Know Your Place on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour

Know Your Place has been out for a few weeks now, and in November was named as a  Spectator book of the year.

Last Friday I was on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour with fellow contributor Sian Norris, talking about the book.

Presenter Jenni Murray interviewed us about our respective essays, and working class women and intersectionality.

Our appearance was repeated as part of the programme’s weekend edition on the Saturday afternoon.

A number of people have asked me how the interview came about. The answer is simple – I sent them information about my essay and the book, and they liked it. Sometimes, support and enthusiasm for one’s work comes from the most unexpected of places.

You can listen to the interview and discussion here.



Know Your Place is out!

kyp 2 copy

I have an essay in a new book, published this week.

Know Your Place:  Essays on the Working Class has been in the works for a while. A collection of essays about working class culture and life, my contribution is concerned with the notion of invisible women, and a very specific group of such women.

The Housework Issue (The Other One) came from a short piece I wrote for the first issue of I Hope You Like Feminist Rants, published two years ago.  In it, I wrote about ‘invisible women’, those who work as cleaners, and how they are treated both within the work environment, and outside of it.

I wanted to explore the subject further, as I got such a positive initial response, so when Dead Ink Books put the call out for pitches in summer 2016, I thought it would be an ideal fit.

Luckily, Dead Ink felt the same way.

I’m very happy to have my work published alongside so many wonderful writers, who are listed here.


I have a piece of non-fiction in Mslexia magazine

Mslexia issue 75

I have a piece of non-fiction in this quarter’s Mslexia, the magazine for women writers. I am so very pleased and proud to have work in there. I wrote the I Confess slot for this issue.

My story is about a little visit to a charity shop, and the terrible, shameful secret about how I came to buy a certain wonderful and precious object I found hanging on its walls. As I say in the story, I do feel guilty, but not severely enough to do anything about it. And, what’s more, I’d do it again.

Pray for my soul.

Mslexia is available via subscription or is available in a number of beautiful and gloriously independent book shops around the UK including Foyles in London and News From Nowhere in Liverpool, plus selected branches of Waterstones. In other words, it is stocked in “all good bookshops”.

The full list of outlets is here.


I Hope You Like Feminist Rants!

I have an essay in this, a feminist zine (i.e. an independently-minded, independently-financed magazine) called I HOPE YOU LIKE FEMINIST RANTS, edited by Abigail Tarttelin. It’s a platform for sharing feminist and women’s voices, and championing non-patriarchal journalism and art. Issue #3 is out this month, and available in London (Pages of Hackney), Los Angeles (Skylight Books), and Liverpool (News From Nowhere).

Rants 3 new

You can also order online using Paypal via All zines ordered this way come with beautiful stickers. Issues #1 and #3 are £4, issue #2 is a bumper issue on Motherhood and is £5. Please add post and packaging – UK £1, EU £2, International £3. Note your address and the issues you want in the notes section on paypal.


Date Night


He says my flat is like the Tardis, loads bigger inside than it looks from the street. He’s right, too. It’s got a tiny doll house front door and a staircase that goes round and round and up in a barley sugar twist, my living room blooming high and wide as you go in. My rooms are pretty like a chocolate box, soft furnishings of quiet pastel; the porcelain figurines my Gran left me lined up in rows on the shelves and along the mantelpiece, and on the top of the telly.

He calls our Fridays date night, but we’ve never been on an actual date. No dinner in a candlelit restaurant, or necking in the back row in the pictures, no dancing hip on hip, and lip on lip. I’ve never put on a nice dress for him or painted my face, and gone walking into town holding hands. But, just look at him. Tall and lean, hair thick and clean and blond like the beach in holiday brochures; close my eyes and I smell the sea, same as when you hold an empty shell to your ear and the water laps on a shore, right there.

One Friday, I watch from the bedroom floor as he’s pulling his jeans back on. The belt buckle slaps against his thigh.

‘I love you.’ It’s a shock when he comes out with it.


He blinks. ‘I love you.’

My words whoosh out. ‘Me too.’

‘Really?’ More age slips from his face.

‘Of course.’ But my larynx sheds rust.

Air is snatched from my lungs as it hits me. I’m not in love, am I?  I don’t love him, not at all. I don’t even bloody well like him. Not as a person. This isn’t what I want. He isn’t what I want.

I want to be in love.

I want to be happy, the sort I read about in books. I want to die of summer, feel the sun kissing my face more surely than he ever could.  I need the feel of a firm hand curving my hip and pulling me close, lips resting softly on my temple, the small of my back moist and sticky, cheeks flushed and pink, my pulse racing in my wrists. I want it all, and more.

And yet instead, I gift him a shy smile. Coquettish and coy, I get up and walk over. He covers my mouth with his. As our tongues dance awkward and slow, bumping this way and that, moving out of time, the figurines around us, my figurines, curl their spines into round shells, strike a pose, and freeze frame. The pile carpet thickens under my feet and, the ceiling pressing the top of my head, it bends my neck crooked, the walls around me closing in.

(First published National Flash Fiction Day Flash Flood Journal, June 2017)

A Folken good night

I did a talk for Liverpool organisation Folken this week, at new cultural space the Serving Library on Water Street, in the city centre.

I spoke about the ups and downs of writing fiction, more specifically my novel.


Also this week, I have a personal essay in a new book. A Room of Our Own: An Anthology of Feminist & Womanist Writing will raise money to keep the A Room of Our Own initiative going.

And on 7 January 2017, Women’s Stories, Women’s Voices will be published, and carry one of my short stories. The launch will be at Waterstones in Nottingham. A very nice start to the new year.


My Folken talk


I will be giving a talk on fiction writing at the next Folken gathering in Liverpool on 9th December. Pronounced Fol-ken (not Folk-en, that sounds a bit rude), which means “people”, the event aims to inspire and create networks and links for those who want to do something a little bit different in 2017.

It is free to get in, but you have to book here.

The Serving Library, 35 Water Street, Liverpool L2 0RD


There will be wine!

In further news, I have a short story in Women’s Stories, Women’s Voices, a book published on 7th January 2017.

Read about my book reaching the second stage of the WriteNow novel writing competition, run by Penguin Random House, here