The Creative Writing Interviews: Martyn Bedford

The Creative Writing Interviews form a series of interviews with contributors to our Creative Writing Studies list. Find out about their work and approach towards writing.

Frances Haynes writes: Martyn Bedford is the award-winning author of six novels which, between them, have been translated into 13 languages. He is also a contributor to our forthcoming publication, Teaching Creative Writing. He has taught creative writing in Higher Education since 2001 and is a regular tutor for the Arvon Foundation. You can find out more about Martyn at

Martyn, what do you write?

At the moment I’m writing novels for teenagers and young adults, having previously written five mainstream novels for adults. I also write short stories. My teen/YA novel, Flip, is about a 14-year-old who wakes up to find that his soul (consciousness, psyche, spirit, or whatever you care to call it) has switched to the body of another boy.

Whom do you write for?

For myself, first and foremost – if it doesn’t grab me it won’t interest anyone else, either, whoever they are. But writing for teens has made me more conscious of the readership than has been the case with my adult fiction.

So, what are you working on at the moment?

Another novel for teenagers, which was going to be called The Fallen One until my U.S. editor at Random House said it was too close to a title she already publishes. I’m on what I hope is the final rewrite. It’s a jolly tale about death and grief.

What achievement are you most proud of as a writer?

The publication of my first novel, Acts Of Revision, in 1996. More recently, the short-listing of FLIP for the 2011 Costa Book Awards.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Turning a messy first draft into something that hangs together. Also, trying to find enough space and time to write in amongst my other commitments.

What involvement do you have / have you had with creative writing as a university/college subject/discipline?

Since 2009, I have been associate senior lecturer in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University College, where I was previously a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow. Before that, I taught on the MA and undergraduate programmes at the University of Manchester, was a writing fellow at the University of Leeds and a visiting lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University.

What is your ambition as a writer?

To write a novel that turns out as well as I thought it would at the outset. It won’t happen.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Teaching creative writing: the interview series | Creative Writing Studies

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