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Ellen Wiles

Specialises in:

Literary fiction, book group fiction, creative non-fiction.

Services offered: 

Three and six month mentoring, Mini, Midi and Mighty Manuscript Shakedowns.

Ellen says: 

I write fiction, non-fiction and reviews, and I’m interested in working on a range of literary projects.


My debut novel, The Invisible Crowd, was published by Harper Collins in 2017. It's a multi-voice novel about immigration and asylum in the UK, inspired by a case I worked on when I was a human rights barrister. It won a 2018 Victor Turner prize and was a Guardian Readers’ book of the year. My first book, Saffron Shadows, was published by Columbia University Press in 2015. It is about literature in Myanmar under censorship, and features new literary translations and author interviews. I have published short stories and review fiction, non-fiction and theatre for the TLS. I am currently working on my second novel.


I completed my MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway in 2012. The prose I love to read best will also feature vivid characters, striking imagery and inventive language. I already have experience of teaching creative writing in various contexts, and I am really looking forward to working with promising new Riff Raff writers to hone their manuscripts.

The Invisible Crowd: 

One of the Guardian’s Readers’ Books of the Year.

Long listed for Not the Booker Prize.

Awarded the Victor Turner Prize in 2018.


2nd March 1975
In Asmara, Eritrea, Yonas Kelati is born into a world of turmoil. At the same time, on the same day, Jude Munroe takes her first breath in London, England.


Thirty Years Later

Blacklisted in his war-ravaged country, Yonas has no option but to flee his home. After a terrible journey, he arrives on a bleak English coast.

By a twist of fate, Yonas’ asylum case lands on Jude’s desk. Opening the file, she finds a patchwork of witness statements from those who met Yonas along his journey: a lifetime the same length of hers, reduced to a few scraps of paper.

Soon, Jude will stand up in court and tell Yonas’ story. How she tells it will change his life forever.

Fearless, uplifting and compelling, The Invisible Crowd is a powerful debut novel about loyalty, kindness – and the brief moments which define our lives.


‘A fierce, big-hearted novel.’ Joe Treasure, author of The Book of Air

‘Pushes us to find our kinder selves.’ Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You

‘A wonderful book.’ Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council

Read more about Ellen's debut novel The Invisible Crowd here >> 

More resources: 


Twitter: @ellenwiles

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