Ele, in case you're wondering, is not my actual name - it's Elinor. Ele is how my older brother and sister spelled it when we were little (and very bad at spelling). You can pronounce it to rhyme with belly or bell, I don't mind at all.
We grew up in the Wiltshire town of Chippenham with our parents and our much-loved cat, George, George actually got me into drawing as he made such perfect poses and liked to lie in them for hours at a time. Following A-Levels in Art and English Literature, I au-paired in Italy and then went on to take an Art Foundation course, followed by a degree in Visual Communication at Birmingham. I also completed a PGCE in Primary Teaching - which confirmed to me the brilliance of children.
After settling in Bath, I began exhibiting my ink and mixed media paintings, preferring to use newspapers, zips, buttons – things most sensible people throw into the recycling. I also started to write fiction. I graduated from the excellent Golden Egg Academy after completing a novel, and have continued taking many writing and drawing classes, never tiring of learning new skills and approaches. Sometimes something clicks, like when I was ten and my story about George the cat won a local writing competition, and when my short story, The Ghost Boy, won the Bath Short Story Award in 2014.
When I’m not reading, writing stories, watching Korean or Chinese dramas, or wading through collage bits and pieces, I hang out with my husband, our children, one extra special toddler, and three cats (who all like to spend hours posing too) in one creatively chaotic house.
Longlist Searchlight Awards 2023
Winner The Minerva Art Prize, Bath Society of Artists' Annual Open Exhibition 2021
Longlist Undiscovered Voices, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 2021
Longlist Bridport Short Story Prize 2021
Shortlist Bath Children's Novel Award 2020
Winner Bath Short Story Award 2014
Winner Pound People's Art Prize, The Pound Open Exhibition 2013
Winner Reclaimed and Recycled Art Prize, The Bath Prize, 2010
"You have to be your own best friend. That's important. As well as your own worst enemy."