…to the website of British author, Helen Cross.
I am the author of novels, stories, radio plays and screenplays. My first novel, My Summer of Love, won a Betty Trask Award and became a BAFTA award winning feature film. I am currently working on a film adaptation of my latest novel, Spilt Milk Black Coffee for Rainy Day Films, and completing a fourth novel.
I was educated at Goldsmiths College, University of London and am a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
My agent is Deborah Rogers at Rogers, Coleridge and White.
To celebrate the BBC Character Invasion Day on Saturday 29 March I will be jointing Word of Mouth host MICHAEL ROSEN and ANDREW HILTON (Founder & Artistic Director of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory), and PAUL DODGSON (Radio Drama writer and actor) to discuss what makes a really good character in a book, on the stage and on the radio. With illustrations from the BBC radio archive and live performances in the room. The programme will be subsequently broadcast on Radio 4. The live broadcast takes place at the Arnolfini in Bristol. . Later the same day at the Arnolfini there will be a chance to hear my radio play Rowena The Wonderful at a Lights Down, Listen event, and you can book for both these events here.
My next Arvon course will run at the newly refurbished Hurst from 12 -17 May 2014. My co-tutor is award-winning writer Andrew Miller. The course is for those already writing fiction, but who wish to push their writing further. We’ll look at how attention to character, prose detail, structure and voice can make your fiction stronger.
You can book for the course here.
On Thursday 6 March I will be at Leeds Gallery reading and discussing my short story, Fur. This is part of a one-day event of talks, performance and production with artists, researchers and writers based or working in Leeds. Women, Visibility and Playful Acts is inspired by the Saturday Girl exhibition at Leeds Gallery.
Saturday Girl is a series of portraits of young women in Leeds; specifically seen through their hairstyles. It is an exploration of what hair means culturally and personally to young women and how they experience and use the power inherent in becoming visible as women. Saturday Girl is an exhibition and a series of free events, including a film screening, talks and performance exploring the idea of beauty, power and visibility in relation to women.
Women, Visibility and Playful Acts will be a cross-disciplinary happening with a program set to inspire, trigger debate and celebrate in a joyful, social environment of communal exchange and participation.
The morning will consist of talks, readings, film, performance and images with discussion followed by lunch. In the afternoon participants will be invited to continue the discussion in an open ‘studio’ environment while each personalizing a supercape to take away.
The event is free but you need to book
As I am very interested in both Anglo Saxon literature and the Staffordshire Hoard I’m delighted to be currently working with Birmingham Museums Trust on a project called Story Hoard. In March I run a series of writing workshops inspired by the Anglo Saxon finds in the Staffordshire Hoard. Everyone is welcome, including metal detectorists, experienced and budding writers or anyone interested in the Hoard.
The workshops will explore a range of topics, from autobiographical writing to storytelling, Anglo Saxon poetry to fictional and factual tales of metal detecting.
The writing produced in the workshops may be displayed in a traditionally-bound book as an integral part of the new Staffordshire Hoard Gallery at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which will be opening in September 2014. This book will be read and enjoyed by the Gallery’s many thousands of visitors
The workshops are free but you need to book.
The Beverley Literature Festival runs between October 10 – 13 2013. New for 2013, in partnership with Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, the festival is running an intensive creative writing programme, on which I will be tutoring with Toby Litt.
The Creative Writing School takes places at Tickton Grange Hotel – a beautifully restored grade II listed Georgian country house hotel. Participants will enjoy three morning classes together at Tickton Grange, with time in the afternoons to write or attend Festival events, enjoy one-to-one sessions on Friday and Saturday and benefit from exclusive sessions with the Editor of Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, Alysoun Owen, with bespoke tips on getting published. More details here.
I will be giving a key note speech at the Teach First Literacy Conference at Warwick University on Monday 22 July 2013.
Join us to celebrate the launch of Birmingham City University’s Institute of Creative and Critical Writing, with readings from BCU’s Fellows including myself, dramaturg and theatre practitioner Caroline Jester, author and broadcaster Ian Marchant, poet and novelistPatrick McGuinness, and poet and critic David Morley. The event will be introduced by the poet and Director of the Institute, Gregory Leadbetter.
The evening will begin at 6pm with a complimentary wine reception.
The Institute of Creative and Critical Writing exists to cultivate the literary arts and the life of ideas through an exciting programme of public events.
How to book:
Places are free but limited, to book through the online box office Eventbrite; please click here.
www.bcu.ac.uk/iccw / www.writingwestmidlands.org
Shock Of Spring Readers Day May 2013 (1)On Saturday 11 May West Midlands Readers’ Network, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Writing West Midlands present a readers’ afternoon with myself, Sabine Durrant, Chris McCabe and Nathan Filer. Join us for an exploration of the psychological thriller, the crime novel and the novel that unearths the underbelly of domestic life.
Book here for this afternoon of literature, discussion, and afternoon tea all in the splendid setting of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s Waterhall Gallery. All four writers will read and talk about their work. The afternoon will be chaired by Roz Goddard, Co-ordinator of West Midlands Readers’ Network.
I will be taking part in the Student Writers’ Toolkit at Coventry University on the afternoon of Saturday 2 March. There are all sorts of informative sessions and panels scheduled as part of this special event for student writers. I’ll be speaking about publishing and writing for radio. More details about the Toolkit, and how to book here.
As part of the 2013 Bath Literature Festival I’ll be teaching a day-long workshop on the subtle art of writing effective dialogue for stories and plays. The workshop will be held on Thursday 7 March at the Holburne Museum of Art on Great Pulteney Street from 10.00am to 4pm. More details and to book here.