Sarah Hall, photo credit: Richard Thwaites  


Sarah Hall, photo credit: Richard Thwaites Sarah Hall,
photo credit: Richard Thwaites

Sarah Hall Biography/CV

Sarah Hall was born in the Lake District in 1974. She received a BA joint honours in English and Art History from Aberystwyth University, Wales, and an MLitt in Creative Writing from St Andrews, Scotland. Sarah has lived in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the USA, and she is currently based in the South Lakes.

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, at the age of 30, 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 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; it 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 television rights are held by Fable Pictures Limited for development as a series.

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 it 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. The story Butcher’s Perfume was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award.

Her second collection, Madame Zero, was published in 2017. It was shortlisted 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. The story Evie was shortlisted for the Sunday Times (EFG/Audible) Prize.

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. She went on to win the BBC National Short Story Award for The Grotesques, another story in the collection, and is the only author to have won the award twice. The Grotesques was also honored as a finalist for the 2020 ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors) Award for Fiction. The collection was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial prize and The Edge Hill prize.

Her short stories have been widely published and recorded, including by the following outlets and periodicals - 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.

Sarah's sixth novel, Burntcoat, was published by Faber & Faber, UK, and Custom House (Harper Collins, USA) in October 2021, and by a number of European publishers in 2021 and 2022.

Her work is published throughout the world and has been translated into more than fifteen languages. She has performed at numerous literary festivals in the UK and around the world and has been a participant of British Council conferences and seminars abroad, most recently discussing new British Nature Writing in Germany with Robert MacFarlane.

Sarah Hall is Professor of Practice at the University of Cumbria and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is an honorary fellow of Aberystwyth University and the University of Cumbria, and a fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy. She is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters EM Forster Award, and 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 inaugural Folio Prize (now Rathbones 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.

For almost 20 years Sarah has been teaching creative writing, including for the Faber Academy, The Guardian Master-classes, the Arvon Foundation. She has tutored in a variety of establishments in the UK and abroad. She a currently a mentor for the Gold Dust scheme.

She frequently publishes works of journalism, including reviews, op-eds and provocations, commentates for BBC Radio 4, and she has presented radio and television documentaries for outlets such as the BBC and Sky Arts.

Introduction & News | Haweswater | The Electric Michelangelo | The Carhullan Army | How to Paint a Dead Man | The Beautiful Indifference | The Wolf Border | Interviews & Profiles
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