Sophie Hampton

Today our Reader Spotlight shines on Sophie Hampton, a writer and freelance editor from London, England. She just completed an MA in Creative Writing in which she specialized in short fiction. Her submission of 17 stories, White Socks and Weirdos, will form her debut collection and she is currently working on final edits.

Her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in print and online. Competition success includes winning the Sean O’Faolain International Short Story Prize and The London Magazine short story competition. You can check out her website at

How would you characterize your writing?

My prose is spare as I edit ruthlessly; as Carver said, “Get in, get out. Don’t linger. Go on.” Many of my stories reveal a preoccupation with identity and belonging and my characters are often marginalized. Another characteristic is the significance of the natural world: the flora and fauna and weather and geography. I take my notebook everywhere as I believe that the setting of a story can be as important as its characters.

What draws you to Carve magazine?

I am impressed by the range and the consistently high quality of the writing.

What story might you recommend to new Carve readers?

Although I only discovered Carve in 2012, I have read some of the back issues available online. It’s difficult to choose a favourite story as I have enjoyed so many, for example “How the Tiger Got Its Stripes” by Nicholas Hogg and Dan Powell’s “Storm in a Teacup,” but I particularly enjoyed “It Was So Long Ago” by Amber Krieger. This poignant and thought-provoking tale is beautifully written and I was gripped from the first paragraph. The clever use of mundane routine to convey the impact of a life-changing incident gives the story authenticity. The minutely observed details offer insight into the protagonist’s character and state of mind and I loved the ending.

We thank Sophie for taking the time for this Reader Spotlight feature. Interested in her work? You can read a transcript of her story, “The Cairn,” which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, here and “White Socks and Weirdos,” her Sean O’Faolain winning story, here. Follow her on Twitter to stay connected to the Carve community.

Follow @SR_Hampton

Reader Spotlight is a chance for us to turn the spotlight on you. Whether a new fan or a longtime reader, we want to hear from you. Email us at to be featured.