Dr Andrea Ashworth (A. J. Ashworth) is the author of the short story collection Somewhere Else, or Even Here, which won Salt Publishing’s Scott Prize and was shortlisted in the Edge Hill Prize. She is also the editor of Red Room: New Short Stories Inspired by the Brontës. She has won numerous awards including a K. Blundell Trust Award and has a PhD in creative writing from Edge Hill. She is working on a new collection of short stories, one of which was selected for Best British Short Stories 2021, and is an associate editor of the journal Short Fiction in Theory and Practice. Her website is at: www.ajashworth.com.

Links to stories online:

‘Birthday’: https://fictivedream.com/2022/09/25/birthday/

‘Zero Gravity’: http://www.lablit.com/article/534

‘Species’: https://visualverse.org/submissions/species/

Elizabeth Baines is a short-story writer, novelist and playwright. Her prize-winning short stories have been published widely in magazines and anthologies, and her two collections are Balancing on the Edge of the World and Used to Be (Salt). Her three novels are The Birth MachineToo Many Magpies and Astral Travel (all published by Salt). She is the author of several Radio 4 dramas, including a vampire serial, a comedy series and an adaptation of her own novel The Birth Machine. She has written, performed and produced plays for fringe theatre. Her work explores power relations both personal and societal aPnd is often concerned with the power of story-telling. She has contributed chapters to books on Creative Writing and literary theory, and has reviewed fiction and literary theory for Short Fiction in Theory and Practice. With Ailsa Cox she co-founded and -edited the acclaimed (discontinued) short-story magazine metropolitan.

Published fiction: https://www.saltpublishing.com/collections/author-elizabeth-baines

Radio drama audiobook: https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/301655/elizabeth-baines

Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story, ed. Vanessa Gebbie: https://www.saltpublishing.com/collections/author-vanessa-gebbie/products/short-circuit-9781907773440

The Creative Writing Handbook, ed. John Singleton and Mary Luckhurst: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-Writing-Handbook-John-Singleton/dp/0333792262

Dr Carys Bray is the author of a short story collection and three novels. Her work has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Award (First Novel) and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and she won the 2015 Author’s Club Best First Novel Award. Her short fiction has been broadcast on Radio Four and her novel A Song for Issy Bradley was a Book at Bedtime. Her most recent novel, When the Lights Go Out was a Times Best Paperback of 2021. Carys has worked with writers in the community and as a Creative Writing lecturer on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. She was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.  


Julia Clayton studied Economics at the London School of Economics before taking an MA in Ancient History at King’s College London. From 1996-2019 she was Head of Classics at King George V College in Southport.  After taking the MA Creative Writing course at Edge Hill she retired from teaching in order to concentrate on writing and research; her PhD thesis on Invented Artworks, Class & Authenticity in fiction is due to be completed in 2024.  

Julia’s short stories focus on how we interact with the past through art, architecture and archaeological artefacts. Her work has been published in various outlets, including Fairlight Shorts, Lucent Dreaming, Writers’ Café, the Telegraph website and the Oxford Flash Fiction Anthology. Several of her stories have been shortlisted for the FISH International Short Story Prize and the Much Wenlock Olympian Short Story Prize, and she has also been  longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the Colm Tóibín Wexford Short Story Prize, the Parracombe Prize and the Exeter Short Story Prize.

Links to Published Fiction

‘The British Usurper’, Fairlight Books, May 2020 https://www.fairlightbooks.co.uk/short_stories/the-british-usurper

‘Café Herakles’, Lucent Dreaming, Issue 10, December 2021

‘Dacre Must Fall’, Lucent Dreaming, Issue 10, December 2021

Billy Cowan is an award-winning playwright and fiction writer.  His first play Smilin’ Through won the 2003 Writing Out award for Best New Gay play at Finborough Theatre, London. It was co-produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Contact and Queer Up North and was nominated for Best New Play 2005 at the Manchester Evening News Theatre awards. His play Still Ill won Warehouse Theatre’s 2010 International Playwriting Award and was produced in 2014 by Truant Company in association with Oldham Coliseum and                            Homotopia. Other plays include Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Stigmata, Care Takers and The Right Ballerina. Care Takers won a Stage Edinburgh award and was one of The Stage’s Critics’ Choices of best plays at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival.

In 2019, Billy was an associate artist with internationally renowned Theatre Company Anu Productions on a project called The Anvil for Manchester International Festival. His immersive piece Prophet was spotlighted by the New York Times as being one of the highlights of the festival.

Billy also publishes fiction. Stories have appeared in Flash: The International Journal of short short fiction; The Real Story; and Flash Non-fiction Funny published by Woodhall Press. His story Big Strong Giant was nominated for a Pushcart award and was published in A Girl’s Guide to Fly-Fishing by Reflex Fiction. Other stories have appeared in Ellipsiszine, Fiction Dream; Purple Reign published by Erbacce Press.

