Jess studied Creative Writing at St Mary's from 2011 until 2014. Her novel, Himself, was published by Canongate in July 2016. Jess is now working on two further novels, along with her first collection of short stories – many of which are either set in Ireland or have Irish protagonists.
Jess graduated with a PhD in Creative Writing, following the completion of an MA in Creative Writing (Enabling Creative Writing in the Community). Her research resulted in a magic realist crime novel, which was later revised and rewritten for publication. Jess is currently working on several academic articles drawn from her PhD research.
Jess’ first novel, Himself, was published in late 2016 by Canongate and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2016.
Costa Short Story Award
In January 2017, Jess won the Costa Short Story Award for Dirty Little Fishes the story of a young Irish girl in London accompanying her mother on visits to a dying woman. The story was voted by the public as top of a shortlist compiled by a panel of judges.
Her second novel, The Hoarder, was published in early 2018 and was featured on the BBC Radio 2 Book Club.