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Welcome to Sarah’s website – a small slice of writing life, sharing a love of words, photography and art.

Sarah is a poet, fiction writer, journalist, occasional playwright, photographer, poetryfilm maker and arts reviewer, as well as editor at V. Press. Author of four poetry collections, three poetry pamphlets, a poetry-play, an ACE-funded multi-media hypertext poetry narrative > Room and two novellas, she also enjoys artistic commissions, mentoring and working as a writer in residence, and was delighted to be The High Window Resident Artist for 2019!

BOOKS

Her latest published books include a poetry pamphlet How to Grow Matches (Against The Grain Press), shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards 2018, finalist in the international Eyelands Book Awards 2019 and a poem featured as Guardian Poem of the Week, and a novella Always Another Twist (Mantle Lane Press, 2018). This is a sequel or companion novella to her novella Kaleidoscope, published by Mantle Lane Press in March 2017.

Her other most recent poetry collections include: Overton Poetry Prize pamphlet, Lampshades & Glass Rivers (Loughborough University, 2016), and the full-length poetry collection plenty-fish, published by Nine Arches Press in July 2015, previewed at Ledbury Poetry Festival and shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards 2016.

Working in both experimental and more mainstream styles, her The Magnetic Diaries (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2015), is a modern narrative in poems based on Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and incorporating a supplementary multimedia element. The Magnetic Diaries was highly commended in the Forward Prize. Sarah’s one-act poetry-play version of the collection was selected for and performed by Reaction Theatre Makers at the 2015 Write On Festival at Hereford’s The Courtyard theatre, a ‘highly recommended show’ during its 2-week run at Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and on an ACE-funded 2016 tour including Ledbury Poetry Festival, Birmingham MAC and London’s The Vaults.

She also has a joint pamphlet with Angela Topping, entitled Hearth, that launched at Cheltenham Poetry Festival in April 2015 and was a PBS Autumn Pamphlet. Sarah’s second full-length poetry collection Be[yond] was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press in July 2013 and her debut full-length poetry collection Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010) won third prize in the International Rubery Book Awards 2011.

POEMS

Sarah’s work has also won a range of individual poem/unpublished manuscript prizes including winner of the CP Aware Award Prize for Poetry 2021, first prize in the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine 2020, first prize in the Shepton MalletSnowdrop Festival Poetry Competition 2019/2020, first prize in the 2020 Waltraud Field International Poetry Competition, first prize in the Barn Owl Trust Poetry Competition 2019, second prize in Lichfield Cathedral Poetry Competition 2019, second prize in the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine 2018 and winner of the Positive Images Peace Festival Poetry Awards 2018. Other recent first prize wins include the Overton Poetry Prize 2015, Wordpool Festival Poetry Competition 2014 (with her poem animated for the Blackpool Illuminations) and the Poetry on Loan Poetry Competition 2014. She was also 1 of 111 poets (out of nearly 13,000 entries) longlisted in the National Poetry Competition 2015, highly commended in Wigtown Book Festival Poetry Competition 2017 and the Wirral Festival of Firsts poetry competition 2017 and shortlisted in the Paper Swans Press pamphlet competition 2017.

Individual poem publications include the Guardian, Financial Times, The Rialto, Magma, PN Review, The Wolf, Tears in the Fence, Shearsman magazine, Envoi, Poetry Wales, The Forward Book of Poetry 2016, Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam (Cinnamon Press), Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe) and Hwaet! (Bloodaxe).

Her poetry has featured on the BBC, on the Polesworth Poets’ Trail in Warwickshire and has been set to music, animated for the Blackpool Illuminations 2014, muralled on a café wall, on Worcestershire buses and around 12,000 copies of AGFA’s annual report distributed internationally.

Stranger claims to 5-mins of fame include her poetry translated into Russian (through English PEN), a poem screened at a Bulgarian film festival (thanks to animators Emily & Anne), reading from the top of a glass cone furnace and poems shared in the American classroom.

