||This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (June 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Burt wrote his first novel during his gap year from school, when he was 18. He read English literature at Oxford University and eventually became a teacher, although he left after five years so he could pursue full-time writing.
Burt is best known for his debut novel, After the Hole (1993), a psychological horror story about a group of private school students trapped in an underground bunker, seemingly locked in by a deranged, sociopathic classmate. He won the Betty Trask Award in 1994 for this work, which was adapted into the film, The Hole (2001), starring Thora Birch and Daniel Brocklebank. He has since published two more novels, Sophie (1994) and The Dandelion Clock (1999).
Burt has also written for television, including episodes of Afterlife, Diamond Geezer, Ghostboat, Kingdom, Murder in Mind, The Bletchley Circle, The Borgias, and Wire in the Blood. In 2016 he wrote Tutankhamun for ITV and won a Best Writer BAFTA for the children's drama Harriet's Army.