Prof. Ailsa Cox is Professor Emerita in Short Fiction at Edge Hill. and the founder of the Edge Hill Prize. Her fiction has been published in The Best British Short Stories, Confingo, The Mechanics’ Institute Review and many other anthologies. ‘Cocky Watchman’ appeared as a limited-edition chapbook with Nightjar Press in 2021. Other books include a collection, The Real Louise (Headland Press 2009), Writing Short Stories (Routledge 2005, 2016, 3rd edition forthcoming) and Alice Munro (Northcote House 2004). She has published essays on writers including Katherine Mansfield, Malcolm Lowry, Helen Simpson, Daisy Johnson and Jon McGregor. She is Associate Director of the European Network for Short Fiction Research and the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Short Fiction in Theory and Practice A mini-collection in collaboration with the artist Patricia Farrell, is forthcoming from Confingo Press. Ailsa Cox has twice been longlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award.

Interviewed on Small Pleasures podcast https://smallpleasures.podbean.com/?fbclid=IwAR38oEeqZ3Wi7xyrXUChSvrdWCnttFJWf0au9lO9BE28fzZiImcHzAY5KJU.

Nightjar Press  https://nightjarpress.weebly.com/.

Short Fiction in Theory and Practice https://intellectdiscover.com/content/journals/fict.


Confingo Publishing https://www.confingopublishing.uk/.

John D Rutter began writing after a long business career. He completed his MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University and his PhD at Edge Hill University where he has taught several Creative Writing Modules. He has also taught  arrange of subjects at UCLan and in China and worked as a Research Associate for University of Southampton.  John’s short stories have been widely published in chapbooks, anthologies and web sites and he is an active member of the Narrative Research Group (NRG) at Edge Hill and ENSFR. His first novel, Approval, derived from a cycle of short stories, won the Northbound Book Award 2020 and was published by Saraband Books. His non-fiction has appeared in JSSE and various local and national newspapers and magazines.  John currently teaches English for Living Learning English as well as being a Liberal Democrat Councillor for Preston City Council.


Sarah Schofield is an award-winning writer of short fiction. Her stories have appeared in several Comma Press anthologies, Best British Short Stories 2020 (Salt), Synaesthesia Magazine, Morning Star, Woman’s Weekly and many others.  Sarah is a Creative Writing lecturer at Edge Hill University. Her debut collection Safely Gathered In was published by Comma Press in November 2021

Comma Press https://commapress.co.uk/authors/sarah-schofield

Read ‘Life is a bit weird’, an interview with Sarah Schofield about Safely Gathered In for Morning Star.

Read an interview with Sarah Schofield about Safely Gathered In in 3:AM Magazine.

Watch Sarah talk about beginnings and endings to stories here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82s7WN2F89s

“A truly striking debut, rich with innovation and imagination” – Lunate 

“Schofield’s writing style lends itself to letting the reader fill in the gaps for themselves, creating tension by leaving things just slightly askew.” – Mslexia 

“This is a deliciously wry Black Mirror-esque collection that provokes and disturbs. A bold and brilliant debut.” – Lucie McKnight Hardy, author of Water Shall Refuse Them

“Sarah Schofield is a writer with tremendous rage and inventiveness, who takes the short story to new places” – Naomi Booth, author of Exit Management

“An enchanting, vital collection. Strange, incisive and compelling.” – Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch

“This collection will feed you; savour it.” – Tania Hershman, author of Some of Us Glow More Than Others and My Mother Was An Upright Piano

Kate Wilson is a British writer, researcher and playwright based in the Northwest of England. Kate graduated from Edge Hill University in 2021 with a first-class Creative Writing degree before winning the Dame Janet Suzman Playwrighting Award in 2022. Kate has just undertaken a Masters by Research in Creative Writing at Edge Hill while working full time in the Research Facilitation and Delivery Unit at the University of Central Lancashire. Kate’s research interests are Psychogeography, Displacement, Identity and Mental Health.  

Dr Kim Wiltshire is a fiction writer, playwright and academic. She has had short stories published in Cultureword’s Migration Stories and in The Good Ear Review and Transitions. During 2022 and 2023 she was a British Academy Innovation Fellow working on exploring ways to further embed the arts into healthcare settings working with Lime at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. From this work, she wrote an article on using the short story in workshops with NHS staff during the pandemic, in the journal Short Fiction in Theory and Practice. She has also worked with Nurses on a series of recorded verbatim poems set to music which tell the real stories of working nurses at MFT. In 2019, she was the Pulp Idol winner with her work in process novel, Sad Day. She has an MA in Creative Writing: The Novel from MMU and a PhD in English Literature from Lancaster University. At Edge Hill, she is a Reader and Programme Leader for Creative Writing as well as being the convenor for the Fiction Writers Network. Below are some links for her fiction writing and arts and health work, but she has also authored two plays (Project XXX and The Value of Nothing) which are published by Aurora Metro, as well as Writing for Theatre for Bloomsbury Academic and co-authored with Billy Cowan, Scenes from the Revolution for Pluto Books.

Migration Stories – Crocus, Cultureword & Commonword Books (culturewordbooks.org.uk) 

Using the short story as a tool for well-being in arts and health workshops for the NHS staff | Intellect (intellectdiscover.com)

Pulp Idol Firsts 2020 on Amazon Kindle | Writing on the Wall

NHS Verbatim Poems