for books : Stephanie Cabot at The Gernert Company
for theatre : Rachel Taylor at Casarotto
for books/stories turning into tv/films : Lucinda Prain at Casarotto
for book events : Zoe Hood is my publicist at Virago
for Fun Palaces : email me

and if none of that works for you, leave me a comment message here and I’m sure I’ll pick it up eventually!


  1. Have just listened to your short story on BBC4


  2. thank you! I really like how they made it too – beautifully read by Adjoa, the music, tone etc. very happy with it.

  3. Good morning!
    I’ve just been catching up with Georgia Beers’ blog and found her “Bywater Blog Tour Presents…Stella Duffy” entry.
    It made interesting reading, certainly, but I was taken aback on reading your views on selective “coming out”.
    I was 40 when I realised I was gay, married (unhappily) for 18 years and absolutely terrified. Over a period of a few years I came out to family and friends, with varying degrees of trauma and success.
    Now, at 61, my marriage long finished and in a Civil Partnership, I am completely out. Except…well, no, not really.
    Of the “older” (ha!) generation in my family only my widowed aunt survives. She’s 87, very prim and proper and over the years has recounted her experiences as a young woman during the Second World War. Some of those experiences included predatory “mannish” women who lurked on railway station platforms, waiting to pick up innocent young girls. At least, that is how my aunt tells it and whatever near-misses she experienced (I gather she was “saved” on more than one occasion) have left her with a deep mistrust of lesbians and an obvious discomfort at the very thought of us.
    So…I’m not out to my aunt. I have no idea how she views my relationship with my partner. It’s not discussed and for all I know my aunt considers us to be “companions”.
    What I do know is this: of her three nieces, I am the one closest to my aunt. I look after her financial affairs, am called on in emergencies, visit as often as I can. If I came out to her, there’s a very real risk she wouldn’t be able to handle it.
    I’m not concerned for myself. I’ve already survived coming out to husband, parents, sons and sisters, friends and work colleagues. I’ve lost some along the way and there’s nothing that can rock my world any more than dealing with all that, yet my aunt? How would SHE cope? If she couldn’t face the knowledge that I am gay, if she couldn’t look me in the eye and be comfortable with that, she’d lose the one person she’s relied on for years. She’d be far more isolated, both in fact and emotionally than she is now (and I know of no-one else who hugs her) and all because I decided EVERYONE should know I’m a lesbian. It’s not worth the risk.
    So, I’ll continue to filter my life to my aunt, telling her only of things I know will keep her comfortable. I make no apologies for doing so – for me, it feels the right thing to do. If she ever asks me outright I will be totally honest but if that day ever comes she will obviously have already guessed and be dealing with it on her terms.
    For now, I stay silent on the lesbian aspects of my life, knowing that even though it took me years to realise I was born this way, I’m still just an normal person, holding down a normal job, living a normal life.
    That’s all my aunt needs to know.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, as I said in my piece (which is also on this blog, here), I don’t believe we only come out for ourselves/for our own families, I believe we have a DUTY to be out to make a difference for younger LGBT and – in the case of your story even more so perhaps – for older LGBT. Yes, it’s often hard, but given the amount of incredibly brave people out in countries where their lives are at stake, I doubt whatever the repercussions of you being out to your aunt would be as bad as it is for them, who literally put their lives on the line for their own honesty.
    I think it’s also time we stopped assuming all older people are ignorant or narrow-minded – both my parents would have been 90 this year, both fought in WW2, both were absolutely fine about my sexuality (and neither of them came from the kind of liberal middle-class background that might be assumed to make it easier for them). I really reject the idea that older people can’t be generous and open and understanding – GIVEN THE CHANCE. And of course, when we buy into the idea that our sexuality is shaming, when we hide it from them, we also help them believe that too.
    At base, I simply don’t believe it is enough to be out for oneself. The world isn’t fixed yet. The personal IS political, and we need to be out for all those who REALLY can’t as well – perhaps even for your aunt’s best friend who has never been able to tell your aunt the truth?! (Or indeed, for your aunt – I’m sure it must have occurred to you she might actually be gay and never have been able to live the life she wanted due to her own and society’s pressures?)
    I do also understand this can seem like a hard line to many people, but I never yet met a person who didn’t benefit from being honest. I wish you all the best in your continuing journey – as I’m sure that for you, as for ALL of us, coming out, being out, is a daily and constant challenge.

