Mark Illis

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


Mark Illis writes novels for adults and teenagers, and has written extensively for television. His new novel for teens, Running Away for Beginners (Scholastic), is published in March 2024. This follows The Impossible (Quercus 2017), which won a Northern Writers’ Award and was optioned for TV, and its sequel, The Impossible: On The Run (2018). Mark has had nine novels published in total, beginning with A Chinese Summer (Bloomsbury, 1988). His most recent novels for adults are Tender (Salt, 2009), and The Last Word (Salt, 2011), which was short-listed for the Portico prize. His short stories have been published widely in magazines and anthologies, and he has been short-listed for the Whitbread Young Writers’ Prize, the Bristol Short Story Prize and the Bridport Prize. Mark’s TV work includes EastEnders, The Bill, Peak PracticeEmmerdale and Jamie Johnson, and he has had a number of ideas for original TV series in development. He also wrote the screenplay for a romantic zombie movie, which won the Best Screenplay award at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival. Mark has been a literature development worker, a centre director for the Arvon Foundation an editor for Yorkshire Arts Circus, and has worked for First Story. He has reviewed widely, has taught many times for Arvon, visits schools regularly to give talks and run workshops, and has taught creative writing in several universities. He lives in Hebden Bridge.

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Mark Illis|Dipo Agboluaje|Louise Foxcroft|Mark Illis

Mark Illis

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

Current Fellowship

University of York, 2023–2024




  • York St John University, 2015–2018