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 and directs for the screen.
Her latest book Little Nothings, a Highsmithian tale of toxic friendship and violent revenge set on the holiday island of Corfu, was published internationally by Bloomsbury this year (2022). Previously for Bloomsbury, she wrote the critically accalimed contemporary thriller Impossible Causes (2019), about four teenage girls accused of witchcraft in a remote British enclave. 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 non-fiction debut-in-progress – a book about her bond with silent movie actress Mabel Poulton – has received support from Arts Council England and was awarded a Silvers Grant by the New York Review of Books.
In 2017, ACE also funded Julie’s original new play, Buried Women for Eastern Angles, which unearthed the lost stories of women with links to East Anglia, including Katherine of Arragon. This followed 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 Buckinghamshire. She is mum to two boys. Her best friend is a border terrier called Connie.