Naomi Foyle

Naomi Foyle - Editor

Brighton, UK

An award-winning poet and SFF author, I edit diverse SFF and poetry for the UK journal Gramarye and independent publishers.

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Overview


Winner of the Hryhorii Skovoroda Prize (Ukraine) and many other accolades for my writing, I am a British-Canadian poet, novelist and essayist based in Brighton UK. As an editor at Waterloo Press and other independent UK publishers, I have mentored and/or edited over twenty poetry collections, including A Privilege of Rain by David Swann, shortlisted for the 2010 Ted Hughes Award, Tantie Diablesse by Fawzia Kane, longlisted for the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and eight titles for LIT UP, a mentoring and publishing programme for emerging poets of colour at Waterloo Press. I am also the editor of the bilingual anthology A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry (Smokestack Books, 2017), for which I wrote a substantial critical introduction and arranged launches in England, Scotland, NYC, Jordan and Palestine.

I sit on the editorial boards of two British journals, Critical Muslim, the journal of the Muslim Institute, and Gramarye, the journal of the Chichester Centre for Fantasy, Fairy Tale and Speculative Fiction, for which I edit poetry and short fiction in Beyond Realist genres. Recent short stories for the journal include a retelling of the Scottish Kelpie legend and a dragon tale with echoes of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester I supervise a wide range of undergraduate to PhD theses, with a specialism in Poetry and SFF. My current doctoral projects include a High Fantasy novel featuring a non-binary protagonist, and a collection of poems on the theme of feminism and witchcraft.

I was brought up in London, Hong Kong, Liverpool and Saskatchewan, in an interracial Quaker family with inclusive and internationalist values. I view all my literary work as a form of cultural and anti-racist activism - I will happily work with anyone who shares my values, but I especially seek to use my platform as a writer, lecturer and editor to shine a light on under-represented authors. In so doing I aim to help change the publishing industry, the culture at large, and myself. I am aware of my white middle-class and able-bodied privilege and I know that I learn as much, or more, from my diverse clients as they do from me. I read widely and keep up with the news and diverse cultural media (currently wowing over I MAY DESTROY YOU), but when it comes to cultural, historical or political references I may not understand, I try always to ask, not assume. If I get things wrong, I apologise. I'm grateful for this dimension of my work - the trust I have built up with my clients has deepened my understanding of political change, enhanced my capacity for empathy and humour, and enriched my life with new friendships. My activism is not limited to my paid work: I campaign on equalities issues for my university union, and I take to the streets on a regular basis!




Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Cultural & Ethnic
Fantasy
Poetry
Science Fiction
Short Story
Non-Fiction
Humanities & Social Sciences

Certifications

  • Creative Writing PhD (Bangor University)
  • MA in Creative and Life Writing (Goldsmiths College)
  • BA in Philosophy (University of Toronto)

Awards

  • ‘On Advising a Young Man from Galway to Do a Second MA in Biodiversity’ won the Additional Prize in the 2012 RSPB/The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition
  • ‘Shaking the Bottle’ was a runner-up in the 2010 Academi Cardiff International Poetry Prize
  • The Night Pavilion (Waterloo Press) [poetry collection] was an Autumn 2008 Poetry Book Society Recommendation
  • Red Hot & Bothered (Lansdowne Press) [poetry pamphlet] won the 2008 Apples & Snakes ‘The Book Bites Back’ competition
  • ‘The Scottish Don’ won a prize in the satirical poetry section of the 2008 Strokestown International Poetry Competition (Ireland)
  • ‘The Holiday’ and ‘The Geneva Conventions’ long-listed in the Bridport Poetry Prize (2005 & 2006)
  • Good Definition [videopoem] won First Prize in the 2004 Hastings Word About Town Literary Festival filmpoem competition
  • Longlisted for the 2018 National Poetry Competition
  • Longlisted for the 2018 National Short Story Competition
  • For my poetry and essays about Ukraine, winner of the 2014 Hryhorii Skovoroda Prize (Ukraine)

Work experience

Creative Writing Editor

GRAMARYE
January, 2019 – Present (over 2 years)

As the Creative Writing Editor of Gramarye, the journal of the Chichester Centre for Fairy Tale, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction, I select, edit and copyedit a wide range of poetry and short fiction submissions in Beyond Realist modes. I also co-write the introduction to each issue.

Editorial Consultant

CRITICAL MUSLIM
January, 2018 – Present (over 3 years)

As a member of the journal's editorial board, I regularly recommend poets and short fiction writers to CRITICAL MUSLIM.

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

The University of Chichester
September, 2009 – Present (over 11 years)

I teach undergraduate and MA modules in poetry, Beyond Realist fiction and literary fiction, and supervise BA and MA dissertations and doctoral theses.

Associate Editor

Waterloo Press
January, 2009 – Present (over 12 years)

I work closely with poets on every aspect of the book production process, from developmental editing to proofreading, cover design to marketing. I have edited/copyedited 19 titles for Waterloo Press, including six books for LIT UP, our mentoring and editing programme for emerging poets of colour. I have also copyedited three further titles.

Freelance Creative Writing Mentor & Editor

Self-employed
January, 2005 – Present (over 16 years)

EDITED COLLECTIONS

A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry (Smokestack Books 2017)
Selected Poems of Mairtin Crawford (Lagan Press 2005)

MENTORED COLLECTIONS

42 by Clare Hill (Survivors Poetry, 2012) ACE funded
Host by Sarah Hymas (Waterloo Press, 2010).  ACE funded.
Inkblotting by Joanna Watson (Survivors’ Poetry, 2010)  Volunteer.

And various mentoring sessions with individual clients, working on an hourly basis (6 poems or a short story).

Portfolio (1 selected work)

Naomi has 1 review

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Mehak Goyal
Naomi was great to work with, she guided me how to improve my poems concretely. She focused on everything- the metaphor, the punctuation, the flow, the sequence, the theme, the book as a whole. I learned so much. Hope we get to work again.

Mehak Goyal, January 2021

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