Joe Bedford is a writer from Doncaster, UK.

He received his BA Hons in English Literature with Creative Writing & Practice from Lancaster University in 2008, and has since written for various publications.

His short stories have been featured or are forthcoming in 3:AM, Adbusters, Cake, Cranked Anvil, Disclaimer, Ellipsis, Evening Standard, Fictive Dream, Flash, Flights, FlockThe Ham Free Press, Jellyfish Review, Leicester Literary Review, Litro, The London Journal of Fiction, Lunate, The Mechanics’ Institute Review, New Critique, The Nottingham Review, Postall, Retreat West, Short Fiction in Theory & Practice, Spelk, Spontaneity, Storgy, Structo, Tales from the Forest, TSS, Wilder Stories and Writing East Midlands. His work has also been performed as part of Brighton Fringe, the ENSFR annual conference, Felixstowe Book Festival, Literary Leicester and Small Wonder Festival, and has been anthologised in Descent, Leicester Writes 2020, 2021 and 2022, May Break Your Bones, Parracombe Prize Anthology 2020, Rattle Tales 4, Secret Attic 9, The Brighton Prize Anthology and Winding Roads.

His short stories have also won or been placed in numerous national competitions, including the following:

First place: Leicester Writes (2022) and Waterstones Write & Raise (2019).

Runner-up or Highly Commended: Aurora Prize for Writing (2023), City Academy (2021), Cranked Anvil (Spring 2020), Evening Standard Stories Festival prize (2023), Hastings LitFest (2018), Hastings Writers Room (2021), Leicester Writes (2020), Manchester Fiction Prize (2015), Retreat West Flash Prize (2019), Scottish Association of Writers summer prize (2023) and Secret Attic (2021).

Shortlisted: Bournemouth Writing Prize (2021), Lunate 500 (2020), Oxford Flash Fiction Prize (2022) and ALCS Tom-Gallon Award (2023).

Longlisted: Cambridge Flash Fiction Prize (2020), Cambridge Short Story Prize (2019), Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2022), Exeter Short Story Prize (2021), Fiction Factory competition (2021), Fish Short Story Prize (2020), Flash 500 (Summer 2020), Hastings Book Festival Prize (2023), HG Wells competition (2020), Leicester Writes Prize (2021), Parracombe Prize (2021), Retreat West Short Story Prize (2020 and 2022), the Welkin Prize (2023) and the Wenlock Olympian Society competition (2022).

Alongside his own work, Joe hosts Bovine Cemetery, a regular short fiction performance night at Brighton’s Komedia theatre, described by Brighton Source as ‘the most exciting place for live original fiction’. Check here for details of upcoming shows.

He graduated with his Creative Writing by Independent Project MA from Lancaster University in November 2020. In January 2021, he was an awarded a Developing Your Creative Practice grant from Arts Council England to go towards developing research and methodology skills for longer fiction, as part of which he launched his interview series Writers on Research (see left). In April 2021, he was awarded a fully-funded M4C studentship to pursue a Creative Writing PhD at the University of Leicester, under the supervision of Dr Jonathan Taylor (Leicester), Dr Bernhard Forchtner (Leicester) and Dr Jonathan Skinner (Warwick). In September 2021 he began work towards a novel investigating the ambivalent relationship between nature, nationhood and race.

His debut novel A Bad Decade for Good People, longlisted for the Grindstone Novel Prize 2020, was published by Parthian Books in June 2023 (see left).


Photography by Deborah Thwaites

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