The story of Novel Nights


Grace Palmer, Director, Novel Nights

Grace Palmer directs and runs Novel Nights. 

Novel Nights now runs Fresh Fiction Short Story nights in Somerset, rather than author talks in Bristol.

Since 2013 a lot has changed. Originally set up with the novelist, Emma Smith-Barton, Novel Nights created an events programme for writers to learn more about the industry, the opportunity to read their novels, and to socialise together.  

Back in 2013 there was little out there for novelists trying to find a way into the publishing world. Much has changed, with masses of writing courses and author interviews or craft interviews common place in bookstores and public spaces. For writers ten years ago we led the way in creating a community. 

“I wanted to create an event so writers could learn about the publishing industry, break through with their novels and provide a writers’ showcase for novelists to share their writing.” Grace Palmer

Running since 2013, Novel Nights used to host live events in Bristol, Bath and Exeter. During the pandemic Novel Nights ran digital events.  All this activity happened with in partnership with others. Helen Sheppard, Charlotte Packer, Colette Hill, David Lloyd and Pippa Marriot were instrumental in putting on events, not just in Bristol, but also Bath and Exeter. Simon Tonkin helped on the door in Bristol for years. 

Novel Nights gained Arts Council Funding in 2019 for one year. 

Following the pandemic and a move from Bristol to Somerset,  Novel Nights is now focuses on short story nights in South Somerset. See Fresh Fiction events for opportunities. 

Grace writes novels and flash fiction. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa. Her flash fiction is published in Magma, Riggwelter, Flashback Fiction, National Flash Fiction Day, Flash Fiction Anthologies, BBC Radio Bristol and ezines. She is the national creative writing tutor for The Joy Club, and a creative writing tutor for Bristol Folk House and runs classes in South Somerset.  

Charlotte Packer

Charlotte Packer

Charlotte worked with Grace at our Bristol events, and led on the podcast project. Charlotte Packer is a writer and journalist. She has contributed to national newspapers and magazines including The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Homes & Antiques and The English Home. She has an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa and is currently working on a novel, You Don’t Know Me. 

Image of Colette Hill

Colette Hill

Colette Hill  hosted our live author events in Bath. 

Colette Hill writes contemporary women’s fiction. She received a distinction in her MA at Bath Spa for her manuscript, Afterwards, which was shortlisted for the Janklow & Nesbitt prize. Her flash fiction has been published in the 2018 Bath Flash Fiction Anthology, Ad-hoc Fiction and Flash Fiction Day. She’s a reader for the Bridport Prize Novel Award.

Novel Nights in Exeter

David LLoyd and Pippa Marriott

David Lloyd and Pippa Marriott now run the hugely popular Word Kitchen in Devon. 

David is a writer based in Sidmouth. He writes short stories and his novel SILT 1941, is set in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay. He is co-creator of radio drama, Fish Out of Water. He co-hosts Novel Nights in Exeter and has an MA in Creative Writing from Exeter University. 

Pippa Marriott hosts Novel Nights in Exeter.  She is a writer and director who teaches creative writing in prisons.  Pippa received a distinction in her Creative Writing MA from Exeter University and is working on her novel, All the Little Things, which has Victorian artist Mary Watt’s chapel at its centre.

This picture was taken at the first Exeter Novel Nights in 2019. Left to Right, David Lloyd, Pippa Marrott, guest author, Ben Smith, and Grace Palmer.