Kathryn Heyman is the author of six novels, a forthcoming memoir and several plays for stage and for BBC radio.
She has been the recipient of the CAL Author Fellowship (Aust), the Wingate and the Southern Arts Awards (UK), the Hallam Poetry Prize and an Arts Council of England Writers Award. Her work has been shortlisted for the Scottish Writer of the Year Awards, WA Premier’s Literary Awards and the Kibble Prize, and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her seventh book, a memoir, will be published in 2020 in Australia and the UK.
Kathryn has taught writing all over the world, including on the MPhil in Writing for the University of Oxford and at the University of Glasgow, where she was a Writing Fellow. In Australia, she is the fiction program director for Faber Academy. She has coached scores of writers from idea to publication.
'Kathryn Heyman has changed my life. I showed up on day one with a ratty, unfinished manuscript and no idea what I was doing, and Kathryn encouraged me with consistent kindness, humour and wisdom to challenge my narrative, immerse myself in my characters and to lean in at all costs. She taught me how to build scene upon scene and to find purpose in my manuscript. I can’t easily put into words what her guidance has done for my writing this year, but I nearly have a full novel, and one that I'm now certain I will finish. I’d recommend her to anyone. She has made a lasting impression on me, and I only wish it wasn’t over!' – Claire Mitchell
'Kathryn Heyman is a revelatory teacher. I love her directness, her honesty, her clarity and her humour. There is always laughter, sometimes an epiphany – literally I feel like I’ve heard the slud and slide of pieces/words/stories falling into place. She is brilliant, and each time I have gone away with the confidence to know what to do.' - Miranda Doyle, Author of A Book of Untruths (Faber)
‘Well within my target year, the novel was out there in the real world, with an agent.’ ‘I found this mentorship invaluable. ‘When I first met Kathryn last May, I had been working on my novel on and off for three years, struggling to make the transition from short stories. I was wallowing around in almost 70,000 words which were not really going anywhere and I’d given myself one last year to sink or swim. Kathryn and I made a plan, set deadlines to keep up the impetus and – with wonderful brio and humour – she encouraged me to be brave, to put aside sentence by sentence fiddling until I had tackled the larger structure of my novel. The focus on plot and structure was just what I needed and, with her consistent support and guidance over the months, I grew confident enough to cut away great chunks and rearrange others, and to keep pushing on. Kathryn is a stimulating and inspirational teacher. At each stage, with clear thinking, infectious energy and enthusiasm, she provided detailed verbal and written constructive criticism, mixed with praise, and she was particularly skilful at prompting me to ask myself questions, about each character and their role in the narrative, about tension and the ordering of scenes. It was exactly what I needed. Kathryn’s guidance helped me to ‘discover’ what my novel was actually about. Well within my target year, the novel was out there in the real world, with an agent.’ – Jane Rusbridge, author of The Devil’s Music (Bloomsbury)
‘Kathryn Heyman is a revelatory teacher. I love her directness, her honesty, her clarity and her humour. There is always laughter, sometimes an epiphany – literally I feel like I’ve heard the slud and slide of pieces/words/stories falling into place. She is brilliant, and each time I have gone away with the confidence to know what to do.‘ – Miranda Doyle author of The Book of Untruths (Faber)
‘Kathryn has been a fantastic mentor to me. Her gifts of insight, clarity and focus suffuse all her reading and feedback. Her handle on my strengths and weaknesses is a sure one and she often seems to ferret out my intentions even before I quite know myself what they are. Our conversations are full of warmth and good humour and she just keeps spurring me on. My clearest words of recommendation: if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would do so in a heartbeat.’ – Joel Graham
‘Having a professional spend time looking at my manuscript and being able to offer advice on all aspects of writing was invaluable – I would highly recommend it to everyone with a manuscript that is not quite there yet – a second opinion (that isn’t your best friend or your mother) is incredibly useful – and with this scheme you can always argue your case.’ – Victoria Patch
‘I was tutored by Jill Dawson and Kathryn Heyman who both gave me insight and encouragement. They are both delightful and accomplished women and it was a pleasure to meet them. Although I only ‘met’ Kathryn on the phone, we immediately established a good rapport I hope to have a short story published this year as a direct result of their help and encouragement. I have no hesitation in recommending this course to anyone wishing to fine tune their creative writing skills.’ – Sadie Morgan