  5. Hi Stella – good to hear you on BBC Ldn. As I’m also a South Ldn Kiwi writer I thought I’d invite you along to my monthly Gypsy music night this Thursday (27) 8-11pm Upstairs At The Ritzy – featuring the divine Ana Bon-Bon. I think you will like Ana a lot. Free entry and you get to walk there and band along your much loved Coldharbour Lane.

  6. ah, how kind. I love the gigs upstairs at the Ritzy. sadly am not free this Thursday, but thank you so much for inviting me. Ana Bon-Bon already has a stunning name, so she’s at least halfway there, right?!

  7. i am 3/4 way through singling out the couples – just wanted to say marvellous book – well done you for an insightful, fun and brilliant way of writing about relationships with fun and enthusiasm and love the twists and couples – thank you Uma

  8. Oh, how lovely. Glad you’re enjoying it – hope you feel the same at the end!

  9. Hey Stella
    Long time no see since YLAF ceased to run. I was wondering if I could ask for some help/advice? Casee (my wife) has written and recorded a Christmas Song which she has released in aid of Cancer Research UK through justgiving ( – so far raising over £280. We’ve got the local paper involved but I’d love to get it further afield. I’ve sent some emails to various places but not getting much back. Any advice on how to get this picked up by the wider media? This is providing a great source of strength and support for our friend who is being treated for lung cancer so we’d love to really raise some serious money and keep her positive and fighting.

  10. Sorry, but I know nothing about the music world. Good luck.

  11. Just wanted to say thanks for a quite inspiring day at st deiniols. I hadn’t realised you were a fellow Buddhist. Maybe I’ll see you at some festival.

  12. hah, as I did evening gongyo, I wondered if maybe someone there had been practicing! thank you for being a great workshopee.

  13. Hi Stella. Thanks for your words about the C of E announcement today. I’ve shared it with our network on Facebook.

  14. Dear Stella,
    I would like to invite you to attend Catfish Theatre’s production of the absurdist comedy, ‘The Bald Prima Donna’ by Eugene Ionesco at The Cockpit which is running through August on 13th, 14th, 17th, 21st at 9.00pm and 25th at 7pm.
    We would love for you to come and write about the show so please let me know if you would like a couple of complementary tickets..

    For more information please go to: or or why not watch promo interview with our male cast members:

    I hope to hear back from you.
    Kind Regards,
    Ashleigh Owen

  15. thanks for asking me Ashleigh, I’m afraid I’m not really up for any more theatre this month, after a summer of making work/directing, I really need to concentrate on my writing this month. I hope it goes well for you.

  16. – Please tell me what you think. I am sure i posted this earlier but it’s not appearing. I appear to have become Luddite!!!! I would appreciate knowing what you think of my writing as I am writing a book. Not just about my stepson Joe but also about the rest of our very special family. (Please believe me I am not asking you to read that, just a couple of these blogs about the death of Joe)

  17. Dear Ms. Duffy,

    Hello, I was wondering when (or if) Theodora will be offered on kindle in the US.
    Will it? Please consider it, if it is not too much bother. I’d love to see it in that format.

    Thank you.

    Madison, Wisconsin

  18. I don’t know, I’m sorry. In fact, I thought it was! feel free to lobby my publishers Penguin …

  19. Hi Stella,
    Am organising Northwich LitFest here in Cheshire for June 2013 and wondered whether you’d consider being a guest speaker? Met you at Aubin & Wills (with Damian) and again at Gladstone’s Library (where you gave me a guided tour!). On the latter occasion you said ‘Why didn’t you ask me?’ (to be a speaker at the 2012 LitFest)…so this is about 2013…and I’m asking!!

