Dreda Say Mitchell

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Dreda Say Mitchell (born Emma Joseph)[1] (born 1965) is a British novelist, broadcaster, journalist and freelance education consultant.


Dreda Say Mitchell is a best-selling and award-winning author, broadcaster, journalist and campaigner who grew up on a housing estate in the East End of London. Her parents are from the Caribbean island of Grenada. She attended Bishop Challoner Girls’ School and went on to receive a BA (Hons) in African history from SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies. She also has a MA in education studies from the London Metropolitan University. For twenty-five years she worked as a teacher and education consultant in London with a special focus on raising the achievement of children from BAME and working class backgrounds. The Times Education Supplement: ‘Mitchell gives a voice to the working class communities she grew up in.’


Dreda’s writing career started on a creative writing course at Soho’s Groucho Club where she began writing her debut novel Running Hot. She has since written twelve other novels, many with her writing partner Tony Mason, including their psychological international best-seller, Spare Room. Lee Child describes her work, ‘As good as it gets. Mitchell is English fiction’s brightest new voice.’ She has also written a Quick Read for The Reading Agency as part of their drive to enhance reading skills among hard to reach communities. She has been a judge on the National Book Awards, Index on Censorship Awards and The John Creasey Dagger, CWA. She was the 2011 chair of the Harrogate Theakston Crime Fiction Festival. Dreda and Tony were part of Sky Arts ground-breaking Arts 50 in 2019.

Dreda is also a social and cultural commentator who has appeared on television’s Newsnight, The Review Show, Front Row Late, Question Time, BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, The Victoria Derbyshire Show and on numerous BBC radio programmes including Vanessa, Front Row, The Simon Mayo Show. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s, Open Book and Radio 3’s The Sunday Feature exploring life on housing estates. She reviews the newspaper every Friday night on The Stephen Nolan Show, BBC 5 Live.

Dreda was commissioned by the Youth Justice Board to facilitate ‘Write-on’, a pilot creative writing and mentoring project in Feltham and Cookham Wood YOIs focusing on children of African-Caribbean, mixed heritage and white working class backgrounds. One of the students was awarded three Koestler awards, including the inaugural Peter Selby Award for Under-18 Creative Writing. She continues to work in prisons as a guest speaker and delivering creative writing workshops.

Dreda has written for The Guardian, Independent and Observer, on issues ranging from ‘race’, culture and class.

Dreda is an ambassador for The Reading Agency, especially in their work in prisons.

She is also a patron of the S! Leeds Prize.


Winner of The John Creasey Dagger, Crime Writers’ Association, 2005, the first time a Black British writer has scooped this honour.

2014 World Book Night Selection, Geezer Girls

Contributor in the multi-award winning ‘Books To Die For’, anthology, 2014

50 Remarkable Women in Britain, Lady Geek in association with Nokia, 2012

Silver Contribution Award, Calabash, 2011


Running Hot, MAIA Press, 2004.

Killer Tune, Hodder, 2007.

Gangland Girl Series

  • Geezer Girls, Hodder, 2009
  • Gangster Girl, Hodder, 2010
  • Hit Girls, Hodder, 2011

DI Rio Wray Thriller Series

  • Vendetta, Hodder, 2014
  • Death Trap, Hodder, 2015
  • Snatched (e-novella) Hodder, 2015

Flesh and Blood Series

  • Blood Sister, Hodder, 2016
  • Blood Mother, Hodder, 2017
  • Blood Daughter, Hodder, 2017
  • Blood Secrets, Mitchell and Joseph, 2018
  • One False Move (novella) Quick Read, 2017

Psychological Standalones

  • Spare Room, Bloodhound Books, 2019

Guardian articles

External links[edit]