British Writing is not all Grey: Fiction Uncovered


Yesterday, you might have seen the hashtag #BritishwritingisnotallGrey on Twitter. Sophie Rochester, Director of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, wrote on their blog about how as the winners of the prize were announced the news was dominated by EL James’ latest Fifty Shades novel. The piece isn’t about criticising James, it’s a positive call to arms for people to tweet about their favourite contemporary British writer or a great work of contemporary British fiction using the hashtag #BritishwritingisnotallGrey.

Unfortunately I’m incapable of stopping at one – there are far too many I think you should be reading. I tweeted five tweets worth and then thought I’d better stop before people got annoyed at me spamming their feeds. However, within ten minutes I’d thought of enough writers I’d missed in the tweets to create another five tweets worth, so I’m blogging about them all instead.

Obviously this list is highly subjective and women only (which, for once, I am a little sad about as there are loads of very good under the radar British male writers too – have a look at the hashtag). I’m only listing writers I’ve actually read, so feel free to tweet/add in the comments any you love whom I’ve not included (particularly writers of colour, where I am aware I’m lacking). Links are to the latest review I’ve written for that writer.

In no particular order:

Sarah Hall
Kerry Hudson
Nicola Barker
Kirsty Logan
Selena Godden
Helen Oyeyemi
Bernadine Evaristo
Jackie Kay
Antonia Honeywell
Catherine Hall
Claire Fuller
Grace McCleen
Emma Jane Unsworth
Susan Barker
Sarah Waters
Maggie O’Farrell
Anneliese Mackintosh
Ali Smith
Rosie Garland
Lucy Ribchester
Alice Furse
Emily Mackie
Alison Moore
Stella Duffy
Hilary Mantel
Caitlin Moran
Sarah Perry
Michèle Roberts
Jill Dawson
Deborah Levy
Zadie Smith
Nina Stibbe
Helen Walsh
Harriet Lane
Jojo Moyes
Helen Macdonald
Rachel Joyce
Lissa Evans
Naomi Wood
Eva Dolan
Carys Bray
Jess Richards
Linda Grant
Rebecca Mascull
Emma Healey
Anna Hope
Rebecca Hunt
Deborah Kay Davis
Charlotte Mendelson
MJ Hyland
MJ Carter
Sara Sheridan
Tiffany Murray
Kate Clanchy
Helen Dunmore
Sarah Dunant
Tessa Hadley
Louise Doughty
Evie Wyld
Olivia Laing
Araminta Hall
Kate Atkinson
AL Kennedy
Joanne Harris
Holly Smale
Paula Lichtarowicz
Ros Barber
Lisa O’Donnell
Freya North
Sarah Butler
Nell Leyshon
Nikita Lalwani
Sally Gardner
Janice Galloway
Salley Vickers
Jeanette Winterson
Carol Ann Duffy
Lucy Wood
Sadie Jones
Samantha Harvey
Zoe Heller
Susanna Clarke
Shelley Harris
Helen Simpson
Rachel Seiffert
Andrea Levy
Roopa Farooki
Anne Donovan
Nina de la Mer
Jilly Cooper
Naomi Alderman

Over to you…

19 thoughts on “British Writing is not all Grey: Fiction Uncovered

  1. Meera Syal (who has a new book out I believe)
    Jacqueline Wilson (If we get children early we have them for life!)

    I know this is for contemporary writers so I put it out there for another post on older British Women Writers, such as Dorothy Whipple, Elizabeth Taylor, Francis Hodgson Burnett etc. The Persephone back catalogue is one excellent source of inspiration as is the FB group “undervalued British Women Writers…” (


  2. Super initiative. As you know I read more older books than contemporary and I’m currently reading a more contemporary novel but not by a British writer. Still I would second what has been said about Pat Barker, also would champion Hilary Mantell.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love what Rose Tremain writes , always influential. I also liked what you have written as well. However,can you please read my first published article in my blog and give me your opinions. Thanks in advance.


  4. Agree with many of your choices though seeing your list does make me realise how many authors I have yet to experience. I’m very much in the fan club for Hilary Mantel, Kate Atkinson and Maggie O’Farrell.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: British Writing is Not All Grey | Annabel's House of Books

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