Matt Thorne

Matt Thorne


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile




I published my first short story 'The Honeymoon Disease' in New Writing 6, edited by A.S. Byatt in 1997. My first novel Tourist followed the next year and since then I have published six novels, including Eight Minutes Idle, which won an Encore Award for Best Second Novel and has been the subject of academic discussion in books such as 'Precarious Labour and the Contemporary Novel' by Liam Connell, as well as being widely reviewed. I also adapted this novel for a BBC Film that received theatrical release.

My sixth novel, Cherry, was long-listed for a Man Booker Prize and my novels have been widely reviewed and translated into fourteen languages. I have also published journalism in the UK and America since 1998 and broadcast extensively on Radio 4 along with less extensive TV apperances, generally on book programmes or documentaries about musicians, directors or writers. I have interviewed many writers and musicians including Stephen King, Douglas Coupland, Chuck Palahniuk, Galaxy Craze, Bill Callahan, Steve Albini and William T. Vollmann.

I have also published three novels for younger readers and an internationally bestselling critical biography of the pop star Prince, described as "the definitive work" on the musician. 




I am a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and teach on the BA and MA. My research interests include contemporary fiction, whether genre, commercial or literary, film, popular and unpopular music, fine art and all forms of criticism. Although writing is of course a solitary art, I am also interested in collaborative projects and co-edited the anthologies All Hail the New Puritains (a Dogme 95-style literary project with Alex Garland, Scarlett Thomas, Toby Litt and Geoff Dyer, among others) and Croatian Nights (a collaboration between the New Puritans and Croatian literary movement FAK). Aa academic study of these books entitled The New Puritan Generation was edited by Spanish academic José Francisco Fernández and published in 2013. I was also a member of Courttia Newland, Nii Ayikwei Parkes and Sharmila Chauhan's  Tell-Tales collective, contributing to their anthologies and tours.  I am especially interested in contemporary novels that are in conversation with film, music or art. 


Career/Educational Background


I studied English at Cambridge University and Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews, where I was supervised by Douglas Dunn. After publishing my first novel I was a full-time novelist (and occasional journalist) for ten years before becoming a Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at Brunel University. During my time there I was the convenor of the MA in Creative Writing: The Novel as well as for several years being the Head of Creative Writing. In 2020, I moved to Royal Holloway, working first as a Teaching Fellow and now as Senior Lecturer, initially on the MA but now also teaching the UG module Writing as a Critic: Writing in the World which looks at how English skills can be best used in the creative industries (including Journalism, PR, curation, etc). I have also received film and TV commissions from several production companies and continue to work in this field. I have also taught Creative Writing to American students at the Paris Writers Workshop; as part of the Curtis Brown Creative programme and also in Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic. I have also had international reading tours in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and France, as well as appearing at most literary festivals in the UK.


Current/future projects


My current projects include ongoing work in film and TV, including an adaptation of a classic novel under wraps for now, a new commissioned non-fiction book on collaboration in music and futher novels and short stories.




Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions