Although I have had a number of non-fiction books published, fiction has always been my primary passion.

In the summer of 2019 I was fortunate to gain a place on the Curtis Brown 3-month novel-writing course taught by Charlotte Mendelson. The book I worked on through that process was always going to be set in a London secondary school, a means of processing my experiences as a teacher for many years.

I was delighted to have a chapter I had submitted from it shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport Prize.

When Covid hit in 2020 the extraordinary experience of lockdown, school closures and the enormous pressure of returning to the classroom – and the trauma that so many students, families and teachers were carrying – gave the manuscript I had been working on a new focus. Middle Class was the result of that, and it was published in the summer of 2022.

I have since been working on a collection of short stories, have a second novel, MARTELLO BEACH, in the final stages of writing, and a new novel, LAKE FEVER that I am drafting now.

Debut novel – Middle Class

‘Hugely accomplished’ – Lucy Morris, Curtis Brown
‘An exceptionally talented writer’ – Emma Finn, Conville and Walsh
‘Brilliantly depicts the emotional knife-edge upon which a teacher and her classes rest’ – The Literary Consultancy

She wasn’t allowed to bury her mother. Now she must attempt to resurrect her career.

It is September of 2020, and a young English teacher must return to in-person teaching to face the child she tore into just as lockdown was hitting. She has spent months in virtual isolation, unable to attend her mother’s funeral and wondering how she will find a way back to restoring her reputation. Her answer is Charles Dickens: as this class of children from a West London estate face examinations, she will teach them Great Expectations. Yet nothing will be quite as simple as she hopes.

Unflinching, irreverent and ultimately hopeful, Middle Class is a searing insight into the complex theatre of a London comprehensive and a stunning examination of education and social mobility in modern Britain.

Buy Middle Class here.

Short Fiction

BLOOD SPORT – shortlisted for the Bridport Prize 2020

THE ROT – shortlisted for the Dinesh Allirajah Prize 2022

STUNG – ‘highly commended’ in the Dulwich Flash Fiction competition, 2023

INTO GREAT SCIENCE – available now on Kindle.

In lean times NASA has gone into partnership with the Catholic Church, launching a ‘Voyager’-style probe which will be the first manned mission out of our Solar System. For the monk returning to his former career as an astronaut, the mission will be the ultimate hermitage: he will be in total isolation for the rest of his life.

But that may not be long. A violent solar storm has sent a powerful wave of radiation through space, shutting down Mission Control and preventing them from warning him of the coming danger…


Martello Beach

Photo kindly sent to me by Tim Street-Porter, from his article about Jaywick Sands, The Observer, 15th June 1975

‘Steinbeck on the Essex coast’, MARTELLO BEACH is literary fiction set in Jaywick Sands, once ‘the happiest place in Britain’ and now one of the most deprived – yet remarkable – seasides in Britain. It was built by the silver-tongued, charlatan developer Christoffer ‘Foff’ Stedman…who was my great-grandfather.

A story thus very close to my heart, the drama unfolds against the backdrop of the 1953 North Sea Flood that overwhelmed coastal defences and saw hundreds killed. In Jaywick most of the dead were Eastenders who’d ended up living in tiny beach huts 15 feet square because, after the Blitz, this was all the only roof they had left.

Two intertwined narratives — one centred on Stedman, and the other on an ageing resident who has lived in one of these huts since being bombed out in the war — circle towards the horror of the flood from the resort’s heyday in the 1930s (and Foff’s great friendship with the Labour leader, George Lansbury) and back to it from the present-day troubles it still faces as sea levels rise again.

I am currently seeking representation for my work. Please do get in touch if you would interested in discussing this.

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