Louise Doughty is the author of nine novels, including Platform Seven, which was published by Faber & Faber in August 2019. She has also written one work of non-fiction and five plays for radio. Her seventh novel was the top ten bestseller Apple Tree Yard. First published in 2013, it was shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger Award and the National Book Award Thriller of the Year and sold in twenty-eight languages worldwide. A four-part TV adaptation with Emily Watson in the lead role was broadcast on Sunday nights on BBC1. It received widespread critical acclaim and consolidated viewing figures of seven million per episode, making it the most-viewed new BBC drama since The Night Manager. Doughty’s sixth novel, Whatever You Love, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has also won awards for radio drama and short stories, along with publishing one work of non-fiction, A Novel in a Year, based on her popular newspaper column. She is a critic and cultural commentator for UK and international newspapers and broadcasts regularly for the BBC and has been the judge for many prizes and awards including the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Novel Award. In 2018 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and she has recently been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of East Anglia. She has widespread experience of teaching creative writing including six month courses for the Faber Academy and Guardian Masterclasses and shorter course for the Arvon Foundation and Skyros Holidays. She has been a Gold Dust mentor since its inception and lives in London.
‘Without Louise’s guidance, support and friendship, I think I’d still be muddling around in a quagmire of multi-narratives, cloying clichés and brain-numbing superlatives. It’s been a wonderful and rewarding year working together, and if I achieve any success, it will be all thanks to Louise’s skill and patience.’ – Paula Yare
‘Over the past couple of years, Louise Doughty has been the most extraordinarily generous mentor to me. Louise is both informative and inspirational. She is honest in her critical appraisal of my writing, but tempers it with warm encouragement. She has seen the best in my work, ,understanding the possibilties inherent within it, and then shown me precisely how to improve it. She has taught me the technical craft of writing, without removing any of the joyous alchemy involved in the writing process. 'Louise is a professional and has demanded the same professionalism of me. When my work had finally reached a point when it was ready to show to the industry, Louise used her personal contacts to get my work read. 'Over the past couple of years, Louise has made our work together feel like a collaboration, an exploration, and a glorious journey in a resolute and unremitting search for honest and good writing. 'I feel astoundingly privileged to have had Louise in my writing life, and any success I have achieved is directly a result of working with her.’ – Charlotte Macleod
‘A year or so after completing an MA I was experiencing a low ebb of confidence and could see only how difficult it was going to be to complete a first draft of my novel. I knew I needed someone to help me set and enforce deadlines as well as to give me consistent feedback on what was working and what was not. Being accepted onto the Gold Dust programme has given me exactly that. I feel extremely fortunate to have been matched with Louise as my mentor. We discussed and agreed the way we would work together, have set deadlines and have kept to them. The greatest benefit to me so far has, in many ways, been the most unexpected; it is the encouragement that she has given me. When we talk I feel that the characters I have created have an existence in her mind’s eye, and that degree of engagement with my work is remarkable to me. She has also encouraged me to add complexity to the plot, which now done seems to have always been inevitable, but would have taken me a long time to achieve on my own. ‘That is not to say she is uncritical, but only rarely do I disagree with her comments, and I have found that her recommendations on trimming the text are now influencing the work I am producing. ‘I am half way through the programme and may already be suffering separation anxiety.’ – Rowena Dunn