Meet the 2022/23 Cohort of the Emerging Writers Programme

Forty participants were selected from a field of almost 950 applicants by a panel of judges comprising YA novelist and essayist Yassmin Abdel-Magied (Chair), non-fiction writer Simon Garfield, playwright and novelist Nell Leyshon, poet Rachel Long, screen and children's writer John McNally and literary agent Eli Keren.

This year’s cohort is working on perhaps the most diverse array of projects yet. Spanning the globe from the US to India, the Philippines to Israel, France to Trinidad, they explore the Troubles and the Arab Spring, twelfth-century York, nineteenth-century Northumberland and present-day London. 

Get to know them here!

 

Jasmin Allenspach is a Swiss writer and award-winning theoretical physicist living in London. She writes literary fiction in a no-man’s land between languages and cultures, exploring loss of identity, homeland, queerness, and grandmothers. When not dissecting words or equations, she trains in advanced classical ballet.

Instagram: @jasmin.allenspach

 

Ettie Bailey-King works as an inclusive communication consultant, helping organisations with anti-oppressive language and ethical storytelling. She writes poems and short stories about activism, disability, neurodivergence, sexual consent, online identity and the dark side of influencer culture. She’s working on a non-fiction book about anti-oppressive language, and a novel.

Twitter: @ettiebk

 

Melanie Banim is a writer from Liverpool. She studied English at Leeds and works in higher education, music and mental health. Her poetry was selected for City of Light exhibition 2019, her prose shortlisted for the Bath Award and, in 2021, her poem ‘Knocking Shop’ won Sentinel’s first prize.

Twitter: @Melanie__Writes

Instagram: @melanie___writes

 

Katie Byford is a former Barbican Young Poet and was the winner of the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition in 2020. Her first pamphlet, He Said I Was a Peach, was published in 2021 with ignitionpress. Her work has been published in Magma, bath magg and Modern Poetry in Translation

Twitter: @ByfordPoet

Instagram: @byfordkatie

 

Anna Carling is a London based writer currently working as a curator and studying for an MFA in Creative Writing. Growing up she lived in London, Belfast, Manchester, Co. Tyrone and York. Her writing is very influenced by her Irish heritage and a sense of place.

@annajanecarling

 

Melanie Carvalho is an artist and writer who also edits obituaries for the Guardian. Her first novel, Xim, was longlisted for the inaugural Cheshire Novel prize, and her artwork includes a film about a blob living within World of Interiors magazine, and an expedition in search of tropical Scotland.

@MelanieCarval14

 

Patrick Cash holds a Masters in Creative Writing from Oxford and spent three months as writer-in-residence at Shakespeare & Company, Paris. His writing has been selected for the BBC Drama Room and included in publications such as The London Magazine. He is currently working on a short story collection, Nightlife.

@paddycash

 

fatima cham is a British West African student from London with a penchant for giving people random historical facts. She is an Avatar The Last Air Bender enthusiast, big dreamer and self-proclaimed theorist who wants to impact the world in some shape or form.

Instagram: @chamgrams
Twitter: @chamism

 

Yasmine Dankwah is a British-Ghanaian writer and performance poet born, raised and based in South London. Her work explores how resistance can be a springboard for joy. She was part of the VAULT New Writers Programme, Soho Writers Lab and was also a Roundhouse Poetry Slam Finalist.

Twitter: @yasmined77

Instagram: yasmine___7

 

Bryn Davies is from Scotland and lives in London. He makes work about forgetfulness, dispossession, restitution and care.

 

Jessica Edwards is a Queer writer and director. Her work has appeared at the Soho Theatre, Almeida and Arcola among others. In 2021, she was awarded a DYCP grant from the Arts Council to support her writing. She is currently writing her first play and developing a number of ideas for TV.

Instagram: @jsaedwards

 

Eve Ellis is originally from the US and now lives in London. She earned an MA in Creative Writing and Education from Goldsmiths and was a finalist for the Women Poets Prize in 2020. Her poems have appeared in Magma, And Other Poems, and Bare Fiction.

