Dr Sally Cline

Associate Research Fellow

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of English and Media

Location: ARU London, Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Creative writing , English literature , Sociology

Sally's areas of expertise are in the theory and practice of life writing (biography, memoir, autobiography); the theory, history and practise of narrative/literary non-fiction, the methodology of short stories, novellas, novels, American & English 20th Century literature, crime writing, feminist theory, women’s studies and sociology.

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Sally Cline (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, former Advisory Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, and a Hawthornden Fellow) is an award-winning biographer and short fiction writer. Her two most recent books, the linked short stories One of Us is Lying (Golden Books) and her thirteenth book and latest biography Dashiell Hammett: Man of Mystery (Arcade) follow best-selling biographies on Radclyffe Hall (shortlisted for the LAMDA prize) and Zelda Fitzgerald. A short study on Lillian Hellman is forthcoming. She was 2013 Judge for the HW Fisher prize for First Published Biographies, and was presented in 2012 to the Queen at Buckingham Palace for her writing and work with the RLF. She is co-Series Editor for Bloomsbury’s 9 volume Writers’ and Artists’ Companions about writing and has co-authored two volumes on life writing and on literary non-fiction.

She has taught at Cambridge University, was Writer in Residence at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, holds degrees and Masters from Durham and Lancaster Universities and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters  at ARU for international writing.

Research interests

Sally's research interests focus on biographical subjects (often women who were invisiblised or of special interest), notably American or UK 20th century (e.g. Radclyffe  Hall, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Lillian Hellman, Dashiell Hammett) but also short fiction, narrative non-fiction, women’s studies and feminism.

Areas of research supervision

  • Life writing
  • Creative writing
  • Modern English literature
  • Writing for radio and television.

Sally's Successful mentoring/supervising for Gold Dust Mentoring Scheme UK has resulted in five UK students/mentees getting their novels, short stories, memoirs published.  Several more have been winners or shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Biographers Club Prize, London.


  • D.Litt. (Hon). International Writing. Anglia Ruskin University.
  • M.Litt. (Distinctions in Viva and Thesis). Social Science & Women’s Studies. Lancaster University.
  • BA Hons (1st class) Joint Hons English and Philosophy. Durham University.
Adult Education qualifications:
  • Certificates 1. 2, 3 Adult Education. East Anglia Regional Council.
  • Diploma in Stage Management. Morley College/Old Vic School, London.
  • Diploma in Spanish. University of London.

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Series Editor for Bloomsbury Publishing (9 Vols in Writers’  & Artists’ Companion Series)
  • Consulting Editor: International Literary Quarterly.
  • Editorial Board & Judge Gold Dust Mentoring Scheme.
  • Member/Fellow (previously Advisory Fellow) Royal Literary Fund
  • Fellow Royal Society of Arts
  • Director of Cambridge Creative Consultancy
  • Member Biographers International Organization, USA.
  • Member of The Biographers Club UK
  • Member Royal  Society Literature
  • Member PEN
  • Member Fawcett Society
  • Member Society of Authors UK
  • Life Member of the Writers Guild UK.
  • Member of University of the Third Age
  • Member of the Labour Party
  • Former Director of RLF Writers Pool
  • Former Judge and Mentor for Arts Council of England Escalator Writing Scheme 

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

2013 Royal Literary Fund. Advisory Fellowship.  (£6000)

2013. Judge of H.W. Fisher Best Biography Prize. The Biographers Club. UK

2012. RLF Advisory Fellowship. £6000

2012. Shortlisted Fish Prize for Memoir.

2012. Feb 14th. Buckingham Palace. Presented to the Queen for outstanding work for the Royal Literary fund and for contribution to literature.

2010-2011. RLF Advisory Fellowship. £6000

Selected recent publications

Books authored:

Cline Sally & Gillies Midge. (2016) Literary Non-Fiction. A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion. Writing About Everything from Travel to Food to Sex.   Bloomsbury. London & New York

Cline Sally. (2016.) Dashiell Hammett: Man of Mystery. Arcade Publishing. New York.

