Best-selling Author Jess Kidd to become Writer in Residence at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College (RHACC)

Award-winning author and former RHACC student, Dr Jess Kidd, has been confirmed as the College’s first ever Writer in Residence. The announcement, made at a Portcullis Trust fundraising event at which Dr Kidd was the guest of honour, will take effect from September 2019 and run until 2020 to mark the centenary of the former Hillcroft Women’s College which became part of RHACC in October 2017.

Jess, the best-selling author of The Hoarder and Himself, is an active supporter of the College where she started her illustrious writing journey on the Access to Humanities course, under the tutorage of Barrie Selwyn. As the keynote presenter at the fundraiser she participated in a discussion with former tutor Barrie about her forthcoming novel Things in Jars (due for release in April 2019) and her writing journey to date.

Jess, who will be working at both the Parkshot and Hillcroft campuses as well as undertaking outreach work with specialist women’s groups, said: “I feel very excited to become the very first Writer in Residence at RHACC. I will be working with groups of women from backgrounds that have not traditionally fostered creative writing, including underrepresented voices, exploring themes such as empowerment through education.”

Commenting on the exciting announcement, RHACC Principal Gabe Flint said: “I am hugely proud to be welcoming one of our former students back to take up this important position within our community. Not only will Jess play a pivotal role in our outreach work but she is a wonderful example and will be a great inspiration to other students who have ambitions to further their career through learning.”

Like so many students who study the Access courses, Jess had the foundation to progress on to university. From RHACC she completed her English degree with The Open University before progressing to an MA and PhD with St Mary's University, Twickenham.

She regularly returns to RHACC to support the fundraising efforts of the Portcullis Trust, a charity established to generate funding for disadvantaged learners through specialist bursaries.



Picture: (L-R) Author Jess Kidd and RHACC Principal Gabe Flint

Notes to Editor

  • Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College (RHACC), located in Richmond, is an Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), offering over 2000 courses to over 7000 adult learners.
  • In 2017 the former Richmond Adult Community College (RACC) merged with Hillcroft College (the national residential college for women), to form the new educational entity RHACC
  • Hillcroft Women's Education is RHACC’s specialist programme for women only which incorporates a unique residential offer aimed at supporting disadvantaged women back into learning, thereby improving their life opportunities.
  • Jess Kidd is the author of Himself and The Hoarder, also titled Mr. Flood’s Last Resort (U.S.), winner of the 2016 Costa Short Story Award. Jess’ debut novel, Himself, was published by Canongate in October 2016. The Hoarder, her second novel, hit the shelves in February 2018. Jess’s third book Things in Jars came out 4 April 2019 and the reviews are in. She is also currently developing her own original TV projects with leading UK and international TV producers and is writing a children’s book and a novella.
  • Things in Jars by Jess Kidd is out now, price £14.99 in hardback (Canongate).