Twitter: @eveellis14

 

Pacifica Goddard accidentally gave birth to her son on her bedroom floor with only her stunned husband there to catch him. She thinks it is an excellent metaphor for how she writes - month after month of plodding, diligent effort culminating in seemingly sudden and surprising results. She writes fiction and creative non-fiction.

 

Miriam Gold teaches Art and Photography in a secondary school in east London, where she lives with her family. A London native, she has an MA in Fine Art and a BA in History and Politics. Using collage, photography, and drawing, she makes graphic stories and illustrated essays.

Instagram: @miriamgold

 

Soria Hamidi is a writer based in London. She was selected for the Kiln Theatre Young Writers Programme, the Vineyard Theatre Literary Programme and Kali Theatre Workshops 2021/22. Her writing explores home & belonging, gender & sexuality and justice.

Instagram: @soriahh

Twitter: @HamidiSoria

 

Annie Hodson is a queer scriptwriter and playwright from York, now based in London. With work shortlisted for Channel 4 Screenwriting, BBC Writersroom, the Papatango Prize, and the Funny Women Writing Award, Annie is currently writing a bilingual English/Irish fantasy script set in Donegal.

Twitter: @Annie_Hodson

 

Zia Holloway is a screenwriter who specialises in creating rich worlds, and characterful stories. She is a Script Angel scholar, the winner of the BBC Writersroom Welsh Writer Award and has original tv series in development with The Ink Factory, Studio 21 and World Productions. She works across a range of mediums including television, film, and theatre.

Instagram: @ziaholloway

 

Gayathiri Kamalakanthan is a Tamil poet and facilitator. Their work explores the shapeability of the future, decolonial inheritance and Tamilness. Gayathiri won the Primadonna Prize for fiction 2021 and is currently working on their debut verse-novel and a collection of poems under the mentorship of Griots Well.

@unembarrassable

 

Inigo Laguda is a Yoruba-British writer and musician from Hertfordshire. His music has appeared in The Serpentine, Venice Biennale and 180 The Strand. His nonfiction has appeared on Netflix and The Metro. His short stories have been longlisted for The Commonwealth Short Story Prize and received special commendation for The Guardian & 4th Estate 2021 Prize.

@SaveInigo

 

Nicole Lee was born in Kuala Lumpur and educated at Malvern and Oxford. She has worked as a banker in Hong Kong and London and now works in biodiversity. She has been published in numerous online journals. Her work explores the experience of the Chinese diaspora, time, memory and displacement.

Twitter: @nicolewriterly

 

Fatima Luz Naeema is a London-based writer of Arab and Southeast Asian heritage. She is interested in themes of womanhood, plural identities and conceptions of freedom, particularly told through the beauty, love and pain in ordinary lives. Fatima is currently working on short stories and her first novel.

http://fatimaluznaeema.com

Instagram: @fatimaluznaeema

 

Temi Majekodunmi is a trained actor from East15 Acting School. His debut play The Life of Olu ran at Soho Theatre as part of the Soho Rising Festival in 2022. He has been part of programmes with Kiln Theatre, Almeida Theatre and Soho Theatre.

Twitter: temi.majekodunmi

Instagram: temi.majekodunmi

 

Harriet Matthews is a fiction writer from London. She has a BA in English with Film Studies from the University of Exeter and is writing her first novel. She has spent the last few years working at an arts library and is interested in reading, photography, history and cinema.

Twitter: @H_L_Matthews

Instagram: @harriet_matthews

 

Carla Montemayor is from Manila, Philippines. She works in politics and communications, most recently on migrants’ rights. An alumna of the London Writers Awards 2021, she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2022, Specimen Prize 2021 and the Life Writing Prize 2020. She is working on a history of storytellers in her family.

Instagram: @camon_now

 

Sharanya Murali is a lecturer and writer living in west London. She was a Tin House Workshop participant (2022), and a London Writers Award recipient for fiction (2021). She is a reviews editor at Full Stop Magazine.

Twitter: @soonamahal

 

Leeor Ohayon is a writer from London based in Norwich, where he is studying for the MA in Creative Writing at the UEA. Leeor is the 2021 winner of the RSL’s V.S Pritchett Prize and the Leicester Writes Prize and was shortlisted for the Brick Lane Book Shop Prize.

