Jill Dawson’s latest novel The Bewitching tells the 16th century true story of a nine year old girl who playfully accuses a neighbour of being a witch and sets in motion a shocking train of events. It will be published on July 7th 2022 and can be pre-ordered here.

Jill is the author of eleven novels, one poetry collection and the editor of six anthologies of poetry and stories.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a Costa Judge, and taught creative writing in many different settings.

Her novels
The Language of Birds tells the story of the nanny murdered in the 1970s in Lord Lucan’s household and was published 2020.  The Crime Writer is about the novelist Patricia Highsmith’s time in Suffolk and won the East Anglian Fiction of the Year, Book of the year and the New Angles runner up prize. Fred & Edie was short-listed for The Whitbread and Orange Prize and Watch Me Disappear  was long-listed for the Orange Prize. The Great Lover, about the poet Rupert Brooke, published in 2009, was a best-seller and a Richard and Judy Summer Read.  Lucky Bunny tells the life of Queenie Dove, East End thief and good time girl and won a Fiction Uncovered Award. The Tell-Tale Heart was described by Hilary Mantel as ‘an uncanny and atmospheric novel by a skilful storyteller’ and 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.

Photography by Joanne Coates.

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