We’re pleased to announce the mentors for this year’s Escalator Talent Development Scheme, who will form part of the judging panel for entries and will also offer practical advice and creative feedback to selected writers over the ten-month period.
Megan Bradbury was born in the United States and grew up in Britain. She studied at the University of East Anglia, graduating with an MA in Creative Writing in 2005. In 2012 she was awarded the Charles Pick Fellowship at UEA, and in 2013 she won an Escalator Literature Award and a Grant for the Arts to help fund the completion of her first novel, Everyone is Watching. The novel tells the story of New York City through the geniuses that have inhabited it – among them, Walt Whitman, Robert Moses, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Edmund White. It was published by Picador in summer 2016. Twitter
‘Having the support of a mentor during the writing of my first novel was an incredible gift. Cathi Unsworth helped me to find focus with my writing, boosted my confidence, and helped me to see myself as a professional writer. I can’t wait to do this for someone else. It will be an honour to help other writers get to where they want to go.’
Michael Donkor studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, undertook a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway and now teaches English Literature at St Paul’s Girls’ School in London. The Observer named him as one of 2018’s best debut authors for his first novel Hold (4th Estate). This year he was longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Twitter
‘Reading through these entries was exhilarating. I was really struck by the stylistic ambition of so many pieces, by the immediacy of the characterizations and often by the great inventiveness on display. There is huge potential in these writers and their tales.’
Kate Worsley was born in Lancashire and has a BA in English Literature from University College London and an MA in Creative Writing from City, University of London. Her first novel She Rises won the HWA Debut Crown and the New Angle Prize for Literature and was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Prize for Lesbian Fiction. In 2012 she won an Escalator Literature Award and subsequently received a Grant for the Arts to help fund the completion of her second novel. She was RLF Writing Fellow at the University of Essex from 2014 to 2017 and has been a visiting lecturer in creative writing at City, University of London since 2015.
‘This year’s crop of Escalator entries displayed an inspiring diversity of talent. The selection process was therefore, both rewarding and frustrating. I am looking forward hugely to working with my chosen writers, and would have loved to be able to work with many more.’
Diran Adebayo, Tahmina Anam, Sally Cline, Natasha Cooper, Jill Dawson, Yvvette Edwards, Bernardine Evaristo, Midge Gillies, Danny Hahn, Shelley Harris, Tobias Hill, Joanna Hines, Kerry Hudson, Benjamin Johncock, Anjali Joseph, Gillian McClure, Katherine McMahon, Courttia Newland, Alex Preston, Kate Pullinger, David Rain, Ross Raisin, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Amy Sackville, Guy Saville, Nikesh Shukla, Michelle Spring, Cathi Unsworth, Hayley Webster.