@LeeorOhayon

 

JP Pangilinan O’Brien is a teacher and writer from West London. He is currently working on a connected collection of short fiction which deals with issues of diaspora, belonging and identity.

@JPPangilinan7

 

Thomas Peermohamed Lambert was born in London in 1997. He read History & Modern Languages at Pembroke College, Oxford. He has lived in and written from Buenos Aires, Milan and Valencia, and when he isn’t writing fiction, he works as a freelance journalist for a number of international publications.

 

Dr. Michael Pourfar studied art history and interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tower of London before turning to a career in medicine. He is an academic neurologist from New York, currently living in London with his wife, two children and a pandemic puppy.

 

Gita Ralleigh is a writer, poet and doctor born to Indian immigrant parents in London. Her short fiction has been published by Wasafiri and Bellevue Literary Review among others. She holds an MA in Creative Writing, an MSc in Medical Humanities and teaches creative writing to undergraduates at Imperial College.

@storyvilled

 

Electra Rhodes is an archaeologist whose short prose has been widely published, most recently in Parthian Press’ anthology An Open Door - Travel Writing for a Precarious Century. Current projects include a hybrid nature/family memoir and an intersectional biography of the British landscape. She also teaches nonfiction for Crow Collective.

@electra_rhodes

 

Melissa Richards is a Trinidadian writer based in London. She has worked as a journalist and columnist in the Caribbean and in publishing in New York and London. She has an MA in English and will shortly complete an MA in Creative Writing, both from Goldsmiths University. She is working on her debut novel.

 

Kimberley Sheehan is from Essex and was a teacher before completing a MA in Publishing and Creative Writing. She is the Campaign Manager for Reading Partners at national charity, The Reading Agency. She was also an Events Coordinator and then Co-Chair for the Society of Young Publishers London Committee (2017-2020).

Twitter: @Kimberley_SH

 

Yvonne Singh is a journalist, editor and writer. Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Observer, The Mirror and The London Evening Standard, among others. She was awarded second prize in the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2018 and was a judge for the 2020 competition. She teaches both narrative non-fiction and journalism at City Lit.

Twitter @lisa_singh71

 

Megan Smith is from Northumberland. She moved to London in 2014 to pursue a career in theatre and TV and writes alongside this, learning story as she goes. She is a Miniver Theatre Monologue winner, a quarterfinalist for The Academy Nicholl Scholarship and was selected to be produced by Kickitdown Productions.

 

B R Rose was born and raised in Goldsboro, North Carolina and has lived in London since 2013. Recently awarded her PhD in Creative Writing from Kingston University, her work explores the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. She is currently finishing her debut novel about a black castrato.

Instagram: @rosecolouredwriter

 

Jack Stanley is an East London-based playwright whose work tries new ways of telling stories on stage. He has had a script performed with HighTide, taken part in the Royal Court Theatre’s Introduction to Playwriting group, and is staging his new play extract with Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass at Latitude Festival.

@JChesterstan (Twitter)

 

Sarah Stribley lives in London and has a degree in English Literature from the University of Sussex. She has been a theatre producer for the last twelve years and writes children’s historical fiction. She is working on her first novel about a platypus and WW2.

Twitter: @Sarah_Stribley

 

Grahame Williams is from County Down and currently lives in London. His fiction has appeared in The Stinging Fly, The Letters Page and, most recently, Winter Papers. His story ‘’98, ’99’ was runner up in the Wild Atlantic Words short story competition and was subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Twitter: @jgjgwilliams

 

Eli Zuzovsky is a writer, director, and journalist studying for an MSt in Modern Languages at Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, he graduated from Harvard with a BA in Filmmaking and English. Zuzovsky’s thesis film was shortlisted for an Israeli Academy Award. He recently made the Israeli Forbes list of 30Under30.

 

VIEW THE 2021/22 COHORT

VIEW THE 2020/21 COHORT and ANTHOLOGY 

VIEW THE 2019/20 COHORT and ANTHOLOGY