All of the writers that worked on EastLife graduated from the University of East London, and studied the BA (Hons) Creative & Professional Writing degree, or the MA Writing: Imaginative Practice degree. They all show exceptional talent in their work.
Christina is always seeking new ways to make interesting things happen within her writing. Since completing the first year of the MA writing programme, she has written a number of short plays which have been performed in London, and is now working on a full length play.
Jo is a gloomy millennial, attempting to reclaim others and herself from the blurring in-betweens of past, present and future. She is pretentious, scarcely finds the time to write, struggles to love herself and is deathly afraid of the future, despite harbouring a fascination with it. Jo was paired with Irenee Lowe, from Canning Town.
Craig’s interest in writing is to indulge in something he does not know. To be immersed in a culture he have never seen, or one that is in front of us every day, but that we never truly acknowledge. The aim of his writing is not so much to entertain, but to open debate. Craig was paired with Irenee Lowe, from Canning Town.
Suzie is an Independent Psychotherapist with a passion for writing. But passion doesn’t equal talent. So, she decided to check onto a creative writing course to test herself, and having just graduated from a three year BA Honours Degree course at UEL with a First, she thinks she might well be onto something. Suzie was paired with Joan Barham, from Canning Town.
Born in Norwich and having left school at seventeen, he worked full time in Asda while studying with the OU. Martin hangs on the precipice of complete idleness and literary brilliance. Any other time is spent sleeping or sitting in bed watching Mariah Carey videos on YouTube. Martin was paired with Adrian.
Elizabeth has a love of chocolate… and genealogy. This combination isn’t as odd as it appears, considering her research has uncovered a distant Swiss ancestry. Her interests also include astronomy, all things unconventional, and gardening with botanical overtones.
Sam’s areas of interest are Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, Rehabilitation through the Arts, Queer Politics, poverty issues, community organising, and the environment. She co-runs a small East London poetry evening, and founded UEL English PEN. Sam falls in love with most people she meets, usually immediately, and likes to re-tell their stories. Sam was paired with John from Bow, and Ellen from Canning Town.
Naomi graduated from UEL in 2013. Now a freelance writer and Editor of Frivolity for kettlemag.co.uk, she also writes under the name ‘Harryat Hornet’ for her blog about Watford FC home games, and for Golden Pages, their unofficial fanzine. Lives in Kent. Misses London, especially the underground and buses. Naomi was paired with Crispin from Bow, and Eileen from Canning Town.
Sam is a London born-and-bred writer and artist researching the history of human movements to produce works that disturb the hyper-capitalist society we find ourselves in today.
Having studied creative writing, Nacima discovered an interest in the connection between writing and history and is currently looking into oral history in different cultures. She loves the power which creative writing can have on an audience, and in particular would like to bring back the love of writing and expression, particularly in the younger generation, through community projects. She is currently working on a historical fiction novel which is based in the 1971 war of Bangladesh. Nacima was paired with Nessa.
Jo was born and raised in Romania before adopting the United Kingdom as a home. Although a poet at heart, she has great love for all things prose. Her biggest wish is to write a book series so good that it scandalises the Church. Jo was paired with Charlie, from Canning Town.
Erica didn’t get the memo about settling down in one place and doing only one thing at a time. Freelancer in anything involving the written word, two Masters degrees, fully at peace with her inner cat lady. Believes in fiction, loves prose, and has a soft spot for games. Erica was paired with John, from Clerkenwell.
Growing up in Cheshire, Lydia comes from artistic roots. Taking her passion for writing to London to study, she specialised in creative non-fiction and life writing at UEL. Lydia co-founded a monthly spoken word night called ‘Mouths Wide Shut,’ and performs her own poetry as well. Lydia was paired with Kevin, from Leytonstone.
Michael fell in love with writing at eight years old, when his unfinished and ultimately terrible first novel sparked the beginning of an exciting journey. Michael has since moved onwards with his writing, making it a rule to write across as many genres as possible, particularly honing in on horror, creative non-fiction and comedy. Although an Essexian at heart, he moved to London in 2009 to study at UEL. He lives in Stratford with his inspiring girlfriend, to whom The Perspectives of Angur is dedicated. Michael was paired with Angur Miah.
Naida is an MA graduate from UEL. Most recently a deputy editor for a national magazine publisher, she has written for a number of lifestyle and craft titles after beginning her career in B2B journalism. When not writing, she likes to read, make her daughter laugh, and drink wine.
After graduating from UEL, Megan has worked at various jobs, from teaching children with autism to catering at funerals and selling luxury soap, all whilst trying to find time to write. She has thankfully now found her calling working in a little second hand bookshop in Chelsea, where she is constantly inspired and surrounded by mountains of books. She resides in Hackney. Megan was paired with Irene, from Bow.
Emerald suffered from a poetry affliction at a young age and has never really recovered. She moved around a lot as a child, so is under the false impression that she is good at mimicking accents. She doesn’t believe in God, but definitely believes that Father Christmas hates the patriarchy. Emerald was paired with Jane Boyle, from Beckton.
Sandra began to take her writing seriously in 2009 whilst at UEL. Since then she has been studying for her Masters in Imaginative Practice. She had her short play “Yellow Balloon” performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East, and collaborated again with them to take her full length play “In Da Mix” to final draft. She has had several articles published. Sandra was paired with Betty, from Hackney.
Some of the contributors to EastLife – both writers and community members – chose to remain anonymous or adopt pseudonyms, in order to protect their identities or those of the people depicted within their stories.