Sign up to the newsletter

Kerry Hudson on Voice

Author Kerry Hudson talks to Writers' & Artists' about what it means for a writer to find their voice, along with her top tips on writing and the different paths to publication that writers can take. 

Kerry's inspiration for writing 

Often, the reason I start writing about a certain subject is because I'm trying to understand why something is happening in my life or the world around me in a specific way. I'm very curious, so I can see something - say someone passing me on the street - and that sort of idea will cling on to me. I know if it clings on for long enough, I have to write about it eventually.

The importance of grabbing your readers from the first page

Hugely important, I think. What I would say, though, is that it shouldn't come at the expense of the narrative, or the prose, or the building of a character. You're not just grabbing someone by the throat for the sake of grabbing them by the throat. 

Kerry on working with a multiple POV narrative

I don't consider myself a very technical novelist but Thirst (Kerry's second novel) is over three timelines with alternating perspectives and two different voices. One of the most difficult things was that one of the characters is a man, so I was trying to portray a masculine experience as a woman.

Kerry's writing habit 

I try to write 1,000 words a day or more. First draft, I write that very fast and then I go back and try to edit maybe 10/15 pages a day, as I do my revisions. And that, having those small chunks of time where you're really really focused, has been the only way I've found I can be productive!

Watch the full interview with Kerry below.


Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Her first novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Mawas published in 2012 by Chatto & Windus and was the winner of the Scottish First Book Award while also being shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, Author’s Club First Novel Prize and the Polari First Book Award. Kerry’s second novel, Thirst, won France’s most prestigious award for foreign fiction, the Prix Femina and was shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. Her books are also available in the US, France and Italy. Kerry founded The WoMentoring Project and has written for Grazia, Guardian Review and YOU Magazine. She teaches with the National Academy of Writing, Arvon Foundation, Writers’ Centre Norwich and is a mentor for IdeasTap Inspires.

Kerry Hudson spoke at our Voice masterclass in association with Book Aid International. Take a look at the rest of our upcoming events here.