Cline Sally (2014) Dashiell Hammett. Man of Mystery. Arcade Publishing. New York.

Cline Sally.(2013)  One of Us is Lying.  Golden Books. UK.

Cline Sally. & Angier Carole (2013) Life Writing. Writing Biography, Autobiography & Memoir. A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion. Bloomsbury. London. New York.

Cline Sally & Angier Carole.  (2012) The Arvon Book of Life Writing. Writing Biography, Autobiography and Memoir.  Methuen Drama. UK.

Cline Sally. (2012). Zelda Fitzgerald. The Tragic Meticulously Researched Biography of the Jazz Age’s High Priestess.  Arcade publishing. New York.

Books edited:

Angier Carole and Cline Sally (eds) (2016) Playwriting : A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion  (Grace Fraser & Bayley Clare) Bloomsbury London & NY

Angier Carole & Cline Sally (eds) (2016) Writing for TV & Radio. A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion.  (Teddern Sue & Warburton Nick) Bloomsbury London & New York

Angier Carole & Cline Sally (eds) (2016) Literary Non-Fiction. A Writers’ & Artists Companion. Writing About Everything from Travel to Food to Sex. (Sally Cline & Midge Gillies) Bloomsbury London & New York

Angier Carole & Cline Sally (eds)  (2015)  Novel Writing . A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion. (Gunnesekere Romesh & Kennedy A.L.)  Bloomsbury London & New York

Angier Carole & Cline Sally (eds) (2015) Writing Short Stories. A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion.  (Newland Courttia & Hershman Tania.) Bloomsbury London & New York

Angier Carole & Cline Sally (Eds. 2014) Writing Historical Fiction  A Writers’ & Artists’  Companion (Brayfield Celia & Sprott Duncan) Bloomsbury London  & New York .

Angier Carole & Cline Sally (eds) 2013. Writing Children’s Fiction.  A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion. (Coppard Yvonne & Newbery Linda) Bloomsbury London & New York

Angier Carole & Cline Sally (eds)  (2013) Crime & Thriller Writing. A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion. (Spring Michelle & King Laurie)  Bloomsbury London   & New York

Other publications:

Cline, Sally.  (Dec 2012, June, July August 2013) Series of 4 articles about Memoir. Myslexia Magazine. London.

Recent presentations and conferences

2015. Guardian Master Class on Life writing.  Stratford upon Avon

2015. Biography and Memoir Talk & Workshop. Stratford Literary Festival.

2015. Life Writing Workshop. Anglia Ruskin University.

2014 U3A & RLF Presentation on my short stories.   U3A offices Cambridge.

2014 Biography Talk and Workshop.  Cambridge Literary festival.

2014. Talk on The Maltese Falcon and Dashiell Hammett. Arts Picture House. Cambridge.

2014 Launch talk for Dashiell Hammett: Man of Mystery. Heffers. Cambridge

2014 Launch talk for One of Us is Lying. Heffers. Cambridge.

2012. Royal Literary Fund Induction Event talk on History of Royal Literary Fund. London.

2011. Royal Literary Fund Induction Event. Talk on My Life as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. London.

Media experience

For many years Sally has recorded and written  talks, stories and interviews for the BC Radio 4, especially but not exclusively for Woman’s Hour.

Radio scripts, radio stories, radio plays, documentaries for BBC RADIO and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation):
2015-2016. Scripting and recording podcasts for the RLF web site.
1993 The Passenger in Pink. Radio Play. New London Playwrights Festival. LBC. Highly Commended.
1993. The Passenger. Radio story. Winner BBC Radio Story Contest.
1990-91. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Research and scripts for documentary based on my book Women, Celibacy and Passion.
1988 and 1989. Ideas Program. CBC Canada.

Just Desserts: Women and Food. three Radio Documentaries based on one of Sally's books. Scripted, edited, produced and recorded.