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Ruth Thomas

Novelist, Short-story writer

Ruth Thomas is an acclaimed novelist and short-story writer. Her first collection Sea Monster Tattoo was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys and Saltire first book awards and her second The Dance Settee received a Scottish Arts Council book award. Ruth’s work frequently concentrates on characters — often women or children — who are ‘on the margins’: people overlooked in some way, or at one remove from the norm. Sometimes informed by her life as a mother, the ‘domestic’ is significant in her work, and small events, objects or memories often imply bigger, more abstract themes. The connection between comedy and tragedy, real and surreal, is also important in her work. Her début novel Things to Make and Mend (Faber) received the Good Housekeeping most entertaining read award in 2007; and her third short-story collection Super Girl (Faber, 2009) was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor international short-story award.

Ruth began her second novel The Home Corner (Faber, 2013) during a residency with the Hosking Houses Trust, Stratford (a scheme set up for women writers needing more time to write), She now works as a part-time lecturer in creative writing at St Andrews University, and is a regular guest at literary festivals. Her novels have been produced in large format and audio versions, and her stories have been broadcast extensively on the BBC. She runs occasional writing workshops for the Arvon Foundation, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Faber Academy, and lives in Edinburgh with her husband and three children.

Ruth Thomas


Queen Margaret University 2018
Queen Margaret University 2016-18
Queen Margaret University 2016
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 2012/13
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