    If you’re remotely interested, perhaps you could email me for more details.
    Hope all is well with you.
    Very best wishes,
    Susi Osborne

  20. Hi Stella,
    I contacted you (above) about Northwich LitFest for June 2013 and you asked for my email which I posted on here but it then disappeared. We may have lost contact during the chaos of Christmas(!!) but I’ll post it again just in case…don’t forget the dot!! It’s No probs if you’re unable to do it, but if you could just let me know that would be fab…thanks. Happy New Year!!!!!
    Susi xx

  21. I did email! and have just done so again. I hope you get it this time …
    all best,

  22. Oops, apologies. Yes, got it now. So, do you have a suitable date in June when you could do a reading/talk/signing in Northwich? Budget is unfortunately miniscule, but ticket sale money would go towards your expenses. 14th, 15th, 18th, 20th & 29th are booked up already, but so far any other date in June is available.Thanks Stella.
    Very best wishes,

  23. Hi Stella,
    Thoroughly enjoyed the Mills & Boon show, which I caught up with tonight, a really fascinating insight.
    I work in social media, community management & blogging for various clients, one of which is a cinema chain, which has proved useful for my first book!
    The book is a collection of interviews with British Oscar winners from Olivia de Havilland, to Michael Caine, and Julie Christie through to Sam Mendes. The first of a proposed trilogy, with the two follow up books centring on American and International recipients.
    I appreciate this is somewhat of a imposition but I’m writing to ask if you have any ideas as to finding a publisher?

  24. sorry Jay, as I don’t write non-fiction, it’s not my area at all. I wold suggest trying agents who deal with non-fiction first, they’re likely to have a far better idea of how the market works and what it wants.

  25. I just watched your programme about how to write a Mills & Boon, and I would love to read your three chapters and synopsis. Have you ever published them anywhere? You could do a paywall with Paypal and I bet you’d get plenty of takers, or even as a kindle/e-book format. I would certainly cough up for the pleasure of reading what Maddie Rowe enjoyed so much!

    When I was at university, I did give it a go, but my Modern was rejected. My heroine was really hopelessly immature. But later, I did get a contract for regency historicals with a US imprint and wrote five of them. I am still writing, but now I am really writing book of the heart, which is more swashbuckling historical than romance, and your point – write what you want, write what you have to express, not what the market wants – is absolutely true.

    Thank you for a terrific programme.

  26. ah, thank you. yes, write what you truly want to write is the only thing I can ever say to writers, chasing after markets is crazy. (especially in this economy!) I haven’t showed anyone those chapters actually – am sure I still have them. I always thought it might make a nice spooky romcom idea, so I do still have it as a possibility. one day. thank you for the vote of confidence and well done on finding your writing passion and making it work for you.

  27. Thanks for the reply Stella, keep up the good work!

  28. am enjoying your career trajectory, encountered you at Fringe when i covered managing the royal Scot club one night and liked you, loved your show..hear you on radio 4, then all the books n plays , like Theodora especially for the quality of research. Bliss!

    Jacinta( ex American festival theatre Co fringe venue manger of the times , now in much more mainstream employ)

  29. How lovely of you to post! That venue was brilliant. My first solo show! That was also my first full season of Edinburgh, doing Spontaneous Combustion’s ‘True Confessions’ at Gilded Balloon, a few glorious Rupert Pupkin Collective gigs at Assembly (as was) with Jim Sweeney and Steve Steen, and then heading off very late at night to do The Tedious Predictability of Falling in Love. The show (and the audience response) that made me think I could maybe write a book. So, in many ways, it came together there … 1990. A good year for lots of reasons.
    Thank you for reminding me!

