Maunagh Kelly

 

I was born in London, left school at sixteen and rescued myself from a feckless existence by studying the oboe - I'm a graduate of The Royal Northern College of Music.

 

After a long career in music and teaching, as well as bringing up my two children, I became a painter of portraits and abstracts - www.portraitcommissions.wordpress.com

 

I've always loved writing. My first interest was poetry - my work has been published in various British, American, Irish magazines and anthologies and I was a regular prize-winner in many poetry competitions such as the Lancaster, Leek and Sheffield Thursday, winning second place in the Manchester Poetry Prize and first place in the Canterbury competition. My writing has also been broadcast on BBC radio. I launched a new anthology of my poems, entitled Grasshopper, at Manky Poets in June.

 

These days, I'm excited by prose and the challenge of novel writing. I value highly the criticism of Bristol Novelists Group.

 

I've completed two novels. The first, Perfect Shoes, is a story of shoes, love and obsession. The second, The Commune by the Park, is something of a period piece, set in the weird world of a 1970s London squat. I'm currently working on a third novel.

 

The Commune by the Park was shortlisted for the 2016 Bridport Novel Prize (the Peggy Chapman Andrews Award).