Writer in Residence: Jay Merrill
Meet our Writer in Residence at Women in Publishing UK, Jay Merill. Jay has been published in a wide number of literary magazines in the UK and USA, including Stand Magazine, the London Magazine, Mslexia, Night Train, Prophecy, Snow Monkey etc.
Her essay on creative writing: ‘Supercharged Words’ is published in ‘Short Circuit. A Guide to the Art of the Short Story’, ed. Vanessa Gebbie, Salt Publishing, 2010. She also hosts live reading events JayLive and was co-host for poetry and prose event Ride the Word. Jay is currently working on a novel assisted by an Award from Arts Council England. Jay has two published book with Salt Publishing: ‘Astral Bodies’ (Salt Publishing, 2007), is a collection of poignant short stories of everyday life. Jay’s narratives are charged with restless energy and her characters seek to come to terms with disappointment, ambivalence and compulsion. These stories explore themes of transcendence, change and escape, often at odds with a fast-changing, indifferent world. Jay’s distinctive writing captures every nuance of the the tiny moments that transform us. ‘Astral Bodies’ was nominated for the International Frank O’Connor Award. In Jay’s 2nd collection, ‘God of the Pigeons’, (Salt Publishing, 2010), Pigeons fly us into the heart of the city to a little private space cut off by darkened gullies, the wing of a pigeon protruding dramatically, seeming to be a sign. The characters become obsessed with the image. What answers will it give? Then we move on, pass through other spaces, follow the rest of the characters: the performers, tricksters and fantasists, the odd individuals and heroes and anti-heroes of legend, who conjure up other worlds for us. Somehow we have moved full circle. What answer will we give? ‘God of the Pigeons’ was nominated for the Edge Hill Prize. You can meet Jay at our regular monthly networking events, where she is happy to talk to guests about writing and her experiences. For more information on Jay and her books visit the Salt Publishing website