Hello! I'm a fiction writer, freelance journalist and music composer. I trained as a journalist in London, where I worked for a variety of magazines and newspapers including the Guardian, Observer, Classic FM Magazine, The Times (as a classical music critic) and The Sunday Times. I'm now writing a second novel, due out this year, and am in the process of publishing a fellow author through my own independent press, Swallow Books. I'm also a writing coach and freelance composer of short pieces of incidental music. For writing, publishing, coaching and music commissions, please contact me below. Thank you.
FICTION-WRITING: My first novel, Dances with the Daffodils, is set in 1802 in Grasmere at the time of William Wordsworth and his sister and muse, Dorothy. The novel, as well as being a love story, is a recreation of the Lake District during a revolutionary time of enclosure, industrialisation, war, rural poverty and the poetic passions of Early Romanticism. Dances with the Daffodils was published independently with Swallow Books and was shortlisted for Lakeland Book of the Year in 2014. My new novel, out in 2018 to coincide with the bicentenary of Emily Brontë's birth, is a recreation of Wuthering Heights.
JOURNALISM & MUSIC: I have written for the Guardian in recent years on topics such as flooding in the Lake District (where I now live) and inner-city rioting across the UK. In London I worked as a classical music critic on the arts desk at The Times, and as a news subeditor at The Sunday Times. I'm now a freelance arts critic and music composer for the Manchester-based webzine Northern Soul and a freelance tutor in publishing and journalism at universities in the North. I have contributed as a writer and activist on the issue of refugee resettlement to The Westmorland Gazette, BBC Radio Cumbria, Lakeland Radio and ITV Border News.
"Seeing Matthew in action – inspiring people to believe in themselves – is an eye-opener!" Wendy Storer, award-winning Lake District author