  30. Hello, a friend of mine offered me The Room of Lost things some time ago and I really really enjoyed it! Especially enjoyed the Robert character (I think he deserves a whole book for himself!). I found your other novels on your blog and I will read them, but I was advised several times to try your short stories too. I found 2 on your blog. And 4 or 5 on Amazon. Are there more? Is there a list like for your novel? Cordially, Frédéric.

  31. hmm, good point, no there’s no list of the short stories, but I could put one up, it’s slightly out of date (as there are a few printed since) but I will add it as a bibliography page. thanks for asking. and delighted you enjoyed RoLT.

  32. Thank you! (I’m tempted by Immaculate conceit or state of happiness now)

  33. Immaculate Conceit is slightly magical. State of Happiness def not. Hope one of them is good for you.

  34. Well, I couldn’t choose so I ordered the two of them! Alsi I found something about your stories on your blog so I will start with that. All the best, Fred.

  35. Lovely. Thank you.

  36. Hi Stella the link to your publicist is broken, so: would you be interested in headlining our LGBT history month event 19th Feb at The Story Sessions, at the Ivy House in Nunhead SE15? more info on PUb will pay an appearance fee. It wouldbe lovely if you could!
    best wishes

  37. Worth a shot, Hi I work for a charity called worldshare We’re compiling a biscuit book and wondered in you wouldn’t mind sending us a favourite biscuit/ cookie recipe, because you are great.
    Best wishes

  38. hi Ceri, I would but you’ll need to send me an email address?

  39. Are you the Stella Duffy who went to Forest View High School in Tokoroa in 1980 and took part in Viva Mexico?

  40. Hello, and yes I am. (And now, after 34 years, I have an ear-worm of “we live at El Rancho Grande, no Ritz Hotel but it’s handy …”)

  41. Hi, who are the NZ builders you are using? We are fellow Kiwis and interested in getting a quote. Thanks :-)

  42. this is them Sandy – I think they’re London only, speak to Michael. (and say we sent you!)

  43. Dear Stella Duffy,

    We were very heartened by your public protest against the recent ‘book ban’. The controversy has highlighted the need now more than ever to support books and reading in prisons.

    Since 1999 Prison Reading Groups (PRG) has been helping to set up and run reading groups inside. We now support over forty groups in more than thirty prisons nationwide, each run by a volunteer with help from the prison library.

    Choice is at the heart of becoming a reader and is at the core of what we do. Groups choose the books they read and discuss. And prisoners keep their copies to display proudly in their cells or to pass on to family, friends or others on the wing.

    There is a link below to our latest report, What Books Can Do Behind Bars, and there is further information on our website.

    Our work relies on funding. It costs about £500 a year to provide books and back-up for each group. Please support us if you can. Details about how to donate are on our website. And please tweet and facebook our message as widely as possible.

    Best wishes,
    Jenny Hartley and Sarah Turvey

    PS Our groups also welcome author visits! Report Prison Reading Groups What Books Can Do Behind Bars.pdf

  44. thanks Jenny and Sarah. I’ve tweeted the link to your site – twitter is an amazing forum for these things. I couldn’t find you on twitter, but if you do have an account, please also contact me there, so I can further share your details. @stellduffy
    (also, very happy to do an author visit!)

  45. Hi Stella,

    I heard you speak a few years ago in Todmorden library and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    This morning I listened to Four Thought by Adjoa Andoh and didn’t realise that it was broadcast back in July. I googled Adjoa Andoh and came up with one of your blogs about a discussion you took part in with Adjoa and others in Lambeth in 2010. I didn’t realise the date (thought it was more recent). Anyway, listening to Adjoa this morning and reading the above blog I wrote a response, here it is:

    I am an older (67) poor, lower class, lesbian who comes from ‘up North.’ I have devoted half of my life to challenging inequality, in particular against LGBTs, especially youth – and

    I was shocked when I learnt recently, having completed an on-line brief questionnaire about income levels etc., that I am amongst the bottom 10%. But then I would be, having no savings and only having a state pension to live off.

