I write short stories and novels, mostly for young adults. My novels tend to be about teenagers on the brink of growing up and finding themselves, and usually involve weird other worlds and everyday teenage life – often at the same time. My favourite YA writers are David Almond, Meg Rosoff and Patrick Ness. I love magical realist writers such as Haruki Murakami, Andrew Kaufman, and Robert Shearman (who wrote my favourite episode of Doctor Who).
When I’m not writing I’m often making art, gardening, jam-making, reading or, walking. Music is important to me and I have a varied taste, from soul jazz to Boiler Room DJ sets.
My short stories have been published in print and online at Kasma SF, The Pygmy Giant, The Recusant, Dogmatika, and a few anthologies. My art has been exhibited in Dorset, Oxford, Somerset, Wiltshire, London, and Bath. I’ve won and been shortlisted for several writing competitions, and I’ve read stories at London’s Royal Festival Hall, in Dorset, in Wiltshire and on Frome FM radio. In 2014 I was a winner of the Porthleven Prize, leading to a writing residency in Cornwall and a touring art exhibition. In 2015 I won a SAW Creative Pathways bursary. My art usually mixes photography and text, and I like to collaborate with other artists too.
Jobs that I’ve had other than writing include digitising old photos of polar expeditions for Cambridge University, I’ve worked in a bookshop, a sweetshop, I’ve been a gardener and I’m currently a graphic designer (clients include Glastonbury Festival, Chris Bucklow and Liz Earle). In 2015 I moved out of the ramshackle cabin that I lived in for five years and moved to Frome. Now I live in an amazing mash-up of a 17th Century cottage and a sort of Grand Designs house. In 2017 I set up my writing studio at Silk Mill Studios in Frome. All my books in one place: a dedicated place for me to write any time of the day or night. Love it!!
Jennifer is represented by Becky Bagnell at Lindsay Literary Agency.
PROJECTS/ WORKSHOPS/ residencies:
SAW Creative Pathways Bursary winner: researching the archives and history of Dove Studios, Butleigh, leading to an infographic and accompanying book An Amazing Space and a secondary project two years later An Amazing Space II
Writer/ artist in residence – Porthleven, Cornwall. Based at CAST studios in Helston, and Porthleven Holiday Cottages in Porthleven. (15 days total, culminating in three exhibitions)
Curator for four exhibitions at The Old Print Room Gallery: Netted in a Silver Mist; Water, Air, Luminosity; White Heart; Biophilia.
Co-director and founder of Storyslingers, Shaftesbury Art Centre’s writing group. (retired)
Studied The Role of the Curator module of Bath Spa University’s MA Curatorial Practice under Mike Tooby – attended workshops and lectures (non-assessed).
Workshop facilitator for an Art & Spirituality psychogeographic walk in Poole alongside Bevis Fenner and Jason Miller. Poole Lighthouse.
Workshop facilitator of several writing and fictional map-making workshops in Dorset.
Co-organiser of various literary events, including Dorset’s first Story Slam, a workshop at Bath Literature Festival and a children’s publishing evening with guests Skylark Literary Agency.
Social media and marketing director for “Inklings Anthology” campaign, Bath Spa University, including brand-building and graphic design. Secondary role as liaison between artists and the anthology team, organising cover and internal art.
2013: Biophilia group exhibition, The Old Print Room, Dorset.
2014: White Heart group exhibition, The Old Print Room, Dorset.
Porthleven: A Peripatetic Encounter group exhibition, O3 Gallery, Oxford.
Porthleven: A Peripatetic Encounter group exhibition, BSAD Gallery, Bath.
Deck the Walls group exhibition, 44AD, Bath.
2015: Trigonometry group exhibition, O3 Gallery, Oxford.
Bath Spa Summer Show group exhibition, BSAD, Bath.
New Designers group exhibition, London.
Best of the West group exhibition, Pound Arts Centre, Corsham.
Summer Show, group exhibition, Bruton Art Factory, Bruton.
An Amazing Space, archival project and group exhibition, Dove Studios, Butleigh
Somerset Art Weeks, group exhibition, the Silk Mill, Frome
SAW Members exhibition, group exhibition, RUH Somerset
Accordingly; Art & Text, group exhibition, 44AD, Bath
Black Swan Open, group exhibition, Black Swan Arts, Frome.
2016: The Dove, group exhibition, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton.
Whispering Pendulum, group exhibition, Bath Artists Studios
1000 Postcards, group exhibition, Black Swan Arts, Frome
Quartz Festival, group exhibition, Taunton, Somerset.
2017: Transformed Land, touring group exhibition, Taunton and Bath.
Telling Tales Creative Pathways Retrospective, group exhibition, Taunton.
An Amazing Space II, group exhibition, Dove Studios, Butleigh
Mixing Signals, group exhibition, Kobi & Teal gallery, Frome
2018: 5 Years of the Porthleven Prize, group exhibition, Bath
The Transformed Land, touring group exhibition, ACEarts Somerton
Aborealists & Guests, group exhibition, Black Swan Arts, Frome
Awards & Publications:
Newbury, Jennifer (2006) First Kiss In Christine Lawson (ed) (2006), Just a Kiss; Anthology of Poetry and Prose, Freelance Press, Oxford. pp.24-25
Newbury, Jennifer (2007) Toni Was a Quiet Man by Nature. Dingsdabumsda Magazine. Issue 12. pp22-23
Newbury, Jennifer (2007) A Reflection and Nothing More. Dingsdabumsda Magazine. Issue 13. pp64-65
Newbury, Jennifer (2008) Their Game. [http://www.therecusant.org.uk/#/jennifernewburytheirgame/4528204099]
Bell, Jennifer (2008) Elder. [http://thepygmygiant.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/elder/]
Bell, Jennifer (2009) Stone. [http://dogmatika.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/stone/]
Bell, Jennifer and JY Dong (2010) The Klandestines, Issue 1. Self-published graphic novel illustrated by JY Dong.
Bell, Jennifer (2011) Beached [http://www.kasmamagazine.com/beached.html]
Bell, Jennifer (2011) Kukaw [http://cherrypickedhands.blogspot.com]
Bell, Jennifer (2011) Intersection [http://thepygmygiant.com/2011/09/12/intersection/]
Bell, Jennifer (2012) Trapped in Nomansland In Kissing Frankenstein and Other Stories, Flash Fiction South West, p76-79
Bell, Jennifer and Morison, Dan (2012) The Peters. Comic book illustrated by Dan Morison (e-book).
Noise Festival Curator’s Choice Award (Written Word category) 2008. Judged by Niven Govinden. (For The Wolf’s Story)
Additional commendments for It Keeps on Coming (Outstanding), Moon Town (Excellent), Melody (Excellent) and The Investors (Excellent) Judged by Niven Govinden.
Ideastap Editors Brief Spring 2012 Grow, text category. Winner. Succession.
Porthleven Prize 2014: Winner – leading to a 15 day residency in Cornwall.
Newbury, Jennifer (2014) Home. Hand-made story booklet exhibited at the O3 Gallery, Oxford and BSAD Gallery, Bath.
Newbury, Jennifer (2014) The Porthleven Collection. Six illustrated stories exhibited at the O3 Gallery, Oxford and BSAD Gallery, Bath.
Amazing Space: Dove Arts and Somerset Art Works Emerging Artist Bursary: winner. 2015.
Newbury, Jennifer (2016) The Orchard (extract) In Inklings: MA Writing for Young People anthology, Bath Spa University Presses, p151
Newbury, Jennifer (2017) Between Darkness, handmade book for Amazing Space II, Dove Studios, Somerset.