…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.
I’m running a series of four workshops over the coming year for young writers. The Young Writers’ Foundation Group is to give young writers a chance to develop their interests in creative writing across a range of styles and forms – from poetry to drama.
The group will be meeting from 11am – 4pm on the following dates: Saturday 10th January, Saturday 11th April, Saturday 27th June and Saturday 12th September. Places are £80 per person for the year – a limited amount of bursaries are available, please email joanne[at]writingwestmidlands.org if you feel unable to afford the cost.
How to Book:
Places must be booked through The Box, on 0121 245 4455 or you can book online or in person at The Box which is based at the Birmingham REP.
In 2015 I will take up a Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. I will be teaching on the highly regarded MA Creative Writing Prose, the same course I completed in 1997.
On Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October 2014 I will be running an intensive creative writing masterclass weekend with poet Antony Dunn at the Beverley Literature Festival. The weekend will include advanced writing classes and one to one tutorials. Places are filling up quickly, and are extremely limited, so if you want to come do book soon. More details here.
My short story, An Open Letter to Bees, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last week, and is now available on BBC inlayer for the next five days. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b048nsmz
My latest short story, Who Wants Tortoise?, is the tale of a crisis of confidence that sends a middle aged London career woman home to her parents in Hull. It is published in this month’s edition of The Manchester Review. You can read it in full here
I will be reading my short story, An Open Letter to Bees, at the ‘Food Chains’ event in Bristol on Sunday 4 May. This BBC event is part of the Bristol Food Festival and includes stories by writers Helen Dunmore, and Edson Burton. All three stories are linked by the idea of food – be it ecological, industrial, social or emotional – and will be later broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
Tickets: Book tickets in advance here - some tickets will be available on the day.
Date: Sunday, May 4
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.