Leaving rural East Anglia for Art School in swinging sixties London, by 1969 Maggie was working as a fashion designer, illustrator and copywriter.

Discovering the fashion world was not for her, she approached The Save the Children Fund, spending much of the following decade, first in draughty church halls, then in the infectious diseases unit of a London teaching hospital. In 1979, after designing a series of successful posters for the Health Education Council, she left to freelance as a children’s book illustrator.

Soon drawn to the adult world of cartoons, her work won a place in the 1983 Sunday Times International Cartoon Competition, was published in Women Draw 1984 (The Women’s Press Ltd 1984), The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent and the New Statesman, as well as in books, periodicals and anthologies. One Woman’s Eye, her debut collection was published by Virgin Books (1986), and the winning entries for the New Statesman International Cartoon Competition in Ouch!(New Statesman Ltd 1998).

In 2002, swapping dip pen for iMac to concentrate on words alone, she abandoned London for the Suffolk coast, returning to city life when she moved to Norwich, a UNESCO City of Literature, in 2014.

Her short stories have been placed in numerous competitions, including the Fish Short Story Prize, the Asham Award, and the Bridport Prize, and published in Unthology 1 (Unthanks Books 2010), Something Was There: the Asham Award-winning ghost story collection (Virago 2011) and Unthology 5 (Unthank Books 2014). Let Her Go was a Seren Books Short Story of the Month (October 2017) and the Bridport shortlisted Bird Brains, with Running Away, were published on Fairlight Books’ website (May 2019). Her nineteen-story debut collection Appetites: stories of love, sex and death was published in October 2019 (Matador). And Bird Brain’s was chosen for Fairlight’s first pick-of-the-bunch collection The Fairlight Book of Short Stories: volume 1 (Fairlight Books 2020).

Maggie Ling

“I’ve seen her up there, up at that window, looking down…”