    I will not be voting for any party at the next general election. Instead I will ruin my voting slip with an appropriate message. None of the parties reflect my concerns. I no longer trust politicians, neither national nor local ones. There might be one or two I admire (David Lammy for his brilliant speech in the House of Commons on same-sex marriage and Rabbi Julia Neuberger for her speech in the House of Lords). But I see most political parties as middle class and completely out of touch with the reality of oppressed/minority groups, especially those who are multi-oppressed and in particular those who are lower class and poor and belong to a minority group.

    All of the parties seem to worship one god: capitalism.

    This morning I listened to the very moving Four Thought by Adjoa Andoh which was broadcast back in July this year:

    I’m sorry I didn’t hear it then but I have now. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.

    There are many of us who are dissatisfied with the society we now live in and I want some hope of change but the current political system, and the political parties, offer me none.

    I‘m not sure that the political system is even fit for purpose, the only purpose it seems fit for is to keep powerful people in power and to continue oppressing poor people and minority groups.

    I want a political party which truly reflects society and whose main aim is to challenge oppression in all its forms, including multi-oppression. My ideal party would be one who had this as their main aim, who only accepts candidates who have real life experiences of belonging to a minority group and challenging oppression – and not just privileged ones.

    I am not a Christian (although I did attend church when I was young) but I would say if ever there was a need for a new Messiah it is now: to deal with all the corruption and greed in the world, to stop the annihilation of the Palestinians and other injustices in the world, to stop child sex abuse, to stop homophobic/transphobic bullying in schools, to stop our young LGBT people developing mental health problems and killing themselves, to stop privilege and make this society truly equal, fair and just.

  46. Hi Stella,

    I am inspired by lesbian writers, particularly because I am endeavouring this myself at the late age of 54. I realise I have a certain amount of talent, having found ‘my voice’, I am hoping, and am trying to exploit this aspect to gain success, status and wealth for myself.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the background for prose, not much formal education etc, but have diverted into script writing and am currently constructing a film script. Hopefully be completed in just over a month or so?

    I have been using a mentor service and this guy informed me that, if I want to sell my scripts on spec, my movements being restricted by a social phobia, then I will need two well polished scripts, hopefully with a commercial bent, to try and attract Agents. I speculate about Hollywood, but know i need to establish myself here first. Thus, that is where I am placing my efforts right now.

    I also intend to try and write some prose around this script and try and sell it as an ebook to aim in the right direction for success. I might need assistance with this because I am a complete technophobe and these things mystify me?! I have recent,y joined a writers’ forum and am hoping that, when my ebook version is completed, just a few thousand extra words to expand upon the dialogue, then maybe someone there will see its potential and, with a cut of any profits made, help me out on this…? I will also look into the possibility of collaborating on a full length novel to try and gain a publishing deal. You’ve got to be a hussler and play the game if you want to get on…

    Just to end by saying the script is a story about a manage-a-trois, between the male protagonist, Alan and his best friend, Quentin, and Quentin’s girlfriend Kate who Alan falls for. Can he win her love, is the premise to explore…? To quote Quentin who is observing the two’s emotional intensity together:- ‘Life’s a bitch, Alan. You seldom get what you want from it…’. I guess for me, that’s the cliffhangar that’s yet to be tested… The Joie de vie would flood right back into my heart, a degree of that pleasant emotions that captured me when young that has so inspired my writing attempts. No guarantees, but motivation enough to lay down the challenge for myself and see where life takes me to for the future..

  47. hi Linda, if you’re planning to publish your own work as an e-book it is unlikely any publisher would then take it on as something to re-publish, that is a very rare occurence. there are some great places that do literary consultancy (for a fee), try CornerStones, The Literary Consultancy or Lisanne Radice. I’d also suggest you look into going on an Arvon course, unlike many writers’ forums, they’re taught by professional writers, who know the business – and they have bursaries! good luck, Stella
    ps – getting a film script done in a month, it’s ok to work slowly and surely too. is very fast.

