Dawn is currently completing the prestigious MA in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia and is devoting her time to her debut novel, The Suffolk Merman. The historical fiction was longlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2024 and shortlisted for the Adventures in Fiction Spotlight First Novel Award 2024.

The historical fiction (80,000 words), is inspired by the legend of the Wild Man of Orford – recorded in 1207 by Ralph of Coggeshall in the Chronicon Anglican. In Orford, 1167, a merman, is imprisoned at Orford Castle in Suffolk during Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s visit. When Amiria Pantulf, Eleanor of Aquitaine’s close companion, encounters a merman in the keep, who has been fished out of the Morimaru Sea, she is captivated by his otherworldly force. As machinations of power rage in the court, and their love deepens, Amiria is torn between her duty and her freedom. The novel is for readers of Hamnet, Wolf Hall and Matrix.

Her second historical fiction is a work in progress. It is based on Christina of Markyate, an eligible 12th century woman, who spurns marriage to become an anchoress, only to be tempted by love and desire.

For manuscripts and a full synopsis of The Suffolk Merman, please contact Dawn at

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Dawn Gay, freelance journalist

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