What can I tell you?

I write about all sorts of things but it would be fair to say I’m drawn to the darker side of life.

My favourite writers are a diverse bunch. Graham Greene and Iris Murdoch and George Eliot. Rupert Thomson and Christopher Priest. Octavia Butler, John Wyndham, Ursula Le Guin, Frank Herbert, Dylan Thomas, TS Eliot. My favourite Shakespeare play is King Lear. No, Much Ado About Nothing. It depends if it’s a tragic or a comic day.

I like those moments in stories where you have no idea what’s going to happen next. The moments when genre can’t save you.

I talked further about this idea of being surprised by stories to The Paperchain Podcast.


(My Shirley Jackson award pebble! I haven’t stoned anyone with it yet.)




2004. Runner-up in the Guardian’s Short Short Story Competition.

2006. First runner-up in McSweeney’s 13 Writing Prompts Competition.

2007. Winner of the People’s Choice Award for best story in Drabblecast.

2012. Runner-up in the British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition.

2015. Honors List for the James Tiptree Jr. Award.

2015. Shortlisted for Best Novella in the Sabotage Awards.

2015. Shortlisted for Best Novella in the Shirley Jackson Awards.

2017. Shortlisted for Best Short Fiction in the BSFA Awards.

2017. Shortlisted for Best Novella in the Sabotage Awards.

2017. Shortlisted for the Shadow Clarke Award.

2017. Shortlisted for Best Novella is the British Fantasy Society Awards.

(It’s aliiiiiiive…)

2016-07-16 12.22.02Praise for Aliya’s Writing:

“I firmly believe that Aliya Whiteley is one of the most original, innovative and intelligent writers of speculative fiction working in Britain today.”

Nina Allan

“I’ll get straight to the point: Aliya Whiteley is a brilliant writer.”

David Hebblethwaite

“Whiteley is a prose stylist. Her sentences often have a smoky, psychotropic quality, and they can wrap themselves around the base of your brain.”


“…Whiteley really shines as a writer, often conjuring up settings that neatly reflect the emotional landscape of her main characters…”

Vulpes Libris

“…Whiteley is an exciting new talent and it’s a dead cert we’ll be hearing much more from her in the future.”

Reader Dad

 “The things that are said, the crisp observations and witty rejoinders, are a constant source of delight, but often we laugh as an alternative to crying, humour as the antidote to despair at all the missed opportunities and small tragedies that fill the page.”

Peter Tennant

‘Whiteley’s word choice and structure is superb. Her word craft is exquisite…’

From Lulu With Love



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