  48. Thanks for the response Stella. I appreciate any advice you can give me. Much appreciated. I have actually been practicing writing for quite some time now, laying those one million words down that are supposed to lead to finding ‘your own voice’. I believe, hope, I have achieved this now. Time will tell. Just to mention that I studied, long-distance with a former Hollywood screenwriter, on how to construct a script properly. I have also studied books on script writing techniques and believe I know how to set out a script properly. I am half way through the second redraft, after using the The Literary Consultancy service you mentioned, where The Reader suggested I deepen and darken the plot and develop the characters’ storylines, which I have been doing over the past few months or so. I know how the story is going to advance, it’s just a simple case of putting down those creative words. So I feel scripts are no problem for me. It’s just getting an agent and establishing a name for myself within that field. That’s the ambition I have.

    I was interested in what you wrote about publishers and my ebook. I am just wondering would that apply if the novel is a more intensive and expansive take on the embryonic ebook, say an additional 70,000 words, which would alter the dynamics of the story from the original, but retain the outline of the ebook version. Would this be possible, do you think? And the reason I was thinking of a cowriter, was fhat, unfortunately, due to circumstances, it is impossible for me to travel etc, so that, even should a publisher be interested in any novel I create, i wouldn’t be able to publicise it. A major drawback, I’m afraid.

    I can see I have a high degree of talent and ability to express myself in a creative fashion. I just need to discover how to exploit this considerable advantage to my own needs. I also feel I have the commercial knack, but again won’t know till I find a way of getting these ideas out to the general public etc. Thus, I am not sure if a writing course could help me with those things above, that are really going to be the impediments to my success? A bit in dire straits where I am currently living, as it is not conducive for my health, so a bit desperate to conjure up a miracle or two to try and transform my life into the direction that will lead to a touch of happiness, tranquility and fulfilment. Sadly currently missing from my existence at present. The motivation for my quest for personal activation and success. A late bloomer perhaps? To be wished for?

    Just a question that you might be able to assist me on. Just wondering how to go about connecting up to the real movers and shakers in this world. Those with their ‘ear to the ground’, so to speak. Because of my impediments, getting out to socialise is impossible, but I feel I have something relevant to say to this world, with perhaps a unique, individual take on it, all but simplified due to lack of background/formal education. So, I desire to link up with other bright thinkers who could support me and assist in trying to access the ladder of opportunities that would lead to personal success and genuine contacts. I kind of need that in my life. A sort of dearth there has been, such has my extremely humble background been hampering me from, all these years. Sort of Alice in Wonderland. Really just woken up to life, recognising who I am and wishing to take part in society, with the knowledge of the restrictions on my life that has been hampering all these years. Any advice? Apologies for bothering you. You just seem like one of the right people to pose these questions to…incidentally, I listened into an interview you gave on Mariella Frostrup’s Radio 4 programme, with Ali Smith there too. Most fascinating. The type of discussions I have missed out from for most of my life. An awful lot to catch up with. Just trying to figure how best to go about that..

  49. sorry Linda, I really don’t know what else to suggest. I honestly think that mixing with people and being out with them, in whatever way possible, is the key to writing. If we’re trying to show the world what there is, to share truths in our work, however we can, then we need to BE with people. I appreciate this can be hard, so – as you seem very adept at online stuff – perhaps a good online course would be useful. As for ‘connecting’ to movers and shakers, I’ve been working in the arts for over 30 years and have never felt very ‘connected’ myself, so I’m afraid I’m not the right one to ask about that. all best, Stella

  50. OmG. ! I just finished reading The Purple Shroud . IT takes a lot of the author to impress this reader in the realm of historical fiction and you nailed it girl !!!!! Thank you for a wonderful novel. I have an afterglow from a book LOL Keep writing ! Please ! RSVP

  51. Thank you so much for saying so Dixie, really grateful to you for letting me know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,325 other followers

%d bloggers like this: