Emily Critchley was born in Essex in 1986. She has had short stories and poems published in magazines and anthologies. She studied creative writing at London Metropolitan University gaining a first. Notes on My Family, Emily’s first novel, was long-listed for the 2018 Branford Boase award, shortlisted for the Bristol Teen Book Award, nominated for the Carnegie medal and featured as The Sunday Times children’s book of the week. Emily currently lives in London and is completing an MA in creative writing at Birkbeck.

Yes. As a child I made up stories and plays for my sister and her friends to act in. I wrote poetry in my teens and my first novel when I was twenty-six.

Yes, I was. If you are being bullied, you should talk to someone. If they won’t listen, find someone who will. Being bullied at school is not okay.

Aside from reading and writing, I love watching films, going to the theatre, listening to music, and bouncing on my mini-trampoline.

A few of my favourite films include Manhattan (1979) Margaret (2011) and Far from the Madding Crowd (2015). My favourite film when I was a teenager was Mystic Pizza (1988).

My taste in music is very varied. It depends on my mood.

I also enjoy photography, particularly street photography. I love taking photographs and how it’s possible to tell a story in a single image.

I love to read so this is a tough one for me. A few of my favourites include: The French Lieutenants Woman by John Fowles, Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham, Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy,

A few of my favourite contemporary writers include, Elizabeth Strout, Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, Lydia Davis, A.M. Homes and Miranda July.

My favourite novel when I was sixteen was Shanghai Baby by Wei Hui.

Yes, if you want to write keep reading and keep writing! It may sound obvious but the best way to learn to write is to write.

Creative writing courses and degrees aren’t for everyone but they do provide a supportive environment in which to share your work and receive constructive feedback. Completing my degree also gave me the time to write which is important. However, if you truly want to write, you will make the time.