Escalator Update

Success Stories from Past and Present Escalator Winners


Each year writers in need of support at critical stages in their careers benefit from the Escalator Literature scheme which develops new talent in the Eastern region. Read on below for the latest updates…


Edward Parnell


Edward completed his MA in Creative Writing at UEA in 2007, before going on to be one of the ten winners of that year’s Escalator award. He has recently completed his first novel The Listeners, a gothic story of family secrets set in Norfolk at the start of WWII.


Edward has also just been awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. This will fund a six-week expedition later in the year to Australia to research his next project - which will focus on the history of the exploration of the outback and the continent’s unique wildlife.


“Winning this Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship gives me a fantastic opportunity to visit some fascinating, remote parts of Australia, and to weave together the tangled stories of the continent’s history and enigmatic wildlife in my first travel book.”


Prior to studying for his MA, Edward worked as Communications Officer at BirdLife International, where he was involved in the conservation of the world’s globally threatened birds – knowledge he hopes to put to good use on his trip. For more information on the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust please see:

Nicola Upson
“To receive the award was a huge boost, and it gave me the space to put my shoulders down and just write.”


Nicola's detective novel An Expert In Murder was published by Faber & Faber in May 2008 and she is now looking forward to the imminent release of the novel in paperback. The good news does not finish there, as the follow-up, Angel With Two Faces, is published in July both here in the UK and in America. Faber have now commissioned two further books in the series. Nicola won an Escalator Literature award in 2005.

Fraser Grace
“I was one of ten writers from the region to win the award. It’s been great to be part of such a varied bunch – journalists, academics, poets – all provoking each other to write good fiction.”


Fraser was an actor and performance poet before becoming a playwright. His collection of short stories, Wrestling Angels, have been broadcast on Radio 4 in January, and his play The Lifesavers is currently showing in London’s Theatre 503 from 27th January to 21st February and then moving on to Colchester’s Mercury Theatre from 24th February to 7th March. Further good news follows as his first opera Don’t Breath A Word is to be developed by the Royal Opera House later in 2009.
Find out more on the BBC website, for which Fraser was interviewed. Fraser was a winner of Escalator Literature in 2007.

Susan Sellers


Susan's novel Vanessa and Virginia, a fictionalised account of the life of Vanessa Bell and her complex relationship with her sister Virginia Woolf, was published in May 2008 by Two Ravens and Harcourt in the United States, with the latter also expressing an interest in her second book Minuet in B Sharp.
Susan has posted the launch of her new book Vanessa & Virginia on the video sharing website You Tube. Click on the following link to view the footage:


The success continues with the book selected for the Barnes and Noble summer 'Discover New Writers' programme and award in the United States. It will be profiled by 700 Barnes and Noble bookshops, and will also be eligible for their best New Writers of 2009 award. Susan joined Fraser Grace as one of the winners of Escalator 2007.


Click for more information on Escalator Literature