I was born in Edinburgh and have a first-class degree in English from the University of St Andrews. After gaining a Masters in Shakespeare Studies from Kings College London, I worked in various jobs, and lived in Spain for a short while, before settling in Edinburgh and beginning to write full time.

I’ve been awarded a Scottish Book Trust New Writers’ Award (2013), a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship (2016) and a Creative Scotland Open Project Award (2017). My short stories have been shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award (2014) and Manchester Fiction Prize (2016) and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (2018). The Hourglass Factory was also longlisted for the Historical Writers Association Debut Crown (2015).

As a tutor and workshop leader, I’ve worked in schools, prisons and community groups. My particular area of interest is developing the confidence and skills of emerging readers and writers.

I also write contemporary thrillers under the name Elle Connel. Down by the Water, and You Can Stay are both published by Wildfire.