Cathy Hayward

Cathy Hayward


Cathy Hayward is a writer and bookseller and also manages a creative writing school.

She trained as a journalist and edited a variety of trade publications, several of which were so niche they were featured on Have I Got News for You. She then moved into the world of PR and set up an award-winning PR agency. In 2022, after having spent a lifetime pottering around bookshops, she bought Kemptown Bookshop in Brighton and has worked hard to create a community hub which supports local authors and aspiring writers. In 2023, she took on joint management of The Creative Writing Programme, the leading independent centre for creative writing teaching in the south-east of England, which is now based at the bookshop.

Devastated and inspired in equal measure by the death of her parents in quick succession in 2016, Cathy completed the two-year Creative Writing Programme course out of which emerged her debut novel The Girl in the Maze about the experience of mothering and being mothered. It won Agora Books’ Lost the Plot Work in Progress Prize 2020 and was longlisted for the Grindstone Literary Prize 2020 and Flash500 2020. It was published by Agora in November 2021. She’s currently working on her third novel.

When she’s not writing (or reading), Cathy loves pottering in other people’s bookshops, hiking and wild camping. She lives in Brighton – sandwiched between the Downs and the sea –  with her three children and two rescue cats.