Julie Mayhew is a journalist who became an actress (because she wanted more creative ways to tell stories), who became a scriptwriter (because she couldn’t find enough brilliant roles for women).
She is an award-winning novelist, an award-nominated radio dramatist and has written short stories and stage plays to critical acclaim. As a participant in the BFI Network x BAFTA Crew programme, Julie now also writes for the screen.
Her latest book Impossible Causes, a contemporary thriller about four teenage girls accused of witchcraft on a small isolated island, was published in hardback by Bloomsbury in the UK and US in 2019, and in paperback October 2020. Her second book for Bloomsbury will be published in Spring 2022.
Julie’s previous titles include…
* Mother Tongue (Hot Key, 2016; Candlewick, US, 2019), set in modern Russia in the aftermath of the Beslan disaster, which garnered five star reviews in the broadsheet press and a place on the 2017 CILIP Carnegie nominations list.
* The Big Lie (Hot Key, 2015; Candlewick, US, 2017), a book about girls, protest and revolution that imagines a contemporary Nazi Britain. It 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.
* Debut novel Red Ink, (Hot Key, 2013; Candlewick, US, 2016) following a north London teenager’s attempt to piece together the story of her mother’s childhood in Crete. It was nominated for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2014.
Julie’s most recent radio play, Polygamy For Girls, featured alongside work by Margaret Atwood and Doris Lessing in BBC Radio 4’s 2018 Riot Girls season. Previous work for Radio 4 includes A Shoebox Of Snow, a Best Drama finalist at the inaugural BBC Audio Drama Awards; The Electrical Venus, starring Hannah John-Kamen, also nominated for Best Drama at the BBC ADAs; and the critically-acclaimed Stopgap. Her short stories for Radio 4 include a trilogy of tales based on Rapunzel.
Julie’s debut short film as a writer/director, Unknown Number, a comedy-drama about love, heartbreak and spam callers, starred Anna-Marie Wayne. Julie also wrote the short screenplay Elsie: Prince of Denmark, shot in Peterborough, with a cast that included Lily Dodsworth-Evans and Sally Phillips.
Julie’s non-fiction debut – a book about her relationship to silent movie actress Mabel Poulton – has been supported by Arts Council England and was awarded a Silvers Grant by the New York Review of Books. In 2017, ACE funded her original new play, Buried Women for Eastern Angles, which unearthed the lost stories of women from history, including Katherine of Arragon. This followed on from her ACE-backed collaboration with Eastern Angles in 2016 on The Fletton Railway Children, a well-received modern adaptation of E Nesbit’s classic story.
Other support for Julie’s work has come from the Arvon/Jerwood Mentoring Programme where she was tutored by Maria McCann, and from Headlong theatre company, as 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 was the recipient of an Author’s Foundation grant for early work on Impossible Causes.
As a journalist, Julie worked as a traffic and travel presenter, football correspondent, roving radio breakfast reporter and a features writer for the national press. As an actress, she appeared on the London stage, at the Edinburgh Festival and was a regular comedy voice on Radio 4.
Born and raised in Peterborough, home is now Hertfordshire. She is mum to two boys. Her best friend is a border terrier called Connie.