Pamela Scobie’s twin passions for writing and performing came together in 1984 when she was invited, on the strength of her improvisational skills, to become in-house playwright for a Theatre in Education company. She learned her craft by listening to the needs of actors, teachers and directors. During her tenure, she wrote entertainments, interactive programmes for schools, short films and a musical: Quasimodo. After she became a carer, Pamela assessed scripts for local theatres and radio, and adapted her play Twisted into a novel about children in the cotton mills. It was published by Oxford University Press. More novels followed, mostly based on historical events. The School That Went on Strike was shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, children’s section. In 2008 she rediscovered poetry. She has published two collections and a collaboration, and won first and second prizes in the Ilkley Literature Festival poetry competition. She writes in many voices, speaking for the sidelined and the silenced: an abused child, a murdered wife, Judas. She believes that, although poems often come seemingly unbidden, if you research and look deeply enough inside yourself, the most unpromising subjects can inspire you. Pamela has worked in secondary and further education as well as in the theatre. These days she enjoys performing her poetry, encouraging and learning from other poets and tinkering with her comedy detective series Sid Malone, created to amuse her late partner. She is busy on a new collaboration, and relaxes by studying languages, life drawing and dancing the Argentine tango.
Image credit: Girton College Cambridge
University of Leeds, Environment 2021/22