reading the novels
the book of safe-keeping
Grace McCleen is a writer who lives in London. She was raised in a fundamentalist religion and initially intended to be an evangeliser when she left school as higher education was not encouraged within the religion. She applied to university at the prompting of her English teacher and was given an unconditional offer to read English Literature at the University of Oxford having two 'A' levels. She received a double first and went on to complete an M.A. by Research at York University, for which she was awarded distinction.
A long period of ill-health in her twenties halted Grace's academic career and led to her leaving the religion. She began writing novels, using speech-recognition software. She was accepted onto the Creative Writing M.A. at the university of East Anglia but was unable to attend due to lack of money.
Her debut novel, The Land of Decoration, was published in 2012 by Chatto and Windus and attracted international attention. It won the Betty Trask award, the Desmond Elliott prize and has been optioned to be made into a film. Her second novel, The Professor of Poetry (published in 2013 by Sceptre), was shortlisted for the Encore Award. Her third novel, The Offering (published in 2015 by Sceptre), won the Jerwood Prize and was longlisted for the Bailey's prize.
Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and appeared in The Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Observer, The Independent, The T.L.S. and elsewhere.
In 2016 Grace was writer-in-residence at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, producing a collection of poetry.
In 2017 she worked at the Centre for New Writing at Manchester University, giving one-to-one tutorials and seminars to M.A. and PhD students.
More recently she has been offering private mentoring to creative writing students.
On this website you can read excerpts from Grace's books and explore some of her earlier work.
journal of the plague year
Literary agent: Bill.Hamilton@amheath.com