My second book, Ghostland: In Search of a Haunted Country, a work of narrative non-fiction was published in hardback in the UK during October 2019 by William Collins, and subsequently released in the UK and US in paperback in October 2020. The book was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize 2020 for memoir and autobiography.
The Listeners, my first book, won the 2014 Rethink New Novels Prize. It’s a novel set in the heart of Norfolk at the start of WWII, and is an elegiac tale about grief, love and loss – and how we try to make sense of existence through stories and memories.
I live in Norfolk and have an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. I’ve been the recipient of an Escalator Award from the National Centre for Writing, and in 2009 received a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to fund a seven-week book research expedition to the Australian Outback in search of an enigmatic parrot species.
I have taught Creative Non-fiction for the National Centre for Writing (in conjunction with UEA) since 2020, and delivered occasional writing masterclasses for Arvon and the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education.
I was the Director of the Wymondham Words literature festival from 2013–18. The 2018 Festival’s highlights included Rebecca Stott, Mark Cocker, Louis de Bernieres, Cathi Unsworth and Paul Willetts. Philip Hoare, one of my favourite non-fiction writers appeared in 2016, while previous year’s events featured Sarah Perry, George Szirtes, Richard Mabey, Rose Tremain and Patrick Barkham among many others.
In the past I’ve worked for BirdLife International and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and have written numerous natural history and conservation-related articles for magazines and newspapers (as well as several on more esoteric subjects); I’ve been a keen birdwatcher and naturalist since my teens. I’ve also previously worked extensively in television and media production, and have undertaken a large amount of freelance editing and copywriting work.