Jo Gatford

Jo Gatford

Author, editor, scriptwriter

  • Location: Brighton, UK
  • Career stage: Early
  • Freelancer: Available

Hello. I want to live on your bookshelf.

My first novel, White Lies, was published by Legend Press in 2014 after winning the 2013 Luke Bitmead bursary and being longlisted for the 2013 Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize. You can find my prize-winning short fiction all over the place, from Litro to The Fiction Desk - or at my website at

I'm currently in the last stages of completing an MA in Shakespeare & Theatre with the Shakespeare Institute/Birmingham University. In the past few years I've become involved in local theatre in Brighton, including a role as assistant director on the Droll and Folly production of The Tempest in 2016. Once my MA is finished, I aim to build a career as a playwright and theatre director, with a focus on the beloved Mr Shakes.

In 2015 I was awarded a time-to-write grant from Arts Council England to work on my second novel, and in 2016 I became co-director of Writers' HQ, an 'arse-kicking, procrastination-busting online creative writing school', with the help of a second Arts Council grant. Writers' HQ runs one-day writing retreats across the UK in 7 locations as well as 6 online writing courses, covering idea generation, novel plotting, novel editing, short fiction, and getting published. 

I have, at one time or another, been: a till-monkey in a book shop, a circus performer, a childminder, a cleaner of expensive Hovian houses, a baby massage teacher, a graveyard-shift hotel waitress, an antenatal yoga teacher, a musician, and a write-by-night insomniac. Right now I'm working on my next novel alongside running Writers' HQ, and work part time as a freelance editor and copywriter, including writing rude things on social media for scurrilous cartoonists Modern Toss.


  • Assistant Directing
  • Copy-editing
  • Creative writing
  • Directing
  • Fiction
  • Music
  • Playwriting
  • Proofreading
  • Scriptwriting and Development
  • Social Media Management
  • Teaching