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Meet our 2016 Apprentices…

Word Factory is delighted to welcome four new apprentices for 2016, selected from nearly one hundred entries and welcomed by Director Cathy Galvin at the Word Factory #40 Salon earlier this evening.

Director Cathy Galvin and Associate Director Paul McVeigh were looking for applicants with short story talent and a dedication to the supportive ethos of the Word Factory. In the third year of running the scheme, they had also been seeking new voices across the country and are delighted that two of the new apprentices are from BAME backgrounds.

The 2016 apprentices are:


“The standard of entry was high: we wanted to work with at least five more of the applicants as apprentices and it was heartbreaking to have to announce only four names,” commented Cathy Galvin. “It was also hugely heartening, a testament to the talent of short story writers in the UK and their dedication.”

Apprentices are provided with one-to-one mentoring, a reading with their mentor at the Word Factory and access to the Word Factory community, team and salons. In exchange, they are expected to work supportively with the team and other writers.

This year, the apprentices will also be supported by the Word Factory team and partners, including Waterstones Piccadilly, who have offered each of the apprentices a residency at their store and £100 in book vouchers; the writer development agency Spread the Word, literary agent Carrie Kania and Arts Council England.

Funds to administer the apprentice scheme have been provided through the generosity of the Word Factory Patrons 2016: David Almond, David Andrew, Penelope Rendall, Alexei Sayle, Margarette Driscoll, Peter Kellner, Tony Lahert, Valerie Curtis and Dame Antonia Byatt.


Regina HathoutRegina Hathout is an adopted Bristolian. She spends most of her time writing, editing, researching, reading, or doing other things that will probably make it into her work in some form or other.
Regina has previously been Highly Commended in the short story section of the Bridport Prize. She has also received an encouraging rejection from Granta, which she feels really proud about.
Regina is hoping her apprenticeship with Word Factory will give her the opportunity to develop and fine-tune her short story work, especially some of the stories she’s written that baffle even her.
When she’s not writing short stories, Regina works on a novel.
She shares her life with a scientist, which makes for some pretty surreal dinner conversations.

Emily DevaneBorn in Derbyshire, Emily Devane is in the process of moving from London to live near Leeds. She came to writing a few years ago when, having taken a career break from history teaching to bring up her young children, she embarked on a City Lit course – and was soon hooked. Her story, Ruby Shoesmith, Click, Click, Click was published in the 2015 Bath Short Story Award Anthology, and her Brighton Prize shortlisted story ‘Inside, Outside’ will appear in the forthcoming Rattle Tales Anthology. Her flash fiction has won prizes, including first place in the Haringey Literature Live Open Studios competition and second place in the Flash500 Competition. Between short stories, Emily is working on a novel. She’s really excited to be able to work with the Word Factory, especially on new ventures in the north.

Divya GhelaniDivya Ghelani was born in Gujarat and grew up in Leicestershire, England. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and an MPhil in Literary Studies from the University of Hong Kong. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications. Last year, the University of Leicester commissioned Divya to research and write a five-part historical flash fiction called AN IMPERIAL TYPEWRITER. She is now converting her story into a film. Divya is also working on her debut novel for which she was the recipient of a Writing East Midlands Mentorship, a Literary Consultancy Mentorship and an Arts Council Grant. An early draft received an honorary mention in the Harry Bowling Prize for New Writing.

Claire Adam photoClaire Adam took an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, where an extract from her novel-in-progress was shortlisted for the 2012 Pat Kavanagh Award. Her story, “Portrait of a Girl” won third place in the Segora Short Story Competition (SSC) 2014, judged by Michèle Roberts; “I told him my name was Megan” was long-listed in the Frome SSC 2014. She grew up in Port of Spain, Trinidad – with summer visits to Ireland, where her mother’s family is from. She took an undergraduate degree in the US (Physics at Brown), then spent a few years in Italy and Ireland before coming to London where she has lived for 15 years.




For more info on our Apprentice Scheme and our past apprentices, have a look at our dedicated Apprentice Scheme page.