Jill Dawson is an acclaimed novelist, poet and anthologist. She won an Eric Gregory award for poetry in 1992 and several short-story competitions. She compiled six anthologies including the bestselling Virago Book of Wicked Verse before choosing to concentrate on writing fiction.
Her nine novels are: Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred & Edie, Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear, The Great Lover, Lucky Bunny and The Tell-Tale Heart, all published by Sceptre. The Great Lover was a Richard and Judy summer read; Fred & Edie was shortlisted for the Orange prize and the Whitbread novel award; Watch Me Disappear was longlisted for the Orange prize; Lucky Bunny won a Fiction Uncovered award. The Tell-Tale Heart was nominated for the Folio prize, and her latest The Crime Writer, about Patricia Highsmith, won The East Anglian Book of the Year and is short-listed for the New Angles Prize.
After her RLF fellowship in 2001, she became the creative-writing fellow at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and taught on the MA programme. Jill also teaches creative writing for EA/Guardian masterclasses and the Faber Academy. In 2006 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University. Currently she runs a mentoring scheme called Gold Dust, which matches established writers (many of them ex-RLF fellows) with new authors wishing to work on a novel or memoir and has helped to publication many new writers.
Jill – known to her friends as Ruby Dawson – has been the Chair of the Advisory Fellows for the RLF for twelve years, and chairs the annual induction day for new Fellows.