Bryony moved to Sheffield in the early 1990’s and seized the opportunity to re-kindle her love of writing through a Workers' Educational Assocaiation class that had a creche. It was her first step on the road to being a writer. A few years later she was accepted on a Lottery-funded writing project called The Opening Line, a year-long course which gave her a lot of confidence and experience. This was when she started to write a novel. She then gained a place on an MA Writing course at Sheffield Hallam University, even though the only English qualification she had was an O Level. She was accepted purely on the work she submitted.
Bryony's novel, The China Bird, is set in Sheffield. It is a story of secrets, love and ultimate mutual understanding, exploring perceptions of beauty and abnormality.
It is published by Hookiline Books who have an interesting angle on publishing: testing submissions first on book groups. The China Bird won the Hookline Prize in 2009: chosen by readers themselves.
The stories in this collection are set in Britain and Turkey and explore a range of relationships: newly-forming, established, temporary and unexpected. Themes include those of dislocation, intimacy, distance, leaving and loss. The voices vary in age, though many are of a young woman's struggle with unknown ways, places and people.
Home Front is a new collection of poetry by Bloodaxe to which Bryony has contributed. Her poems entitled Bulletproof tell a chronological story, from her son’s unexpected decision to join the army through his tour in and return from Afghanistan. Covering every emotion from fear to fury, yet lifted by humour and details of everyday domestic life, these are poems written to preserve a pacifist mother’s sanity as each day plays itself out. They show her coping with The News, her fantasies, his short spells of home leave, and her realisation that both are imprisoned in a modern myth.
Here is a selection of other collections of writing that Bryony has contributed towards: