Zoe Gilbert

Zoe's first novel, Folk (Bloomsbury), was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and adapted for BBC Radio (read by the brilliant Samantha Spiro). She has written the libretto for a song cycle based on Folk, for music composed by Helen Grime for full orchestra and soprano. Claire Booth and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will give the world premiere in Glasgow in September 2024.

Her second novel, Mischief Acts (Bloomsbury), was a Sunday Times Book of the Year in 2022, and is inspired by the past and future of the Great North Wood, which used to cover a large swathe of South London.

Since completing Mischief Acts, Zoe has moved from London to the Kent coast, which is (not surprisingly) influencing her third novel. It turns out that place - alongside folklore, nature and social history - is a starting point for her writing.

Besides novels, Zoe has been writing short stories for most of her adult life. You can find a few of them in anthologies by Comma Press, and they have also appeared in books and journals worldwide including The Stinging Fly, Mechanics' Institute Review, and the British Fantasy Society Journal. Some of her stories have won prizes, including the Costa Short Story Award. Her most recent is a collaborative story appearing in Duets (Scratch Books, 2024).

She also writes and presents for the podcast As the Season Turns, which was shortlisted for the British Podcast Awards in 2023.

Zoe is co-founder of London Lit Lab with Lily Dunn, where she teaches creative writing, and the co-editor with Lily of A Wild and Precious Life (Unbound 2021), an anthology of writers in recovery.