Skip to Content

Members' News

Rolling news and notices from the club and its members, as well as items of interest from the world of biography.

The Club has been contacted by Caroline Church, who is seeking a biographer to help write the recent history of her husband’s 130 year old family business. Her husband has travelled widely and has many amusing and some chilling stories to tell.

The “book” would be aimed at family, friends and those who know him and the company. It will therefore be a paid job, rather than speculative venture.

For more information, please contact:

The funeral for Club member Tatiana Roshupkina will take place at Honor Oak Crematorium, Brockley Way, London SE23 3RD at 9.30am on Thursday 16th March. Members of The Biographers’ Club have been invited to attend if they wish.

The service will be taken by High Church Of England Vicar Mother Anna Macham. Tatiana converted to the church around 2011 and was baptised by Mother Anna.

The undertakers making the arrangements are: F A Albin & Sons Funeral Directors, Arthur Stanley House, 52 Culling Road, London SE16 2TN.


Londonr Magazine are running an event entitled “Writing History: How to be a biographer”

“In a discussion detailing their own journey of discovery, Lord Watson and Helena Kelly will describe their working methods, the difficulty of identifying a new perspective on an already well-known figure, the process of separating fact from rumour, and most importantly; reveal how to truly enter into the mindset and understand someone you’ve never met!”

Thursday 16th March 2017
Waterstones Tottenham Court Road

For more information, or to book tickets, click here.


IABA Conference 2017       
Wednesday 7 – Friday 9 June
King’s College, London
Life Writing, Europe and New Media

The Centre for Life-Writing Research at King’s College London and the European Research Council-funded ‘Ego-Media’ project are calling for papers for the IABA Europe conference, which they will be hosting in London:

“This year’s IABA conference, hosted by King’s College London, will highlight digital and new media.

Changes in technologies of information and communication affect our everyday lives, research and teaching: key questions for the conference will be how new media have transformed both lives and life writing.

We hope scholars working on other topics and earlier times will find it interesting to explore the transformations the digital is effecting in their fields. We also welcome contributions where the emphasis falls on other concerns of particular urgency for the IABA community – for example conflict, displacement, migration and refugees; women’s lives; LGBT+ lives; issues of national and European identities.

We welcome proposals, including participation by creative practitioners, workshops, panels, and alternative formats. If you would be interested in participating in something like a ‘lightning round’ let us know what topic(s) you would most like to speak about. Send paper abstracts to by 31 March 2017.”

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Laurie McNeill, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • John Zuern, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
  • Sidonie Smith, Mary Fair Croushore Professor of the Humanities and Director, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan
  • Julia Watson, Professor, Dept. of Comparative Studies, Emerita, The Ohio State University

For more information, click here.

The organisers of the international “Convention and revolution life writing by women in the 1800s and 1900s: archives, critiques and methods” conference have invited participation from researchers of life writing, herstory, and (oral) history.

The conference will be held in Warsaw on 29 November– 1 December 2017, organised by the team behind the Women’s Archive, a division of the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The conference will focus on discussing the latest methods of working with women’s personal documents and biographies written on their basis. We are interested in strategies developed in contemporary historiography and literature studies, in particular interdisciplinary women’s, gender and queer studies. As for historical periods, we are interested mainly in the 1800s and the 1900s up to World War II.

To apply or for more information, contact Ewa Serafin-Prusator at:

The application deadline is 30 April 2017.

sarah-watlingBea Hemming at Jonathan Cape has signed Noble Savages by Sarah Watling, which was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize 2016.

“Things have moved quite quickly since the wonderful prize dinner last year, and I am very grateful for the support and encouragement from the Biographers Club,” commented Watling.

TatianaIt is with sadness we report that Biographers Club Member Tatiana Roshupkina passed away peacefully on the night of 11th January.

Tatiana was diagnosed with terminal cancer about three years ago.  Everything possible was done for her by nurses and doctors at Guys Hospital and the Royal Marsden.

She was cared for by Macmillan nurses and carers in her last days. Anyone wishing to make a donation should send it to one of these.

Tatiana wrote the chapter on the Siege of Leningrad during WW2 in Women in War: From Home Front to Front Line (Pen & Sword Military).

Her mother, also named Tatiana, was a little girl during that time and nearly starved. Tatiana’s mother, brother and nephew all survive her.

Tatiana also translated The Churchills: A Family Portrait by Celia and John Lee, for publication in Russia. She lived to see it published by AST Moscow and received a copy before she passed away.

book-cover-332x500Club member John Holliday’s biography of Walter Medhurst, MISSION TO CHINA, was published by Amberley Publishing in September and has now been released in his home country Australia.

Last night he was interviewed by Phillip Adams of Late Night Live, ABC Radio National. This is the equivalent of a national BBC broadcast. The interview went well and Philip Adams concluded by saying, “It’s a terrific book and I can’t wait for the movie.”

You can view the interview and find out more about the book at

polly-clark_larchfieldCongratulations to Polly Clark, winner of the 2014 Tony Lothian Prize, whose novel LARCHFIELD comes out on 23rd March 2017.

The book will be published by riverrun, an imprint of Quercus.

Clark won the Tony Lothian Prize for the best proposal for an uncommissioned first biography two years ago with her manuscript Thank You So Much for Writing.

More details are available on her website.

Judy O’Kane, who was shortlisted for shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Award in London in 2016 for best proposal for an uncommissioned first biography, has been invited to read from her manuscript, Thirst, at Ballymaloe LitFest in May. O’Kane says the shortlisting has been “instrumental” in helping her secure the event.

More information about O’Kane’s work and ticket bookings for the event can be found on her website.