ABOUT

   

Stephen Volk is probably best known as the BAFTA-winning writer of the notorious (some say legendary) BBCTV "Halloween hoax" Ghostwatch, which spooked the nation, hit the headlines, caused questions to be raised in Parliament, and was recently voted one of the top British horror films of all time. He was also creator and lead writer of ITV's award-winning paranormal drama series Afterlife starring Lesley Sharp and Andrew Lincoln. 

Most recently he adapted Phil Rickman's supernatural crime novel Midwinter of the Spirit as a 3-part miniseries for ITV starring Anna Maxwell Martin and David Thelfall, and co-scripted the 2011 feature film The Awakening, a period ghost story starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton.

His "elevated genre" science fiction script Extrasensory is planned to start shooting in February 2019. 

For the stage, his play The Chapel of Unrest premiered exclusively at The Bush Theatre, London in 2013, 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.

  Photo by Tom Parker

His first produced (spec) screenplay was Ken Russell's Gothic, a trippy telling of the Mary Shelley/origin of Frankenstein story starring Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson and Timothy Spall.

Other scripts since then have included The Guardian, starring Jenny Seagrove, 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.

He has written single stand-alone TV dramas for Channel 4's Shockers and BBC1's supernatural anthology series 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 a co-director of Antidote Theatre, based in Bath, which produced a number of theatre plays, including his own Answering Spirits, as well as new work by John Fletcher and Miles Kington. 

 Image: Nerea Martinez de Lecea 

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. Since then his fiction has 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. 

His novella Vardoger was short-listed for both a Shirley Jackson Award and a British Fantasy Award. However, arguably his most acclaimed fiction so far is the novella Whitstable - featuring the late horror star Peter Cushing, published by Spectral Press in 2013 (the actor's centenary year). This saw a "follow-up" in 2015 in the form of Leytonstone, a novella based on the boyhood of Alfred Hitchcock. The third tale in The Dark Masters Trilogy (published as a complete volume in 2018 by PS Publishing) is Netherwood - featuring both the novelist Dennis Wheatley and the occultist Aleister Crowley as central characters.

He has also written over sixty non-fiction "comment" pieces for the genre magazine Black Static. 

 

He is a Patron of Humanists UK

Born and raised in Pontypridd, South Wales, he studied Graphic Design at Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry, going on to specialise 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 earned 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 OBM (Ogilvy Benson and Mather), winning a Silver Lion, IPA Effectiveness in Advertising Award, and two D&AD awards, before becoming a full-time screenwriter.

He currently lives in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, with his artist wife, Patricia Volk, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors. 

  

Photo by Jonathan Hall (Clerkenwell Films/ITV)