Literary City: The Sheffield Connection
“Sheffield is a great place to live if you’re a writer, partly because there are so many other writers here,” says Susan Elliot Wright, the Sheffield-based novelist whose fourth book, The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood, is out now.
“I love the fact that if you go into the almost any café or coffee shop, there’s always someone working away at a laptop or scribbling in a notebook.
Not everyone’s writing a novel, of course, but this is such a friendly city that you get to know other writers.”
Elliot Wright moved to Sheffield in 2005 to study for the MA in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, and has been here ever since. “In a sense, Sheffield is where I really became a writer.
We intended to go back down south after I’d completed the MA, but we fell in love with the city and have no plans to leave.”
The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood explores postpartum psychosis, tackling issues of motherhood, love, loss and longing.
The launch is at Waterstone’s, Orchard Square on 28 February at 6.30pm, where Elliot Wright will be in conversation with Sheffield crime writer, Russ Thomas.
“All my novels explore themes of parent-child relationships in some form or other, but there are always secrets to be revealed and mysteries to unfold.
My first novel, The Things We Never Said, was a bestseller.
It was set in early 1960s Sheffield and present day Southeast London, and explored the nature/nurture debate.
“My second, The Secrets We Left Behind, was also set in London and Sheffield, only in this one, it’s the present day story that’s set in Sheffield.
Here the main character is living a lie and you only discover why as the story unfolds.”
Elliot Wright also runs creative writing workshops for other aspiring writers in Sheffield. “One of the things I love about this city is that it has everything.
If I want to go out with friends, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, cafés, cinemas, and theatres.
But if I want a calm, relaxing place where I can walk and think, there are parks and woodlands to walk in.
And if I want proper countryside, all I have to do is jump in the car and drive for ten minutes and I’m in the Peak District.
“As a writer, Sheffield is an inspiring place to be because of its history, and I’ve discovered so much simply by researching it as a setting for my books.”
Elliot Wright will also be signing copies of her new novel at Waterstone’s in Meadowhall on Saturday 2 March from 11am-1pm.
For more information go to www.susanelliotwright.co.uk