Photo by Peter Coleborn
Stephen Volk is probably best known as the BAFTA-winning writer of ITV's paranormal drama series Afterlife starring Lesley Sharp and Andrew Lincoln, and the notorious (some say legendary) BBCTV "Halloween hoax" Ghostwatch, which spooked the nation, hit the headlines, and caused questions to be raised in Parliament.
Recently he adapted Phil Rickman's novel Midwinter of the Spirit as a 3-part miniseries for ITV, starring Anna Maxwell Martin and David Thelfall, and co-scripted 2011's feature film The Awakening, a period ghost story starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton. His play The Chapel of Unrest premiered exclusively at The Bush Theatre, London, starring Jim Broadbent and Reece Shearsmith while his short story collection Monsters in the Heart won the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection in 2014, his story "Newspaper Heart" winning Best Novella in 2015.
His very first produced screenplay was Ken Russell's Gothic, a trippy telling of the Mary Shelley/origin of Frankenstein story starring Gabriel Byrne, Natasha Richardson and Timothy Spall. Other scripts since then include The Guardian, directed and co-written with William (The Exorcist) Friedkin; Superstition starring Mark Strong and Charlotte Rampling; and Octane starring Madeleine Stowe, Norman Reedus and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, as well as screenplays for Goldcrest, MGM United Artists, Sony Columbia, Paramount, TriStar, Universal, BBC Films and StudioCanal.
For television, he has written single stand-alone dramas for Channel 4's Shockers and BBC1's Ghosts. He also won a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his short film The Deadness of Dad starring Rhys Ifans. For a several years he was co-director of Antidote Theatre, based in Bath, which produced a number of stage plays, including his own Answering Spirits as well as new work by John Fletcher and Miles Kington.
His first collection of short stories, Dark Corners, was published in 2006, from which his story 31/10 (a sequel to Ghostwatch) was short-listed for both a British Fantasy Award and a Bram Stoker Award. His work have been selected for Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Best British Mysteries, and Best New Horror - with two stories appearing in the inaugural edition of Salt's Best British Horror 2014. His second collection, Monsters in the Heart (Gray Friar Press) was published in 2013 and his third, The Parts We Play, in 2016 - with an accompanying exclusive volume called Supporting Roles.
He is a Patron of the British Humanist Association.
Born and raised in Pontypridd, South Wales, he studied Graphic Design at Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry, specialising in Film, and was one of the winners of the BBC/UNESCO/ICOGRADA/ ASIFA International Animated Film Contest for Young People, subsequent to which he gained a postgraduate certificate with distinction in Radio Film and Television at Bristol University's Department of Drama. He then worked as an advertising copywriter, notably for Ogilvy Benson and Mather, winning a Silver Lion, IPA Effectiveness in Advertising Award and two Design & Art Direction Awards, before becoming a full-time freelance writer.
He currently lives in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, with his artist wife, Patricia Volk, a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.
Photo by Jonathan Hall (Clerkenwell Films/ITV)