and adults. 

Martin has done a good deal of work with children, including several major educational projects.  He studied playwriting on David Edgar’s MA course at Birmingham University, and he also works as an actor and performer.

Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn left a career in further and higher education teaching English to take an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University and focus on her writing. After completing the MA, she published her novel Unravelling in 2010.

Lindsay’s second novel The Piano Player’s Son was published by Cinnamon Press in 2013. Her short stories have also been published, including the title story and two others in the anthology Feeding the Cat.

Lindsay teaches creative writing in adult education and has run courses and workshops, mainly on the novel and short story. 

Mary Williams, who writes under the name of Valentine Williams, is a poet and novelist living in Shropshire.

Mary has published two dark fiction novels, The Poison Garden of Dorelia Jones, a disturbing psychological portrait, and The Marsh People, a dystopian fantasy, with Immanion Press.  She has also published some erotica with Black Lace and more poetry and stories, winning several prizes including the Ware Poetry Prize in 2011. She has also self-published as an e-book Child With No Name, a true story about a very young child orphaned in the Boxing Day Tsunami.

She is currently working on a crime fiction novel set in Italy, about the ‘Ndrangheda Mafia.