'A strong but unheralded contender for most influential fiction writer...'
- The Sunday Times, 2020.
Sarah Hall received a BA joint honours in English and Art History from Aberystwyth University, Wales, and an MLitt in Creative Writing from St Andrews, Scotland.
She is the author of Haweswater, which won the 2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award, and a Lakeland Book of the Year prize.
In 2004, her second novel, The Electric Michelangelo, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia region), and the Prix Femina Etranger (France), and was long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction.
Her third novel, The Carhullan Army, (Daughters of the North, USA) was published in 2007, and won the 2006/07 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, a Lakeland Book of the Year prize, was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction, and long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC Award. The Carhullan Army was listed as one of The Times 100 Best Books of the Decade. The film & television rights are held by Lionsgate UK.
Her fourth novel, How To Paint A Dead Man,was published in 2009, was long-listed for the Man Booker prize and won the Portico Prize for Fiction 2010.
The Wolf Border, her fifth novel, was published in 2015, to much critical acclaim, and was shortlisted for The Southbank Sky Arts Awards and the James Tate Memorial Black prize, and won the 2015 Cumbria Life Culture Awards 'Writer of the Year' prize.
Her first collection of short stories, titled The Beautiful Indifference, was published by Faber & Faber in November 2011. The Beautiful Indifference won the Portico Prize for Fiction 2012 and the Edge Hill short story prize, and it was also short-listed for the Frank O'Connor Prize. Her second collection, Madame Zero, was published in 2017. It was short listed for the Edge Hill Prize (winning the 'Readers' Prize' category) and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Fiction category. The lead story, Mrs Fox, won the BBC National Short Story Award in 2013. The story Goodnight Nobody won an O'Henry Prize in the USA.
Sarah's third short story collection, Sudden Traveller, was published in November 2019. The title story was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018, making her the only author to be three times shortlisted for this prize.
Her short stories have been widely published and recorded, including by the following - The Guardian, New Statesman, T Magazine (The New York Times), One Story (USA), Sotheby's, The Amorist, T24 (Independent Turkish media), Granta, English Heritage, Zoetrope, BBC Radio 4, Audible Originals, Royal Academy Magazine, Vice, and Comma Press.
She is currently working on a new novel, contracted for publication by Faber & Faber, UK, and Custom House (Harper Collins, USA).
Her work is published throughout the world and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Sarah Hall is an honorary fellow of Aberystwyth University and the University of Cumbria, and a fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Italy. She is also Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters EM Forster Award. She was included in the Granta Best Young British Novelists list 2013.
She has judged a number of prestigious literary awards and prizes including the Folio Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the David Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award, the Sunday Times (EFG/Audible) and BBC National Short Story Awards, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Commonwealth Short Story Award. She has been a member of the Arts Council Northwest region, responsible for investment in the arts.
She has tutored for the Faber Academy, The Guardian Master-classes, the Arvon Foundation, has taught creative writing in a variety of establishments in the UK and abroad, and she is a co-founder of Lycian Writers in Turkey. She frequently publishes works of journalism, commentates for BBC Radio 4 and has presented television documentaries for outlets such as Sky Arts.
Sarah was born in 1974 and raised in Cumbria's Lake District. She has lived in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the USA, and she currently lives in Norwich, Norfolk.
Sarah was interviewed on BBC R4 Front Row about her 2020 BBC National Short Story Prize shortlisting: www.bbc.co.uk
Sudden Traveller has been shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2020: www.edgehill.ac.uk
Sudden Traveller Paperback publication date is 15th October 2020 www.faber.co.uk
Sudden Traveller has been longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize: www.edgehill.ac.uk/shortstory
Sudden Traveller has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize: www.ed.ac.uk/news
Sarah is presenting a two part Radio 4 documentary called The Everywoman: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000h8gr
Faber are running one of Sarah's stories in their Lunchtime Shorts series: twitter.com/FaberBooks
Review of Sudden Traveller in the TLS: www.the-tls.co.uk/articles
Sarah's short story, The Grotesques, has been honored as a finalist for the 2020 ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors) Award for Fiction. It was published in Zoetrope. www.asme.media
Sarah has written a short story for English Heritage called 'The Hand Under The Stone'. It features in their anthology, These Our Monsters: www.english-heritageshop.org.uk
Sarah has written a short piece about fiction for Arvon: www.arvon.org/the-stories-we-tell
Sarah was on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour: www.bbc.co.uk/sounds
Guardian review written by Sarah about Mary Gaitskill’s This Is Pleasure www.theguardian.com/books
Women at war: why do we still struggle with the idea of female soldiers? www.theguardian.com/books
Sarah has a new short story called 'The Woman The Book Read' published in the New Statesman: www.newstatesman.com/culture/fiction
Sarah and curator Melanie Vandenbrouck consider the moon's illuminating impact on literature. BBC Radio 4 Open Book: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes
Sarah's story Goodnight Nobody (from Madame Zero) is one of the winners of the 2019 O. Henry Prize for short fiction: www.lithub.com/announcing-the-100th-annual-o-henry-prize
Sarah has contributed to an exhibition at Wordsworth House and Garden called 'This Land Is Our Land': www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wordsworth-house-and-garden
Sarah spoke on The Art of Intimacy on BBC R4, Thursday 31st January: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes
Article in The Guardian on trauma and the unexpected tonic of extreme reading: www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle
Lycian Writers Sarah will be teaching fiction writing courses in the South of Turkey, spring and autumn 2019. Find out more
Madame Zero won the 2018 Edge Hill Readers' Choice Award. The Edge Hill Short Story Prize was won by the wonderful Tessa Hadley. www.edgehill.ac.uk/shortstory
Who Pays? A new story commissioned by The New York Times Magazine: www.nytimes.com
Sudden Traveller has been shortlisted for the BBC short story award 2018. www.theguardian.com/books
Sarah on Cumbria in The Guardian: www.theguardian.com/books
Sarah's story Later, His Ghost has made it into the Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story: www.penguin.co.uk
Sarah was Chair of judges for the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize 2018, congratulations to Kevin Jared Hosein: www.commonwealthwriters.org
Sarah has a new piece in Toast magazine: Long Slow Road to the Sea
Madame Zero is one of five books on the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize Shortlist: www.edgehill.ac.uk/shortstory
The Cambridge Festival of Creative Writing 7th July. Evening discussion with Sarah Hall. www.ice.cam.ac.uk
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist 2018 has just been announced: www.commonwealthwriters.org
Madame Zero is also on the Gordon Burn Prize Longlist: www.newwritingnorth.com
Sarah appeared on BBC Radio 4 Front Row, discussing Norwich, 7th May. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes
Sarah talked about Madame Zero on Radio 3 The Verb 2nd March. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes
A piece written by Sarah for Granta about Cumbrian Fell Ponies: www.granta.com
Travel piece for Toast Magazine One Night in Istanbul: www.travels.toa.st
Mention of Madame Zero by David Mitchell: www.theguardian.com/books
Previous News stories
Introduction & News |
The Electric Michelangelo |
The Carhullan Army |
How to Paint a Dead Man |
The Beautiful Indifference |
The Wolf Border |
Interviews & Profiles
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