Photo: Phil Walters
"One of the most provocative and unsettling of contemporary writers" - Andy Hedgecock (Asst Fiction Editor, Interzone)
"Without doubt one of the godfathers of British horror" - This Is Horror
"A master craftsman" - Dark Musings
"Ghost writer extraordinaire" - SFX magazine
"One of Britain's finest screenwriters" - Starburst
"One of my favourite writers of fiction today - horror or otherwise" - Nathan Ballingrud
"The best writer of short stories in the UK horror scene at the moment... Volk has the range, voice and compassion of a true master" - Peter Tennant, Black Static
Stephen Volk is probably best known as the BAFTA-winning writer of ITV's paranormal drama series Afterlife starring Lesley Sharp and Andrew Lincoln, and the notorious (some say legendary) BBCTV "Halloween hoax" Ghostwatch, which spooked the nation, hit the headlines, and caused questions to be raised in Parliament.
Last year he adapted Phil Rickman's novel Midwinter of the Spirit as a 3-part miniseries for ITV, starring Anna Maxwell Martin and David Thelfall, while his last feature film was 2011's The Awakening, a period ghost story starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton. His most recent play The Chapel of Unrest premiered exclusively at The Bush Theatre, London, starring Jim Broadbent and Reece Shearsmith and his short story collection Monsters in the Heart won the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection in 2014, while his story "Newspaper Heart" won Best Novella in 2015.
His first produced screenplay was Ken Russell's Gothic (1986), a trippy telling of the Mary Shelley/origin of Frankenstein story starring Gabriel Byrne, Natasha Richardson and Timothy Spall. His other scripts since then include The Guardian, directed and co-written by William (The Exorcist) Friedkin; Superstition starring Mark Strong and Charlotte Rampling; and Octane starring Madeleine Stowe, Norman Reedus and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, as well as screenplays for Goldcrest, MGM United Artists, Sony Columbia, Paramount, TriStar, Universal, BBC Films and StudioCanal.
For television, he has written single stand-alone dramas for Channel 4's Shockers and BBC1's Ghosts. He also won a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his short film The Deadness of Dad starring Rhys Ifans. For a several years he was co-director of Antidote Theatre, based in Bath, which produced a number of stage plays, including his own Answering Spirits as well as new work by John Fletcher and Miles Kington.
His first collection of short stories, Dark Corners, was published by Gray Friar Press in 2006, from which his story 31/10 (a sequel to Ghostwatch) was short-listed for both a British Fantasy Award and a Bram Stoker Award. His stories have been selected for Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Best British Mysteries, and Best New Horror - with two stories appearing in the inaugural edition of Salt's Best British Horror 2014. His second collection, Monsters in the Heart (Gray Friar Press) was published in 2013 and his third, The Parts We Play, in 2016 with an accompanying exclusive volume called Supporting Roles.
He is a Patron of the British Humanist Association.
He was born and raised in Pontypridd, South Wales, studied Graphic Design at Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry, specialising in Film, and was a winner of the BBC/UNESCO/ICOGRADA/ ASIFA International Animated Film Contest for Young People, subsequent to which he gained a postgraduate certificate with distinction in Radio Film and Television at Bristol University's Department of Drama. Before becoming a full-time writer he worked as an advertising copywriter, notably for Ogilvy Benson and Mather, winning a Silver Lion, IPA Effectiveness in Advertising Award and two Design & Art Direction Awards.
He now lives in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, with his wife, the sculptor Patricia Volk, and a cat he doesn't like.
Photograph (above) Jonathan Hall (Clerkenwell Films/ITV). Immediately below: Alex Yallop (Portrait painted by Jennifer McRae)
Photograph (immediately above) Ian Drake imagebytesphotography.com (below) Peter Coleborn