Nicholas Royle

Nicholas Royle is the author of seven novels, two novellas and four volumes of short fiction​. He has edited more than twenty anthologies of short stories. Royle is also the founder of Nightjar Press.

Nicholas Royle was born in Manchester, England. He pursued a career in academia, becoming a Senior Lecturer and then a Reader at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. He served from 2006 to 2022. He was Chair of Judges for the Manchester Fiction Prize from 2009 until 2022.

As an author, Royle has written seven novels. These include Counterparts (1995), Saxophone Dreams (1996), The Matter of the Heart (1997), The Director’s Cut (2001), Antwerp (2005), Regicide (2011), and First Novel (2013). He has also authored two novellas, The Enigma of Departure (2008) and The Appetite (2008), and four volumes of short fiction.

His collections are Mortality (2011), Ornithology (2017), The Dummy & Other Uncanny Stories (2018), and London Gothic (2020). Royle claims to have written over 100 short stories. His work has appeared in various anthologies and magazines.

Royle has received three British Fantasy Awards. He won Best Anthology in 1992 and 1993 and Best Short Story in 1993. He has been nominated for Best Short Story three more times. The Matter of the Heart won the Bad Sex in Fiction Award in 1997.

As an editor, Royle has a notable track record. He edited The Lighthouse by Alison Moore, shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, and The Many by Wyl Menmuir, longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. He has edited over twenty anthologies, including A Book of Two Halves and The Time Out Book of New York Short Stories. Since 2011, he has been the series editor of ‘Best British Short Stories’.

Royle is also the owner and manager of Nightjar Press. The press publishes short stories as signed, limited-edition chapbooks. It has published works by authors like M. John Harrison and Alison Moore.

In 2020, Royle published Mother, a memoir that explores his relationship with his mother and her decline into dementia. This work reflects on the complexities of the parent-child bond, the impacts of ageing, and the profound loss experienced through dementia.

Mother is celebrated for its poetic and philosophical depth, offering a nuanced portrait of post-war parenting and the influence of Royle's mother on his character and career. The memoir is a testament to Royle's skill and generosity of spirit, praised by Hilary Mantel as a tender and graceful study of parents and children.

Nicholas Royle lives in Manchester and London. He has two children, Charlie and Isabella.

Photo credit:
years of life: 20 March 1963 present


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