I’m currently working on two novels.

If you want to read any of my published short stories, check out the Publications page. You can contact me about my fiction at laura.tisdall[at]

Screenshot 2022-05-18 at 09.40.03

Old Ice

A queer horror novel set between contemporary Antarctica and a post-war Newcastle shipyard.

Peter has worked at Swan Hunters shipyard in Wallsend all his life, and he knows strange things happen there.

His son Gerard fled as far from Newcastle as he could get. But when Gerard takes a job on the Antarctic research ship James Clark Ross – the last ship his father built – the past catches up to him.

When Gerard’s estranged daughter, Kit, finds out that the James Clark Ross has mysteriously disappeared, she travels to Antarctica to see if she can save her father.

Trapped on a remote Antarctic base during the polar winter, Kit knows there’s something waiting out there in the storms. But if she can’t figure out its link to her own family history, it may take her as well.

The image shows Halley VI. Credit: Sam Burrell.

I completed some initial research for this novel at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge in April 2018. A initial outline of the novel was selected as a finalist for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Gulliver Travel Grant in 2019. An early prequel ‘outtake’ from this novel, from Gerard’s perspective, was published on the Fairlight Books Short Story Portal in 2022.


The Forest That Eats Bone

Harriet is the first historian to travel back in time. But why is the time that she travels to mirroring a sinister imaginary game she once played with her younger sister, who died five years ago?

Harriet Atwater, a 23-year-old doctoral student in history at Cambridge, joins a secret research team travelling to the fourteenth-century fenland. When the head of the project goes missing and the team frantically hunt for him throughout the flooded landscape, Harriet becomes uneasily aware that this alternative medieval timeline reminds her of the complicated game that she and her sister created as teenagers. Have the team accidentally wandered into a world even stranger and more distant than medieval England? And if so, will Harriet only be able to save her colleague by seeking out her sister?

The image is of Denny Abbey, in Cambridgeshire. Credit: me.

I worked on this novel during a three-month Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course, which I completed in March 2016. I was one of the six writers selected for a Fiction Feedback event with Ella Diamond Kahn via Spread the Word in June 2016, I was selected for Penguin Random House’s Write Now Live event in February 2017, and shortlisted for Retreat West’s First Chapter Competition in July 2017. I was mentored by Sam Eades at Orion through the WoMentoring Project from 2017 to 2018. The Forest That Eats Bone was selected as the runner-up in the Hodderscape/Science Museum SF Debuts Prize in 2023.

You can read the prologue and first chapter of The Forest That Eats Bone here.

14 thoughts on “Fiction

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