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Hi! This is the place to find out about me and my writing. Just to be clear - I am Katy Darby the author, teacher and editor from London, not the model from Manchester (sadly), nor the Australian doctor.  I write fiction (and sometimes poetry), teach on the MA in Creative Writing and Publishing at City, University of London, and run/edit the short story event/multimedia journal  Liars' League


My novel, a Victorian drama called The Whores' Asylum , is published by Fig Tree (Penguin) - that's its original (trade paperback) title, and its paperback title is  The Unpierced Heart . Why not collect all editions? Also available in Czech & Italian ...  More recently five of my short stories appeared in the Arachne Press anthology Five by Five . Buy it here ! It makes a great gift. 

In 2021 Belanger Books published two new Holmes stories by me in their anthologies Sherlock Holmes: A Year of Mystery 1881 ("The Deptford Dynamite") &  Sherlock Holmes: A Year of Mystery 1882  ("The Elusive Elephant", i n which a mystery villain kidnaps the famous Jumbo). New stories in the 1883 & 1884 volumes will appear in November 2022.


Back when we were all stuck at home, I thought I'd put some of my fiction online for free.  First of all, here's a disturbingly (still!)-current short story of mine called   "Quarantine" , published by  Mslexia some years ago, and now in print (alongside 24 other stories by me and four other authors) in the Arachne Press anthology   Five by Five

Click to hear  "The Tyburn Jig" from Cries of London, a brace of my historical stories first broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It's read by the marvellous Hattie Morahan and recounts the journey of a condemned man from Newgate to hang at Tyburn, as watched by his estranged wife ... 

Want to catch me in person? I run the award-winning  Liars' League  short story event at   The Phoenix  in Oxford Circus, London. To find out more about our next show(and our open calls for submissions) visit  

What is Liars' League? Professional actors perform brand new short stories by emerging authors - live in front of a literature-loving crowd, for only £5.


In November 2021 Belanger Books published two brand new Holmes stories by me in their anthologies Sherlock Holmes: A Year of Mystery 1881 ("The Adventure of the Deptford Dynamite") and Sherlock Holmes: A Year of Mystery 1882("The Adventure of the Elusive Elephant", in which a mysterious villain kidnaps the famous Jumbo). 1883 and 1884 will publish in November 2022.

In January 2020 I won the Shooter Poetry Prize for my poem "Duct tape, milk, shilling, towels" about Sylvia Plath's last night on earth. I'm really proud of this one. Check it out here.


Anyway, enough of that! Want a taster of my novel? Here's a videoof me reading a saucy extract, followed by a violent scene (be still my beating heart!), at the King's Lynn Fiction Festival , and here's an interview with me on the Foyleswebsite.

Jonathan Ruppin of Foyles also selected the book as one of his fiction picks, calling it "a terrific slice of Victorian Gothic, full of roguery and romance, as students vow to help the fallen women of Oxford's seediest locales."


- After my talk on the subject at Clapham Books , I wrote an article all about fallen women in literature, which I'll find and put online (email me if you're interested ...). 

- Here's an extract from The Whores' Asylum on Liars' League , read by actress Camila Fiori, and an interview on how I became a writer

- Or if for any reason you want to know which film femme fataleI'd like to be, look no further .



- There's an extremely nice write-up ("a thing of beauty .. a rare achievement") in The Independent on Sunday here.

- The Sunday Times said:

"Great panache ... a compelling tale of death, despair and obsession ... wildly and knowingly melodramatic but done with such energy and ingenuity that it's also tremendous fun."

- Tina Jackson in METRO gives it 4 stars, and says:

"A satisfying homage to Victorian sensation novels, melodramas and penny dreadfuls, Katy Darby's 'The Whores' Asylum' is a darkly enjoyable mix of romance and thriller ...

Darby draws her readers into an exciting Gothic romp populated with villainous cads, wronged women, ruined lives and two stalwart male friends whose relationship reaches crisis point because one of them has fallen in love.

Richly atmospheric and rattling away in fine style, it conjures 19th century high society and its sordid underbelly with verve and flair. Darby knows how to write a cracking novel that captures the reader's imagination."

- The Whores' Asylum also appears in the Books section of METRO's 'Top 10 Things to do this weekend' (scroll down).

- Emerald Street (the online sister publication of Stylist) has given it a lovely review here.

- The Expresssays: "Thrilling gothic romance ... recreates convincingly the colourful world of Victorian “sensation” novels and the stories of Sherlock Holmes ... shocking, exciting and gruesome ... read it now."

- The Guardian reckons it's great! (mostly) ... although also oddly categorises it as a thriller. I feel simultaneously flattered and perplexed.

- The Herald (Scottish newspaper) reckons it's "a consistently engaging and suspenseful Gothic melodrama."

- Top blog For Books' Sake gives it 4 stars: full review here.

- Bookmunch declares it " a stylish Gothic story " and calls my style "impeccable" (the cheque's in the post ...)

- And the novel has also got not one but two shout-outs on the self-explanatorially-named We Love This Book.

More as they come in!



I've got a semi-dormant blog, called I Have Never ... (after the infamous drinking game, but based on the principle of the brilliant Marcus Brigstocke-hosted Radio 4 programme I've Never Seen Star Wars) here:

It's partly about writing and partly about me doing things I've never done before (such as launch a book, play Dungeons & Dragons, read Harry Potter, watch Jaws, etc.) Unsurprisingly the Harry Potter one has the most hits. 


About me has a short bio and contact information, plus more about the novel, including jacket blurb for the first edition.

Writing has links to the book as well as to some of my short stories, poems, plays and readings which are online.

Other stuff comprises my teaching and editing, reviews by me (mostly theatre), and anything else you might file under "other".

Events leads to readings, festivals, interviews, literary events and masterclasses I'm doing. 

It also links to Liars' League, the award-winning bimonthly short story night I run.

Let me know what you think of the website, my writing, whatever - my email is on the About me page, and I'm on Twitter as @katydarbywriter ...

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