Jo Bradshaw
Joan Elliott 29th June 2016

The Champion Bloody Heller of The World

My grandma would be a hundred today if she weren’t dead. I’m named after her. Joan. Elliott, before she married. I wonder what she was like in her twenties, during the 1930s. She met my grandpa in London while they were both studying to be librarians, but she didn’t finish her studies. I wonder what […]

4th August 2015

Glowworm in my pocket

My aunt Fan is the loveliest person you ever could meet. She used to be a librarian. She draws intricate patterned thingies that would blow your mind. She has the best sense of humour. She plays the piano. And I’ve always thought, since I was four, that if only all grown-ups could read books aloud […]

26th July 2015

An Inordinate Fondness for Stars and Beetles

I have an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles I think in Venn and Quadratic equations No man who cannot be trusted with an apostrophe Should be in charge of bombs Or Value Added Tax Or vaginas A radical policy Hear me out When the moon is dark and Our hearts are dark And like […]

2nd July 2015

I read like a squirrel and I’m not sorry

I was reading the end of a novel a few weeks ago. As a reward for finishing the first draft of my own book, I’d thrown myself into this new world and my heart was crashing and swelling all at once. The book’s called A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. My daughter went to go […]

25th April 2015

Tensile Bonds and Things

For my mum who has been unlucky enough to break her arm playing catch but who is nonetheless wonderful. I seem to have a problem Not the kind where You go and see a nurse A therapist Or ring a hearse Not a problem with sanity Or even mild depravity I just seem to have […]

26th March 2015

Go and vomit (or: meet my muse)

Okay, I get it. You want to be a writer, you’ve always dreamed of writing, and you know you have a novel or a story or an epic dystopian fiction set in terza rima just bursting to get out of you like an alien in that terrifying film Alien. So you sit down at the […]

20th March 2015

I don’t like stories that taste like chicken nuggets

There’s a meta-movement going on at the moment on the internet. My email inbox is a petri dish spawning daily, weekly and crescendoing entreaties to add my voice to the online conversation. To get writing, blogging, sharing my no doubt profound experience with the world. That I, too, will be able to find my niche […]

10th January 2015

Not Quite Myself

I’m not quite myself today I said To my friend on the internet Whom I’ve never met And she said When were you last yourself and I said Let me see I remember that day In two thousand and three When I didn’t have to speak or leave the house But stayed swathed in a […]

23rd October 2013

The creative process

Marcus Romer shared a tweet which, in one day, got retweeted over 7000 times. I think it struck a chord. It goes like this: The Creative Process: 1. This is awesome 2. This is tricky 3. This is shit 4. I am shit 5. This might be ok 6. This is awesome. This cycle is so familiar […]

17th October 2013

How to stop fizzling out

Exams were over. I’d graduated with a first class degree in Nothing Really and I’d a cushy job offer at a tech firm in London. It was all Yellow. At least, it was on the radio at my temp job: I was matching, batching and coding invoices at Virgin Media HQ, where Coldplay held sway. Returning from […]