Julie is an actress turned writer who still acts but mostly writes. She is an award-winning novelist, an award-nominated radio dramatist and has written short stories and stage plays to critical acclaim. With mentoring and early support from BFI, BAFTA and LOCO, she is now also writing for the screen.
Julie’s most recent novel, Mother Tongue, published in 2016, garnered five star reviews in the broadsheet press and a place on the 2017 CILIP Carnegie nominations list. The Big Lie (Hot Key Books, 2015), a book about girls, protest and revolution, set in an imagined contemporary Nazi Britain was nominated for the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal, shortlisted for the 2016 Peters Book of the Year and won the 2015 Sidewise Award for Alternate History, amongst other accolades, and was published in the USA by Candlewick in November 2017.
Her debut novel, Red Ink, also published by Hot Key Books and Candlewick, was nominated for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2014. Her next book, The Electrical Venus, follows a troop of 18th century travelling performers during the age of enlightenment and explores where love meets science. It is published in April 2018.
Julie’s play Polygamy For Girls will feature alongside work by Margaret Atwood and Doris Lessing in BBC Radio 4’s 2018 Riot Girls season. Her previous work for Radio 4 includes A Shoebox Of Snow, which was a finalist for Best Drama at the inaugural BBC Audio Drama Awards, The Electrical Venus which was nominated in the same category at the 2016 BBC ADAs and the critically-acclaimed Stopgap. She has also written short stories for BBC Radio 4 – most notably a trilogy based on the Rapunzel fairytale.
Her debut short film Elsie: Prince of Denmark, starring Lily Dodsworth-Evans, Clive Hayward and Sally Phillips, completed principal photography in November 2017 in Peterborough, Julie’s hometown, with local young talent supporting a professional cast and crew. Julie will direct her second short Unknown Number in the spring.
She is the current recipient of an Arts Council England grant to write an original new play for Eastern Angles unearthing the lost stories of women from history, including Katherine of Arragon. This follows her collaboration with Eastern Angles in 2016 on The Fletton Railway Children, a hugely well-received modern adaptation of E Nesbit’s classic story.
Support for Julie’s work has come from the Arvon/Jerwood Mentoring Scheme where she was tutored by Maria McCann, and from Headlong theatre company, where she was a member of their first ever invitational Writers’ Group. She received funding from the K Blundell Trust in 2015/16 to conduct R&D on a new portfolio of work and is the recipient of a Author’s Foundation grant for 2018 for her next novel project.
Julie grew up in Peterborough, and originally trained as a journalist, putting those skills to excellent use in her first job as a ‘Black Thunder Babe’ breakfast presenter for local radio. She has since written extensively for the national press. Home is now Hertfordshire where she is a founder and host of short story cabaret The Berko Speakeasy.
She is mum to two boys. She is quite good at maths. And ice skating.