Monster has been written primarily by MA Creative Writing students from Nottingham Trent University. It also features work from guest writers, including novelist Megan Taylor, novelist, poet and editor Jonathan Taylor, and award-winning young adult fiction author Kim Slater. For more information on the postgraduate writers, keep scrolling.
Liv made Nottingham her home in 2009. In 2012 she graduated with First Class honours in English with Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University, and is now in the first year of the MA Creative Writing. Liv writes and edits commercially through her employment, blogs sporadically, and in the past co-edited a literary magazine.
Predominantly a fiction writer, Liv explores the fragility of humanity with testing subjects like mental illness, family relationships, memory and death. Her style aims to push boundaries, challenging the reader with complex, experimental and poignant prose. Expect obscurity, darkness, and moments of joy.
Influences: Jeffrey Eugenides, Ernest Hemingway, Jon McGregor, Sylvia Plath, and everyone she meets…
Monster Anthology: Head of Marketing
Chris Bonnello is a former primary school teacher, who writes adult and young adult fiction. His work centres around themes of loss, redemption, and the overcoming of suffering by young underdogs. He also runs Autistic Not Weird, a website that discusses autism through the eyes of his own Asperger Syndrome, and gives frequent talks to educational charities and parent groups. Bonnello also aims to publish non-fiction works and turn his autism advocacy- both written and spoken- into a full-time career.
Influences: Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, George Orwell.
Monster Anthology: Online Marketing
Born and raised in Kent, Alicia has lived in cities, farmland and ventured to the middle of nowhere. Alicia has always been fascinated by the mythical and fantastical creatures that dwell in stories. Due to her flare for dramatics, such ideas couldn’t be contained, and so she began to write. With a bachelor’s degree in performing arts and now a student on the MA Creative Writing, Alicia’s strengths in her narrative-style come from her characters and sometimes unorthodox ideas. She now lives in Suffolk with her family, though every now and then, she follows the dragons in her heart, wherever they may lead.
Monster Anthology: Script Co-Editor and Video Marketing
Francinette moved to the UK from Zimbabwe in 1999. She spent six years sailing the Atlantic, Caribbean and the Mediterranean before settling in Nottingham in 2011. A single mother, Fran not only graduated in 2015 with a First Class Honours degree in English but won the undergraduate Creative Writing Award.
While Fran mostly focuses on scripts, she also writes fiction and occasionally dabbles in poetry. Her undergraduate dissertation – a television pilot has been optioned and is being adapted for the US market. She is currently a full time Masters student who explores magic realism, postcolonial and eco critical themes.
Influences: Zaks Mda, Neil Gaiman, Damon Lindelof, Jane Austin, Lionel Shriver, Ben Aaronovitch, African folk stories and legends.
Monster Anthology: Script Editor
Kate is a former literary agent intern, who is studying on the MA full-time. She graduated from NTU’s English with Creative Writing BA and was awarded the Five Leaves Prize for Creative Writing in 2013. Her writing is often preoccupied with the macabre. She suspects this is because her childhood home was on the back of a graveyard. Her passions in life include: folklore, sarcasm and tomato sauce.
Influences: Leigh Bardugo, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Margaret Atwood and Chinua Achebe
Monster Anthology: Online marketing and Fiction Co-Editor
A 1960s throwback living in the twenty-first century, Jazmin is a keen collector of vinyl and vintage clothing. Inspired by her working-class roots, her work represents the underrepresented and she writes fiction based on fact. Many of her stories are based in Nottingham and challenge social stigmas and stereotypes. Her work is often inspired by conversations with her grandparents about their childhoods, or things she overhears on public transport. She aims to create realist representations of everyday life, and has been praised for the accuracy and authenticity of her dialogue.
Influences: Shane Meadows, Shelagh Delaney, Alan Sillitoe, Charles Bukowski, Graham Greene, George Orwell
Monster Anthology: Project Co-Manager
Alleyn is from Northern Ireland and sets most of his work in Belfast and Co. Antrim. His themes are often dark; politics and religion play a central role in many of his stories – he has little love for either. Influenced by the modernist school, he veers towards the bleak and the abstract.
Influences: Kennedy-Toole, Bulgakov, Joyce, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, Vonnegut and Murakami.
