Born in London in 1979, to parents from the North East of Scotland, I still have close ties in Morayshire and Aberdeenshire. I’ve previously lived in London, Paris, and Turin, and now live in Edinburgh with my husband and two children.
As well as being a writer, I am currently learning German, and I am a genealogist. I’m particularly interested in my Jewish ancestry and my Scottish Traveller ancestry, and the unusual coming together of these two cultures in my own family.
I have studied French and Italian, linguistics and creative writing, all at university level, and I have worked as a nanny, a policy planner, and a research assistant. I have co-ordinated and co-tutored large-scale literature education projects and literature events, I have spoken at literary festivals, and I have tutored and given readings and talks for all ages.
At the moment I am completing a PhD at the University of the West of Scotland, where I was also an Associate Lecturer. My PhD brings together the post-memory work I have done over the last six years, attempting to rescue from the archives the untold story of my Jewish grandmother, Dora, who was born in Berlin in 1916. Dora came to the UK as a refugee in 1939. She lost her family to the Holocaust.
About writer's work
My first novel, The Tin-Kin (Duckworth, 2009) is set in Elgin and is loosely based on photos, artefacts and memories of my Scottish Travelling family. A chapter of The Tin-Kin won the 2006 New Writing Ventures Award for fiction. You can read reviews, listen to sound clips, and find out more on my website.
In 2008, I was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship by The Scottish Arts Council and The National Library of Scotland. The fellowship allowed me to travel to France for six weeks, researching and writing about a derelict liquorice factory I had discovered on holiday. It was a place so sticky with stories I felt I could peel sentences from the walls.
From 2008 to 2009 I was an Honorary Writer in Residence for the French Department at Glasgow University, and since 2009 I have spoken at events and led writing workshops in Sutherland, Elgin, Ayrshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Banchory, London, Sussex and Toronto, Canada.
I enjoy working with experienced and inexperienced writers of all ages.
Websites featuring the authorThe Gaelic Gasp* and its North Atlantic CousinsDuckworth OverlookA. M. Heath literary agents
Current events and projects
I am available for readings and residencies, and can lead creative writing discussions and workshops. Depending on the amount of time available, and number of participants, workshops may include art, drama, photography, music and audio recording or podcasting. I particularly enjoy talking to groups about historical research and how this can be used to inform creative writing. I can taylor discussions and workshops for all ages.
My linguistics research, The Gaelic Gasp and it’s North Atlantic Cousins, was the first of its kind conducted in Britain. Download it for free at www.archive.org
Associated media and resources
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org