Robert Shearman Biography

Bio PicRobert Shearman has worked as writer for television, radio and the stage. Shearman’s first collection of short stories, called Tiny Deaths, was published by Comma Press in 2007. The collections won the World Fantasy Award for best collection, and was also shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. One of the stories from it was selected by the National Library Board of Singapore as part of the annual Read! Singapore campaign. His interactive short story project for BBC7, 'The Chain Gang', won him a Sony Award, and he provided a second series for them late in 2009 to promote drama writing for radio, which also won a Sony Award. Shearman is writing a third series of ‘The Chain Gang’ for BBC7 airing in autumn 2013.

His second collection, Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical, was published by Big Finish and released in 2009. This collection has won the Shirley Jackson Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Edge Hill Short Story Reader’s Prize.

His third collection, Everyone’s Just So So Special, was released by Big Finish in July 2011, and won the British Fantasy Award. One of the stories from it was nominated for the Sunday Times EFG Private Banking Short Story Award, the largest individual prize for the form in the world. To accompany the book, Shearman has undertaken to write one hundred new stories featuring the names of the people who bought the special leatherbound edition. This project has been published online at

Many of the stories from this project are collected in Remember Why You Fear Me, Shearman’s fourth collection of short stories. It was published by ChiZine Publications in October 2012 and is his first collection published in North America. Remember Why You Fear Me has been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson and British Fantasy Awards.

Rob was one of the writers for the BAFTA award winning first series of the revived Doctor Who series starring Christopher Eccleston. His episode, ‘Dalek’, was runner-up for a Hugo Award, and his award winning contributions to the audio range of Doctor Who released by Big Finish have been broadcast on BBC Radio. He also contributed to the second series of BBC1’s Born and Bred. His many plays for “Wildly inventive and chilling. Shearman proves himself a master at transforming our deepest fears into new and wholly unexpected forms.” –THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT  Radio Four, produced by Martin Jarvis, include Inappropriate Behaviour, Afternoons with Roger, Forever Mine, Towards the End of the Morning, Teacher’s Pet and Odd.

As resident dramatist at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter, Robert was the youngest playwright in Britain ever to be honoured by the Arts Council in this way. For them he has written four main house productions, including Breaking Bread Together, which was later revived in London. He was also a regular writer for Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. His six plays there include White Lies, which was also produced in London and Rome, and won the Young Playwright Award hosted by Wimbledon and Thorndike Theatres; Fool to Yourself, recipient of the first Sophie Winter Memorial Trust Award; About Colin, and Knights in Plastic Armour. Other plays include Couplings, which won the World Drama Trust Award; Binary Dreamers, which won the Guinness Award for Ingenuity in association with the Royal National Theatre; Mercy Killings, which he also directed at Harrogate Theatre; Shaw Cornered, for the National Trust, which in 2007 under his own direction was the hit production at the Old World Theatre Festival in Delhi; Easy Laughter, winner of the Sunday Times Playwriting Award, has been staged many times in Britain and the USA. Robert has also been a regular writer for the Teatro Agora in Rome. A collection of seven of his plays, called Caustic Comedies, was published in autumn 2010.

His acclaimed stage adaptations of classic novels include community based productions of The Mayor of Casterbridge and Great Expectations, open air productions of Don Quixote and Pride and Prejudice, and dark chamber versions of Desperate Remedies and Jekyll and Hyde. He adapted Michael Frayn’s novel Towards the End of the Morning for BBC Radio Four in their Classic Serials strand.

He has taught short story writing at Middlesex University and for Arvon, and gives lectures and workshops on the form around the world. In 2013 he was judge for both the National Student Television Awards and the Manchester Fiction Prize; from 2011 to 2012 he was writer in residence at Edinburgh Napier University.