Celia Brayfield

Celia Brayfield


Personal Statement

Celia Brayfield is a novelist, journalist and cultural commentator. Her most recent novel is Wild Weekend (Little, Brown/Time Warner Books) a comedy that transposes the eighteenth-century play She Stoops To Conquer to a Suffolk village in heyday of New Labour. Previous novels include: two social comedies set in an affluent suburb of West London, Getting Home and Mr Fabulous and Friends; two darker works exploring the experience of English expatriates in France and Spain, Harvest and Sunset; in Heartswap, she reworked the theme of infidelity in the opera Cosi Fan Tutte as a romantic comedy set in millennial London. Her first three novels, Pearls, The Prince and White Ice, were international genre bestsellers.

Writing Historical Fiction is Celia's latest non-fiction title, published by Bloomsbury Academic in December 2013, a definitive companion to this immense literary genre witten with co-author Duncan Sprott and including guest contributions from Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantel, Orhan Pamuk and over twenty other leading writers. She has also written a travel memoir, Deep France (Pan Macmillan) an account of her year in a small village in the Bearn in South West France. Her interest in creative writing teaching developed from her experience at literary festivals, where audience questions led her to give a series of lectures which were the foundation for Bestseller:Secrets of Successful Writing commissioned by Victoria Barnsley then editorial director of Fourth Estate. She has also written a guide to the art of criticism, Arts Reviews for Kamera Books.

As a writing tutor, Celia has given Guardian Masterclasses, taught at the Arvon and Ty Newydd centres and founder of W4 Writers, a writing community based in West London. She is the guest editor of the winter 2013 edition of Mslexia. Her first career was as a journalist and she has been a a television critic for both the Evening Standard in London and The Times. An early interest in celebrity culture led to her first book, Glitter: The Truth About Fame, which was commissioned by the legendary feminist editor Carmen Callil at Chatto and Windus.

Professional qualifications

Celia has judged several national literary awards, including the Betty Trask Award, the Macmillan Silver Pen Award and the Authors Club First Novel prize. She served on the committee of management of The Society of Authors from 1995 to 1998. She has taught at the Arvon Foundation and Ty Newydd centre, founded W4W, a writers' workshop in West London, and until 2003was co-founder and co-director of the National Academy of Writing, which is linked to the University of Central England. In 2005 she joined the staff of Brunel University, West London, becoming Director of the Creative Writing Programme in 2006 and Reader in Creative Writing in 2007.

Teaching specialism

In Creative Writing,Celia teaches novel and short fiction writing, lifewriting, travel writing, feature journalism and professional development forwriters. For 2010/11 she will be module leader for CS5001 and will moderate a postgraduate workshop.
Her research interests include contemporary fiction, women's fiction, historical fiction, writers in the creative economy and creative writing pedagogy.

Current scholarship

Celia is currently working on a historical novel set in England and France between 1572 and 1584. Her research projects include work on creative writing exercises, older learners in creative writing programmes and the career paths of creative writing graduates.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Writing historical fiction : a writers' and artists' companion

Brayfield, C and Sprott, D (2014) Writing historical fiction : a writers' and artists' companion. Writers' and artists' companions . Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781780937854

Arts reviews... and how to write them

Brayfield, C (2008) Arts reviews... and how to write them. Kamera Books, Harpenden. ISBN 9781904048916

Wild weekend

Brayfield, C (2004) Wild weekend. Time Warner, London. ISBN 9780751535280

Deep France: a writer's year in the Béarn

Brayfield, C (2004) Deep France: a writer's year in the Béarn. Pan Macmillan, London. ISBN 9780330411820

Mister Fabulous and friends

Brayfield, C (2003) Mister Fabulous and friends. Time Warner, London. ISBN 9780751531381


Brayfield, C (2000) Heartswap. Little Brown, London. ISBN 9780316851831


Brayfield, C (1999) Sunset. Little Brown, London. ISBN 9780316646864

Getting home

Brayfield, C (1998) Getting home. Little Brown and Co, London. ISBN 9780316642460

Bestseller: secrets of successful writing

Brayfield, C (1996) Bestseller: secrets of successful writing. Fourth Estate, London. ISBN 9781857023831


Brayfield, C (1995) Harvest. Viking, London. ISBN 9780670841011

White ice

Brayfield, C (1993) White ice. Viking, London. ISBN 9780670841004

The prince

Brayfield, C (1990) The prince. Chatto & Windus, London. ISBN 9780701133573


Brayfield, C (1987) Pearls. Chatto & Windus, London. ISBN 9780701131074

Glitter: the truth about fame

Brayfield, C (1985) Glitter: the truth about fame. Chatto & Windus, London. ISBN 9780701127893

Hard times

Brayfield, C (2011) 'Hard times.' Mslexia (48).

Babelfish Babylon: teaching creative writing in a multi-literate community

Brayfield, C (2009) 'Babelfish Babylon: teaching creative writing in a multi-literate community.' New Writing, 6 (3). pp. 201-214. ISSN 1479-0726

Creative writing: the frequently asked question

Brayfield, C (2009) 'Creative writing: the frequently asked question.' New Writing, 6 (3). pp. 175-186. ISSN 1479-0726

Abderrazak Benchaabane

Brayfield, C (2008) 'Abderrazak Benchaabane.' Gardens Illustrated (139). p. 54.

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