Amy Bell

Amy Bell




Amy Bell has performed her stories across the Midlands. She has an MA in Writing from the University of Warwick and her work is published in print and online. Amy was born in Leicester in 1981. She works as a subeditor and proofreader. In her spare time she knits, tap-dances tries to get to grips with the ukulele or swans about Leicester’s Cultural Quarter doing arty things and drinking a bit.


Creative Work

From 'Tease'

I didn’t mean to tell everyone I was a stripper. It was a slip of the tongue that took on a life of its own, growing and growing until someone offered me a book deal. Which would have been great.  Amazing. If I had been a stripper. No one wants to hear about the exploits of an attractive twentysomething girl who works in a call centre, unless she's working in a call centre by day and stripping by night. But my nights are spent posting messages on internet forums for chronic asthmatics and falling asleep in front of QVC. Not, in themselves, worthy of preservation for future ages.

I had moved to a new town, got my own flat: one bedroom, one toilet, a kitchen space, fin. I decorated it with charity shop hand-me-downs, not because it was cool or environmentally vituous, but because it was all I could afford. The lady at Oxfam told me that the table I ate my microwave dinner off every night once belonged to a pensioner who had died in a house fire caused by a short-circuiting iron. I always looked around the room before putting my feet on it after that.

As the weeks passed, and life had settled into a cosy little rut, I began to realise I was lonely. I worked night shifts, so socialising was difficult, even with my colleagues, who had to return to loved ones, supervise offspring or simply get some kip when work was over. The few friends I had were 200 miles away with their own lives to lead. I had not had a relationship in over five years.

So I went speed dating.



At first glance, 'Tease' might not seem to have much to do with Leicester, and you’d be right. It’s not the setting for the story, nor was it ever intended to be, although I did write it here. Yet it still has a little bit of Leicester tucked away in it. Leicester, to me, is an unexceptional, unshowy city. It doesn’t have the bright lights and bombast of London. It’s not full of braggadocio and self-regard like Manchester, nor does it have the hipster appeal of Brighton or even Nottingham. Even our celebrities are a rum bunch: Leicester spawned Joseph Merrick, Daniel Lambert, the Attenboroughs and Kasabian.

But because this place is in my blood, the characters I create, the stories I write, are much like Leicester. The people are ordinary, even nondescript. The situations are not fantastical, the settings not exotic. Once you delve deeper, however, their uniqueness becomes apparent. I like to bring out the extraordinary in the everyday. And, is you care to ask it, Leicester has many great tales to tell. About how the Romans cultivated it, made it thrive. About how it buried a king, birthed a queen and shod the Jarrow Marchers. It could tell you now about its vibrant mix of cultures, its flourishing arts scene, its hidden nooks and crannies. Even when my stories aren’t based in Leicester, they still are, somehow.



Service Not Included, Chameleon, 2003
Belongings, Real Writers Short Story Competition Anthology, 2005
Tease, Aesthetica Creative Works Annual, 2008
Freak Like Me, Girls Who Fight 3, 2011



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