Monster Anthology: Project Co-Manager.
Born in Nottingham, Will started writing poetry when he was fifteen (and would loathe to read any of what he wrote then). While at university, he decided to share more of his writing, and started a “poem-a-day” blog, sitting at over 340 posts at time of writing. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2015, and immediately applied for the Master’s. His poetry ranges from mythology inspired narratives to studies of the mind. From the beginning of his writing career, he’s tried to stick to two rules: be vivid, and be passionate.
Influences: T.S. Elliot, E.E. Cummings, Neil Hillborn, Allen Ginsberg, Haruki Murakami.
Visit: ardentpoetry.wordpress.com / vividardent.tumblr.com / sycsta.deviantart.com
Laura grew up in Newport, South Wales but lives in Leicester, where she has taught English for eight years. She is keen to write a Young Adult novel that would appeal to a usually reluctant reader! Laura is inspired by the fantasy works of fiction. She also writes poetry, and enjoys performance poets like Hollie McNish and Benjamin Zephaniah.
Influences: J.R.R. Tolkien, Matt Haig, Stephen King.
Monster Anthology: Poetry Co-Editor
Joe decided she was an artist when she was six and has made art every day for the last 30 years. She used to run an secondary school Art department and is inexplicably enthusiastic about curriculum development. Joe writes stories that encourage children to think creatively and claim their place in the world. She believes in learning the rules, and then breaking them. She is passionate about freedom, and hopes to encourage a generation of tree-hugging, singing, dancing, artistic mutineers. She’s not sure if you can do this through magic realism and quirky little poems about animals, but she’s going to bloody well try.
Influences: David Almond, Louis de Bernieres, Jan Pienkowski, Dave McKean and El Mac.
Hayley is a twenty-five-year-old student from Nottingham. In 2015, she graduated with First Class Honours in English and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University, and is currently in her first year of the Creative Writing master’s degree. Young adult and children’s fiction are very special to her for their ability to educate and inspire young readers. These, along with magic realism, are her preferred genres in which to write.
Influences: Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, Terry Pratchett, Kody Keplinger.
Monster Anthology: Children and Y.A. Co-Editor, Proofreader
Jo studied play writing as part of her drama degree at the University of Birmingham and has since taken part in various writing workshops and groups, including New Perspectives at Nottingham Playhouse.
Jo has worked in publicity for drama programmes at the BBC, as a freelance script reader for Nottingham Playhouse and on scripts and storylines for TV programmes such as Brookside and Hollyoaks.
In 2014 Jo wrote her first full poetry collection, some pieces from which are featured in Between the Lines (along with some of her other work), which was published in 2015 by Tell Tale Writers. Jo has been shortlisted in the Bridport Prize 2016 for poetry.
Influences: John Cooper Clarke, Alan Bennett, Joyce Grenfell, Roald Dahl, Bill Bryson.
Visit: Between the Lines published by Tell Tale Writers, which features some of Jo’s work. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Maggie’s Centre in Nottingham, supporting people with cancer and their families and friends.
Monster Anthology: Marketing and Poetry Co-Editor
Marriam graduated from NTU’s English with Creative Writing BA in 2013. She wanted to challenge herself further so returned to study the MA full-time. In the past, her fiction has been shortlisted for the Five Stop Story Competition. She is passionate about diversity in young adult literature, baking, and Italy.
Influences: Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Mass, Angela Carter, Robert Browning, and C.S. Lewis.
Visit: Twitter: @MarriamYahya, Instagram: @marriam_yahya
Monster Anthology: Children and Y.A. Co-Editor, Proofreader
Judith began writing at the age of twelve when she discovered the world of fan-fiction and its infinite possibilities of creativity. As a child, her father heavily encouraged her to embrace reading and to nurture her imagination. Her fashion of writing has not strayed far from the style of fan-fiction, though she is improving the more she writes. Judith enjoys video games, talking to her friends, listening to a broad selection of music, and pretending to be Sherlock Holmes in a bus full of strangers on a Friday night.
Influences: Story driven video games, Haruki Murakami, Japanese media, Japanese culture, real-life experiences of her own and of others.
Monster Anthology: Fiction Co-Editor