Your Short Story Tutor: Tom Phillips

Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Tom Phillips, Sofia Writing Challenge
Tom Phillips, Sofia Writing Challenge | Photo by Soul Cinematic

We know you guys would love to know more about your tutor in the short story writing course of Sofia Writing Challenge. So there you go!

Your guide in the magical world of short stories will be Tom Phillips - a British writer, teacher, journalist, editor, playwright and a university lecturer at various UK and Balkan universities.

Some key years

Tom was born in Buckinghamshire in 1964 but has spent most of his life in Bristol, where he lived from 1986 till 2017 (when he and his wife Sarra moved to Sofia). Since the 2000s Tom’s often traveled to the Balkans and much of his literary and research interests are focused on this region.


From 1976 to 1982, Tom went to Aylesbury Grammar School in Buckinghamshire.

In 1983, he became a student at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, where he eventually got his BA Hons English degree.

In 2009, Tom started working on his PhD in creative writing at the University of Reading, which he finished in 2013.

Creative writing lecturing & other occupations

Tom has taught creative writing at various places and occasions but probably the most significant ones (after the Sofia Writing Challenge, of course) would be at the University of Reading (2013 & 2016-17), Bath Spa University (2014-16) and Bristol Folk House (2014-17).

Tom Phillips, Sofia Writing Challenge
Tom Phillips, Sofia Writing Challenge | Photo by Soul Cinematic

He's also done extensive writing, editing, journalistic and other creative work at various media outlets, creative projects, workshops, events and companies, such as Shakespeare Magazine, BBC Radio Bristol, Venue Magazine, Balkan Poetry Today, Writing & Place Conference (University of Montenegro), Contemporary Review, Independent Education Today, Building in Education, Kosovo Literature Exchange Project, Tribune, Working Titles, Avon Poetry Festival and many, many more.

Published works and books & theater plays

Tom has been published in many magazines, anthologies and pamphlets. He's also published four books of poetry:

  • Unknown Translations (2016)

  • Recreation Ground (2012)

  • Reversing into the Cold War (2007)

  • Burning Omaha (2003)

Tom’s also the author of a number of theater plays, of which Coastal Defences (Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol, 2014) and 100 Miles North of Timbuktu (Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol, 2013) have enjoyed the greatest theatrical success.

So this is your tutor Tom Phillips! You sure have a lot to learn from him, and he'd more than love to help you to become better at what you already adore doing - writing. ♡

And a big shoutout to our partner Soul Cinematic for the amazing photos!

#shortstory #team

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