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Mark Illis

Novelist, Short-story writer, Radio/tv/screenwriter

Mark Illis is a novelist and writer of short stories, who has also written for television, radio and film. His first novel, A Chinese Summer (Bloomsbury, 1988), was published when he was 25, and he has had four more novels published since then, the most recent being Tender (Salt, 2009) and The Last Word (Salt, 2011), which was short-listed for the Portico prize. He often writes about domestic situations and relationships gone wrong, skewed by bereavement, illness, ill-feeling and social incompetence. His short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, and on radio. Mark has also had three radio plays broadcast, and has written extensively for TV — including EastEnders, The Bill, Peak Practice and over 100 episodes of Emmerdale. More recently, he has been developing ideas for original TV series, including one based on the young Isaac Newton. He also wrote the screenplay for a romantic zombie movie, which won the Best Screenplay award at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival. He has been a literature development worker, a centre director for the Arvon Foundation and an editor for Yorkshire Arts Circus. He has reviewed widely, has taught many times for Arvon and has also taught regularly in universities, schools, prisons and Broadmoor secure hospital. He now lives in Hebden Bridge with his wife and two children. He is working on a young-adult novel, in which teenagers undergo unusual changes.

Mark Illis


York St John University 2015-18
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