sarah broughton

writer & artist

About Me

My creative life began first as a devourer of my parent’s bookshelves, then as an artist with a particular passion for photography. After completing two years of a degree in performance art, photography and video in Sheffield, I began to create mixed media work occasionally exhibiting and selling while I made my living in a variety of ways – as a life model, window cleaner, photocopying assistant etc. I also began to write, bit by bit - pieces of prose - most of it hopeless, but fortunately fragmentary and therefore mercifully short.

I met a stained glass artist, Lauren Sagar, and we formed Blast Design, named after the ratty, filthy studio we shared in Blast Lane. We made bathroom cabinets, window shutters and bespoke furniture and felt like artists.

I moved to Cardiff and began making props for a television company. My first job was a Welsh language drama set underwater and filmed in a swimming pool. From that I progressed to being a ‘runner’ and then to researching ideas for programmes. I also failed to learn Welsh and renewed my love affair with photography. A couple of years in the television industry convinced me that it was the last place I wanted to work, so I became a painter and decorator and spent a delightful couple of years listening to Radio 4 all day while I transformed people’s houses. This came to an end when I was offered a job coming up with ideas for the ‘Book at Bedtime’ slot on Radio 4 at the BBC in Cardiff.

After working as a Specialist Researcher, I formed a company, Forget About It Film & TV, with two friends – Suzanne Phillips, an award winning director and Val Croft, a highly experienced producer. The company’s first production was a four part BBC radio drama series, It’s A Small World written by me. The second commission was for a sixty minute documentary for BBC 4 to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Kathleen Ferrier, An Ordinary Diva (soon to be shown at the Bath Festival of Music as part of their Ferrier celebrations this year). Commissions for documentaries on Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn, Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf and Val Doonican followed. We also made a number of other series and one-offs. My role in the company was to come up with the ideas, research and script them. We also developed feature films including one I had written, about the Surrealist photographer Claude Cahun, I’m in Training, Don’t Kiss Me. It was a brilliant job. We had an office in Chapter Arts Centre and were part of a thriving community of artists, film-makers and writers. Forget About It ran for six and a half years – until the television world changed and there was no longer room for a tiny company trying to make quirky, beautiful little films about people who are either forgotten or miss-remembered.

I began to publish articles – profiles mainly – about women writers and artists and the business of writing for various publications: New Welsh Review, Mslexia, Western Mail and the Big Issue. I also finished a part-time MA in Writing at Hallam University in Sheffield. In 2008, Parthian published my first novel, Other Useful Numbers, which has been very favourably reviewed, and in 2009 an audio book read by Cerys Matthews was launched.

Since then I have earned my living largely by working as a free-lance television researcher (mainly for Griff Rhys Jones’ company, Modern Television) and briefly by teaching unenthusiastic undergraduates in Cheltenham. I am also completing an MPhil in Writing at the University of Glamorgan – belatedly catching up on my rather patchy education.

And I’m writing my second book.... 

 

Contact Me

If you wish to contact me about my writing, please email me.

Little me