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Sally Bayley

Non-fiction writer

Sally Bayley is a non-fiction writer whose work explores the relationship between biography, autobiography, memoir and literary fiction. Her book, The Private Life of the Diary (Unbound, 2016), was inspired by the diaries of Virginia Woolf. Following a similar structure to Woolf’s The Waves, her book is a biography of the diary as an art form.

Sally Bayley has just completed a literary memoir which tells the story of a young girl escaping from a cultic, all-female household by reading and her transition into the Care system. Girl with Dove: a life built by books (HarperCollins, 2018) blends the voices of female protagonists Jane Eyre, Miss Marple, and Betsey Trotwood (from David Copperfield) and from these voices creates an alternative literary family and genealogy. She is now completing a sequel, No Boys Play Here (HarperCollins, 2019) which will reclaim the lost male voices of her history, blending them with the characters she encountered in Shakespeare aged fourteen.

In 2017 Sally Bayley was awarded an IT Innovation award by the University of Oxford for a writing app design. The app will help users create and structure critical arguments using methods of close reading and the structures of critical narrative.

Sally Bayley has taught in Higher Education for twenty-three years across a wide range of subjects. For many years she has taught critical writing and thinking. Her particular interest has been the relationship between poetry, literary narrative and the visual arts.

Sally Bayley


Oxford Brookes University 2018-20
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