SHORT/FLASH FICTION

Sarah’s fiction successes include being shortlisted in the Gatehouse Press New Fictions Prize 15/16, a winner in the Oxford Today thriller flash competition in 2014 and nominated for Best Small Fictions. Her flash fiction has been published in Jellyfish Review, Ellipsis, The Fiction Pool, Under the Radar, Elbow Room, Fictive Dream, The Nottingham Review, Spelk, Litro Online, Reflex Fiction ,The Ofi Press Literary Magazine, Riggwelter, Dodging the Rain, Bending Genres, The Cabinet of Heed, Flash Fiction Magazine, Rockland, Literally Stories, CafeLit and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine. She has five stories in Arachne Press’s Five by Five anthology and a longer literary fiction in the Legend Press anthology The Remarkable Everyday.

JOURNALISM/CREATIVE NON-FICTION/ESSAYS

Sarah was also longlisted (top nine) in New Welsh Writing Awards 2018: Aberystwyth University Prize for an Essay Collection and longlisted (top nine) for the New Welsh Writing Awards 2017 memoir prize.
Before becoming a freelance writer, Sarah worked for several years as a regional newspaper reporter. More recent articles/commissions include ‘Creative energy: how electromagnetic therapy inspired me’ – a 3000-word Wellcome Collection commissioned article, photos and poem about how rTMS inspired The Magnetic Diaries. More about her journalism and CNF can be found here.

PERFORMING/WORKSHOPS/RESIDENCIES/JUDGING

A regular guest poet at spoken word events and festivals including Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Swindon Big Poetry Weekend, Gloucester Poetry Festival and the Carol Ann Duffy and Friends series at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, Sarah was also a guest poet in Cork and Limerick, after being selected for the 2013 Coventry-Cork twin city poets exchange.

A professional member of NAWE (the National Association of Writers in Education), Sarah has experience facilitating workshops and running spoken word events for festivals and other organisations. (More about this can be found here.)

She has been a judge for individual poem and poetry collection competitions.

She has been a festival poet in residence at a church and café, and National Poetry Day writer in residence at Worcester Oxfam Bookshop, as well as The High Window Resident Artist for 2019.

PHOTOGRAPHY/ART

Sarah was The High Window Resident Artist for 2019, in the Top Five of the Borderlines Carlisle Book Festival photography competition 2019 and winner of the Droitwich Specsavers Opticians’ Life through a Lens photography contest 2008.

Extracts of the poetry, photography and artwork featured in Sarah’s 2012 poetry-art exhibition aimed at bringing poetry to a wider audience can be found in the An Eyeful of Words section of this website. She also enjoys creative collaborations and film poetry. (Do get in touch if you have a poetry project idea.)

She also combines other writers’ words with her photos as LitWorld2 photographer and curator. More about her published photography/art can be found here.

COMMISSIONS

Sarah’s commissioned work spans across art, poetry, journalism and creative non-fiction. More information on past commissions can be found here.

EDITING

Sarah runs V. Press poetry and flash fiction imprint. Her other editing roles include Ledbury Poetry Festival 2019’s Guest Editor at Versopolis Review and joint poetry editor of Worcester Literary Festival magazine Be (2011/2012).

GROUPS/REVIEWING/ACADEMIC/WRITING BACKGROUND

Sarah runs the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire Stanza and was secretary of Droitwich Arts Network from April 2011 to February 2015. She also reviews, and interviews other writers. More details about reviews here and interviews here.

A state-school Oxford University graduate with a 2:1 in modern languages (French and linguistics), Sarah also has a postgraduate diploma in print journalism from University of Wales, Cardiff, and a masters in creative writing from Manchester Writing School at MMU. She was part of Writing West Midlands’ Room 204 Writer Development Programme 2013/14.

Her reading/writing interests include: sibling relationships; unreliable narrators, fragmented narratives and the interplay of first and third person viewpoints; gender roles in art and society, and female historic and contemporary archetypes; the self, personal and social identities; language, linguistics and artistic use of symbols; multimedia text interpretation; nature, environmental issues and language’s shaping potential; depression, mental health and ‘unseen’ disabilities in literature; the reader’s role in creating meaning.




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