Jill Dawson’s new novel The Language of Birds was published by Sceptre in April 2020.  She is the author of ten novels including The Crime Writer (which won the East Anglian Book of the year) Fred & Edie (short-listed for The Whitbread and Orange Prize) and Watch Me Disappear (long-listed for the Orange Prize). Her novel The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke, published in 2009, was a best-seller and a Richard and Judy Summer Read.  Lucky Bunny, which tells the life of Queenie Dove, East End thief and good time girl, won a Fiction Uncovered Award.  Her novel The Tell-Tale Heart, described by Hilary Mantel as ‘an uncanny and atmospheric novel by a skilful storyteller’ was long-listed for the Folio prize.  All are published by Sceptre.

'Dawson is a novelist everyone should know about'
– Grazia

Paperback edition of The Language of Birds
now available from Sceptre.

In addition to the fiction Jill has edited six anthologies of poetry and short stories, including the best-selling Virago Book of Wicked Verse. She has won awards for poetry, short stories and screenplays. She was joint winner of the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition in 2013. In the USA four of her most recent novels are published by Harper Collins.  Jill has taught Creative Writing for many years and in many countries, including the USA, Australia, Indonesia, France, Singapore, Morocco, Portugal and Switzerland.  She has taught for the Arvon Foundation, the Faber Academy, the Guardian/UEA and for the Sunday Times/Oxford Summer School.  She held the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where she also taught on the MA between 2003 – 6. She’s been Chair of the Royal Literary Fund Advisory Fellows since 2008 and was a Board member of Writer’s Centre Norwich 2004 – 2011.  In 2006 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Anglia Ruskin University. She was instrumental in founding Escalator, an award for new writers, and is founder and director of Gold Dust Mentoring Writers, which matches new writers with established ones, and has helped many new writers reach publication.

Dawson lives with her husband, teenage son and foster daughter in an award-winning eco house in the Cambridgeshire Fens.